4 Onboarding Program Benefits Your Employees Will Appreciate

Once a candidate accepts an offer and officially becomes an employee, the hard work is done, right? Think again.

As one of the leading energy staffing firms, FootBridge Energy Services knows it’s actually just begun because now you have to focus on onboarding. The good news is that there’s plenty to be gained from your efforts, if you take the right approach. Here are just a few reasons new hires will appreciate and benefit from your onboarding program:

Better engagement.

Even when employees have accepted an offer, they’re not always sure they made the right decision. But when they’re welcomed and engaged from the start, it will go a long way in boosting confidence in their choice and in your company.

Not only that, but during onboarding, new hires should have an opportunity to hear from senior leaders and fellow co-workers. This give them a bigger picture sense of the organization they’re now a member of. As a result, they’ll feel like a part of the team faster and want to work harder from the start to contribute to the bottom line.

More trust.

Onboarding offers your company the perfect opportunity to talk about values, mission, vision and strategy. It’s a good place to set the tone your company is transparent and accountable, and you place a heavy emphasis on open communication. These are the types of attitudes and commitments that go a long way in building trust with new hires. Over time, this trust builds loyalty, which has a positive impact on engagement.

Stronger ties.

Walking into a company without knowing a single soul can be intimidating for new employees. However, when you have an effective onboarding program, it’s the prime place to forge connections between new and existing staff members. You can do this in a variety of ways, from hosting a lunch to welcome a new hire to pairing them up with a veteran mentor who can act as a buddy. However you approach it, keep in mind that the more connected a new employee feels, the more engaged and loyal they’ll be from the start.

Better communication.

Many times, new hires can be intimidated about communicating and wonder how open they should be. But when they’re welcomed and engaged effectively, they’ll feel more comfortable communicating with fellow employees and their manager. That’s why there should be a solid policy and structure in place for communicating, with the message sent that concerns, questions and feedback are all welcomed. This, in turn, sets the stage for creating the kind of positive environment in which new hires can thrive.

A good onboarding program can take a lot of time, work and effort to create and implement. But when you have one in place, you will reap the rewards in the long run in the form of happier, more engaged and more confident new hires.

Need help with these and other HR- and recruiting-related issues?

Call the experts at FootBridge Energy Services. As the leading energy recruitment firm, we have the solutions you need to hire faster and smarter, as well as keep your people happy and engaged. Contact us today to learn more about the difference we can make at your company.

Job Satisfaction: Why You Should Make Sure Your Employees Are Happy

Ask any group of managers what role employee happiness plays on the job, and you’ll get a wide range of answers. Some managers still believe that happiness is irrelevant, while others have begun to realize that employee happiness is key in measurable factors like productivity and retention rates.

Why Happiness Matters

Studies of employees’ emotional orientation to their work have discovered employee happiness is directly related to the quality of the work employees produce, as well as to other factors like recruitment and retention. For example:

  • Happiness boosts engagement. Employees who enjoy coming to work each day find it easier to stay focused on the task in front of them. They’re more likely to seek out additional tasks and take initiative even on routine or “boring” tasks.
  • Happiness boosts intrinsic motivation. Employees who find their work fulfilling for its own sake are more likely to do it well, to avoid distraction and to seek more challenges. The need for rewards or penalties imposed by managers diminishes or disappears.
  • Happiness improves productivity. When employees are engaged and intrinsically motivated, they feel a sense of ownership in the work and results that leads them to focus on quality and to seek ways to innovate.
  • Happiness boosts recruitment and retention. As the centerpiece of your employment branding efforts, happiness is a powerful recruitment tool. As a key focus for employees, happiness boosts retention: Why take a chance with an employer who might not make you happy, when you already have one who does?

Boosting Your Team’s “Happiness Quotient”: A Quick-Start Guide

Here’s how managers can improve happiness on their teams and take advantage of the resulting benefits:

  • Talk to your team. Surveys are a great way to spot what factors of the job or workplace boost happiness and which are diminishing happiness. They can also help you gather ideas from your staff for ways to fix problems.
  • Measure what can be measured. Since happiness is closely linked to productivity and retention rates, choose quantifiers for these and measure them before making any changes. Keep an eye on these numbers as you proceed: They’ll help you determine what works and what doesn’t.
  • Work with your recruiter. Your staffing partner can provide additional perspective on your company’s culture, your recruiting process, and how to improve your employment brand and retention.

Satisfaction, engagement, productivity and retention are closely intertwined. To help your organization boost all three, contact the energy recruiting partners at FootBridge Energy Services today.

5 Critical Questions to Ask a Potential Recruiting Partner

Working with a recruiter can improve your candidate pool, shorten time to hire and provide access to specialized contract and long-term talent when you need it. To reap the greatest benefits from your recruiting partnership, however, it’s important to make an informed choice regarding the recruiter who is right for you.

Before you hire a new staffing partner, ask these five questions:

What industries do you serve?

Some recruiting firms boast of a broad reach and the ability to serve many industries. However, many of these firms are forced to trade depth for breadth. The best staffing firm for you will likely be an organization that focuses solely on staffing within your industry.

What types of candidates do you place/what types of positions do you fill?

Look for a recruiting partner who can provide specific examples, as well as more general lists. Also, look for a recruiter who places the types of candidates you’re looking for in the types of positions you typically need to fill. Asking about both direct hires and temporary or contract workers can help you get a more rounded picture of your potential recruiting partner’s capabilities, as well.

How do you help clients improve staffing long term?

The best recruiters think more broadly than the individual candidate or position. They also work with their clients to help identify challenges in the hiring process, create strategic staffing plans and improve your recruiting and retention long term. Ask a potential recruiting partner about their work in this area to learn more about their approach.

Describe a successful candidate placement you achieved recently. What made it a success?

Like a behavioral interview question you might ask a job candidate, this question provides a specific example of the types of candidates and positions the recruiter deals with, how they go about fitting the right candidate to the right position and company and how they gauge success. The response can help you decide whether the recruiter is the right fit for you.

How should I contact you? How quickly should I expect a response?

The best recruiters are highly responsive. They love to learn more about their clients, so they make themselves easy to contact and respond quickly when they receive an email or phone call. Ask about your potential recruiting partner’s communication methods and preferences to ensure you can always touch base when you need to do so.

At FootBridge Energy Services, we specialize in placing qualified candidates with our clients in the oil and gas industry. To learn more energy sector staffing services, contact us today.

7 Tips for Building a Strong Team

A strong team can overcome nearly any challenge; a weak one will crumble in the face of even everyday obstacles. To thrive in the oil and gas industry, you need a team with the strength, skill and resilience to tackle the challenges that arise in this ever-changing field.

Here are seven ways to build a stronger team:

  1. Ask, “What value does this employee bring to my company?” Ask this question whenever you evaluate a team member or candidate; then ask the team member or the candidate. Strong team members will offer an answer that focuses on action. The best team members will be able to articulate ideas that fit with the company’s overall goals.
  2. Hire for the long term. You need certain capabilities now, but you also need team members who can grow and adapt. Consider the skills and traits that will help ensure long-term success. Talk to your recruiter for help hiring candidates who can thrive in both the short and the long term.
  3. Understand your hiring objectives. Hiring to build a strong team means looking for slightly different capabilities and traits than hiring for individual strengths alone. Ask yourself what skills the team needs. Consider what personality traits the team is long (and short) on. Share your answers with your recruiter.
  4. Leverage social media. LinkedIn is specifically designed to seek out talented individuals, track when top performers leave competing companies and more. Leverage the power of social media to help you find the talent your team needs and to be ready to hire—or extend an offer to an already-employed superstar.
  5. Embrace diversity. Each member of a team brings a different perspective and skill set to the table. When determining what your team needs, decide what you need each person to do. Then, hire to meet these needs.
  6. Communicate with your team. Team members have unique views on the work, challenges and capabilities available than team leaders often have. Ask your team what they perceive their weaknesses and strengths to be. Then ask them to describe the ideal person they would add to the team.
  7. Work with your recruiter. Staffing firms specialize in helping their clients hire for the long term, build teams and strengthen a productive workplace culture. Work with your staffing partner to find the people you need.

At FootBridge Energy Services, our recruiters can help you find the talent you need to build a strong team, regardless of your position in the energy industry. Contact us today to learn more about our oil and gas recruiting solutions.

Laid off From Your Oil and Gas Position? Here’s What to Do.

The energy industry shifts constantly – which means, unfortunately, that many of its workers find themselves holding pink slips. If you’ve been laid off from a position with an oil and gas company recently, here’s how to get back on your feet and into a great new job.

  1. Take a (short) break. Taking a few days to decompress can help you process your feelings about the layoff and maintain some perspective. Spend a few days engaging in a hobby you enjoy, like hiking or gardening. Don’t make any big decisions, and don’t rush into firing resumes at every job posting you can find. Instead, spend the time reflecting on what you want from a new job.
  2. Crunch the numbers. Take a look at your finances so you know where you stand. Work out your household budget, and compare it to your severance package, unemployment benefits and other resources. Determine where you can cut back in order to give yourself as much time as possible to look for a new job.
  3. Tell a story. Once you’ve processed your initial shock, fear, anger or other negative emotions, create a simple way to frame your layoff so you can discuss it objectively and with an upbeat tone when potential employers ask about it. For instance, you might say, “The company went through some restructuring, which gave me the chance to rethink my career. Currently, I’m looking for the following….” This framing explains where you’ve been without dwelling on it, and it keeps you focused for the future.
  4. Work with a recruiter. Having a staffing firm on your side provides a number of benefits. Your recruiter becomes an ally who can help you think positively about the future, as well as find opportunities you hadn’t considered. Your recruiter also helps “sell” you to energy companies that can offer both the position and the culture which will allow you to thrive. And your recruiter keeps working to help you find a great job – even when you need to take a break.

At FootBridge Energy Services, our experienced recruiters can help you “bounce back” from a layoff and into a great new position in the energy industry. Contact us today to learn more about our job opportunities in the energy sector.

5 Red Flags to Look for When Hiring Energy Sector Talent

Hiring in the energy sector can be tough. You may be facing a huge stack of resumes you need to screen on top of tackling your day to day responsibilities.

How can you find the best candidates in the pile? While you’ll need to mind the details to find your best choice, you can screen out many candidates in the first round simply by staying alert to the biggest “red flags” in the energy industry. Here are our top five:

Long Gaps Between Jobs

“Job hopping” isn’t unusual in the energy industry, where few projects last forever. But it’s important to look at the gaps between projects. Technology in this industry moves fast – spending only a few months on the sidelines can seriously impair an engineer’s or designer’s ability to stay current. Choose candidates with small or no gaps between projects or who filled those gaps with education or training to stay current.

Unfinished Projects

While you’re looking at recent jobs or projects, check the timeline. Is the candidate staying for the entire job, or do they have a habit of “hopping” before the job is finished? Candidates who do so may lack the perseverance needed to see a job through its tough challenges. In the energy industry, those challenges are inevitable.

Grammar and Spelling Errors

Attention to detail is essential to work in the energy sector, where a missed detail may literally mean the difference between life and death. This attention to detail starts with the resume and cover letter.

Questionable Social Media Presence

What do you find when you Google the candidate? While social media streams may be less formal than business communication, they should still present the candidate as a competent adult whom you would feel comfortable associating with your company and its work.

Applications With a “Form Feel”

Is the cover letter addressed to the hiring manager by name? Does the resume focus on specific work that qualifies the candidate for this position? If the cover letter is addressed to “To Whom It May Concern,” and both documents feel like the candidate could have substituted any company on the planet, consider shuffling them to the bottom of the pile. The candidates who are most interested in your company will take the time to research it and write about how they can help you.

Still need more time to screen those resumes? Work with a recruiter who can help! At FootBridge Energy Services, our experienced recruiters can help you find top talent with extensive experience in the energy industry. Contact us today to learn more.

In the Age of Skilled Talent Shortage, How Can Your Energy Company Find the Best Talent?

As demand increases for energy professionals, supply just can’t keep pace. The industry is scrambling to keep up, but education efforts serve only to bring in new people, not experienced people, so the supply is as many as ten years behind demand.

Toughest to find are candidates with 5-10 years experience. This shortage, combined with an abundance of employees of retirement age, creates a perfect storm of talent shortage in the energy industry.

How Can You Find and Attract Talent?

Incentives. Stock options, sign-on bonuses, generous vacation and personal time, travel and housing stipends are becoming increasingly common for companies trying to attract top candidates.

Relocation. Extend your recruiting efforts outside your immediate area. Regional or even national searches are frequently necessary to attain the level of expertise you need. Expect to pick up the tab for any relocation expenses.

Compensation. Salaries have increased as much as 40% for some specialized, in-demand positions. Keep up with industry rates or lose out on the best people.

College recruitment. Gathering entry-level applicants from high schools and colleges can help you beat competitors to candidates with long-term potential. Be prepared to reimburse them for continued education.

Promote from within. Identify people with potential early in their employment. Offer training and education to make the most of their abilities. Cross train them to uncover areas where they may excel.

Build pipelines of critical talent. Many positions are in constant demand. You know as an employer that every time you hire a candidate for a position, you will soon need another and another – either because of growth or attrition.

Additional Smart Strategies for Energy Employers.

Don’t lose candidates during the recruitment process. They are likely speaking to multiple potential employers. If you drag out your interview process or expect applicants to jump through too many hoops, they will accept offers from other companies.

Improve your retention rates. While you are looking to poach employees from your competitors, they are looking to do the same to you. Provide your employees with clear promotion paths, cross-training and job rotation to build transferrable skills and increase their value to the company.

Finding, attracting and keeping top talent is about having the right strategy and the right partner. A recruiter that specializes in the oil and gas industry can help you to streamline the recruiting process and reduce time to hire. For more tips on finding the best talent, contact FootBridge Energy Services. Our experienced recruiters specialize in placing top talent in the energy industry. Contact us today to learn more about our recruiting services!

Why Pursuing Oil & Gas Jobs May be a Good Option

In an ever-growing world, energy demands are higher than ever – putting the question of energy development on every person’s mind. As opportunities in wind, solar, and other fields proliferate, many energy professionals and recent graduates don’t know where to look first. Should they venture into uncharted waters, or stick with established energy companies?

According to a recent article in the Oil & Gas Journal, the oil and gas industries are posting promising numbers for professionals seeking energy-industry work.

The article cites a 2013 study by Ernst & Young, which found that capital expenditures dropped 7 percent during the calendar year. Companies cited the reason for this decrease in capital spending: lower property acquisition costs and lower costs for exploration.

While these expenditures went down, spending on development went up – and so did oil and gas reserves, increasing 9 percent in 2013 alone.

What do these numbers mean? To start, they imply that energy companies are finding it easier to identify reserves of oil and gas and to tap into them, making it possible for companies to bring oil and gas products to market with less cost for development. Meanwhile, the fact of expanding development and the growth of reserves call for engineers and researchers who can carry out development tasks and find new ways to use these age-old energy products.

For established professionals looking for a career change or for recent graduates choosing their field, oil and gas businesses look promising. Business is booming, and work is available.

How do I Join the Oil and Gas Industry?

If you’re new to the oil and gas industry, start by connecting with recruiting firms that specialize in serving these companies. Your recruiter has spent years building a strong professional network and learning the “inside scoop” about company culture and practices in many of the strongest oil and gas businesses. He or she can help you find a company that not only puts your technical skills to use, but that also offers the right “fit” for your work style and personality.

Interested in pursuing work in the oil and gas industries? Contact FootBridge Energy Services. Our recruiters will help you identify promising job openings, learn more about the companies offering them, and brush up on your interview skills to make a great first impression. Contact us today to learn more!

Energy Sector Conferences and How to Get the Most Out of Them

Whether you are an employer or a professional in the energy sector, there is much to be learned by attending conferences. They can be expensive in both money and time away from the office, so it’s critical that you make the most of each one you attend.

What Makes Conferences Worth Attending?

  • Industry-focused exhibits and discussions.
  • Expert-level presenters.
  • Displays of new and innovative technologies.
  • Opportunities to network with other professionals.
  • Plenty of engaged attendees.

Here Are Several of the Energy Sector’s Top Conferences:

Deloitte Energy Conference

This yearly conference in Washington, DC provides energy professionals throughout the world with a venue to discuss globalization, industry outlooks and other energy issues. Summaries of previous year’s conferences are available on their website.

Pipeline Week

Pipeline Week’s Conference will be held in Houston, TX this fall and will cover opportunities and developments in the oil and gas industry. Topics include increasing safety, reliability and profitability within the industry. Exhibitors this year feature providers of solutions and products for mapping, pipeline services, engineering, pipeline integrity, regulatory compliance, pipeline solutions, asset integrity, environmental issues, emergency management, damage prevention, and architecture & design. See last year’s show report here.

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory (NRC’s) Commission’s Regulatory Information Conference (RIC)

This annual forum is hosted by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to bring together attendees to share information, educate and learn about pertinent industry developments and opportunities. The conference is known for opening lines of communication between the public and the NRC staff. The conference is made up of technical sessions and keynote addresses, as well as opportunities to engage with industry experts in a variety of specialties. This conference provides an excellent opportunity for professionals to network and learn about key developments in the field of nuclear energy.

AACEI Annual Meeting and Conference

AACE International offers several opportunities throughout the year for their members to network, educate and learn about total cost management and developments in the industry. The annual meeting is held in the United States and is a three-day event filled with keynote addresses, presentations, and almost 100 sessions that delve into the nuances of total cost management. The organization also sponsors an international conference that brings together individuals from around the globe in a format similar to the annual meeting.

Making the Most of Your Conference Experience:

At the best conferences you will have opportunities to learn something new about your industry, build your network and uncover opportunities that you may not have found otherwise. Mingle, take plenty of notes and engage with other attendees. Speak to presenters offline if the opportunity is offered. Using social media such as Twitter to comment during the event will give you the chance to chat with other conference-goers and be perceived as a thought leader in the industry.

Be sure to follow up after the event as well. Visit the conference website for updates. Connect with people you met by asking them to join your network on LinkedIn. Or call or email them to further discussions begun at the conference.

In addition to attending conferences, one of the best ways to excel your career or connect with the industry’s best talent is by partnering with an energy sector recruiting expert. FootBridge Energy Services specializes in matching top talent to the industry’s best jobs and would welcome the opportunity to work with you as well. Contact us today to learn more!

New Report Highlights Marcellus Shale as a “Game-Changer” for Energy

One of the biggest concerns for the United States over the past fifty years or more has been the availability of fossil fuels. This concern is ever growing amid an unstable Middle East and continuing issues with Russia.

As the oilfields in North Dakota, the Gulf and other areas expand, exploration to find natural gas sources on our own shores is picking up. One such find, known as Marcellus Shale, has the potential to be a game changer not only in terms of our reliance on home-grown fossil fuel, but also the geopolitical climate.

Marcellus Shale is found in the Northeastern United States and is a gas-bearing rock that has heretofore untapped potential. A recent report released by Morningstar highlighted just how important this shale formation could be for the future of the United States.

It is estimated that over the next few years, this country will become a premier exporter of natural gas, turning the tables from our almost absolute reliance on foreign oil. The report stated that, “We predict the Marcellus shale will be the biggest driver of U.S. gas production over the next few years, adding 3 Bcf/d in 2014 and another 2 Bcf/d in 2015, by which time it will account for close to one fourth of domestic volumes.”

Morningstar continued, driving home the point that just a few years ago, before the emergence of the Marcellus Shale, that no one expected that the United States could be a driving force in the natural gas exportation industry. The report also stated, “Going forward, we expect domestic gas growth to be far less balanced, with only the Marcellus and Eagle Ford exhibiting any meaningful uptick in volumes. We project U.S. natural gas production to increase by approximately 3 Bcf/d (or 4% cumulatively) through 2015, to 69 Bcf/d.”

It is clear that thanks to the advances in extracting natural gas from shale, and from the continued exploration of new deposits, that the shape of our country’s future could be drastically altered for the better over the next few years.

This is great news for engineers in the energy sector, and for students who are considered getting an advanced degree in this type of engineering. As these opportunities continue to grow and we develop more natural gas sources in the United States, the job market for qualified engineering candidates is set to explode.

Want even more information about exciting careers in the oil and gas industry? The experts at Footbridge Energy are here to help! Contact us today to learn more!