LinkedIn beats industry job boards for oil and gas recruitment

Monday 25 November 2013

Recruitment is never an easy task for businesses - especially in industries like the oil and gas sector, where acute talent shortages mean that contractors with the right skills can be difficult to find. But the number of tools available to companies when they are looking to hire talent is steadily increasing - and for many recruiters, social media is leading the way.

A new study from shows that more than eight out of ten employers have researched candidates applying for their roles by looking up their social media sites. It is even playing a significant part in advertising roles and attracting the right candidates - nearly three-quarters said they had managed to hire either an employee or freelancer via social media.

“Social media is now a powerful recruitment tool for getting the right person in position faster and cheaper than traditional forms of advertising,” says Kevin Forbes, chief executive of

“The oil and gas industry is currently enjoying a small boom and it is becoming increasingly hard to source the right candidates. Being such an innovative industry, it comes as no surprise that recruiters are turning to social media to find top talent.”

He adds that recent reports have suggested social media is being used more and more frequently, with anything from 30 to 90 per cent of UK companies adopting some form of social networking tool.

Interestingly, it wasn’t the best-known platforms that were necessarily the most popular for recruitment. Although a quarter of respondents used Facebook, a startling 88 per cent had used professional networking site LinkedIn. In contrast, just 33 per cent were using the more obvious approach of hiring via online industry job boards, indicating that some companies may be looking for a wider pool of candidates. Surprisingly, although Twitter seems to be the social network of the moment, it was used by just eight per cent of oil and gas recruiters.

The days of the traditional CV and cover letter model appear to have well and truly gone, especially in high-tech sectors such as the oil and gas industry. Now, it’s important for oil and gas contractors to think even more carefully about becoming walking adverts for themselves, since the consequences of an unprofessional or unimpressive page can be acute. More than three out of five said they had even gone as far as turning down an application based on what they had seen on the candidate’s social media profile.

But recruiters are turning to social media precisely because it can offer them more information than they would receive in a traditional application: as many as 77 per cent of respondents said they had chosen social media because it offered better access to a greater number of candidates. Two out of five say it offers them a better sense of how suitable a candidate might be - which is perhaps why more than six out ten claim that social media is a more effective recruitment tool even than traditional print advertising. However, financial concerns were also in the mix, since one in three agreed social media was the most cost-effective means of finding contractors and other staff.

By Victoria McDonnell

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