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Analysis

An Ethical Approach to Outsourcing Services

Tue, 01/22/2013 - 13:04

Comive was founded in 1998 in Ciudad del Carmen as an outsourcing company with the objective of providing highly qualified personnel for the oil and gas industry. According to the CEOs and founders of Comive, the company is di†erent from its peers because, as a dedicated human resources organization, it only works with established corporations on large-scale projects. In the past, legal ambiguity regarding subcontracting and outsourcing o†ered opportunities to cut corners in the human resources and outsourcing market; however, Comive has been complying with all the legal requirements concerning labor relations since before the legal framework was even changed. Its CEOs watch with concern as “other companies register their employees with a lower salary than the one they actually receive. This practice, while very common in Mexico, deeply harms both workers’ welfare and government finances.” According to them, tax avoidance is very common in the country, but companies are looking for the outsourcing firms that do not follow these practices.

The reliability of its legal and hiring practices has allowed Comive to position itself favorably among big companies in the oil and gas sector. “Our seriousness and commitment to legality and ethics has enabled us to attract important clients such as Todco and Seadrill,” stress the CEOs. They recall that Seadrill contacted Comive because of a recommendation by another company. “Seadrill came to Mexico with a contract with Pemex in hand and a platform ready in Singapore, which made them an attractive client. They chose us because of our reliability, they saw that we are up to date with all our taxes, and have a good reputation for training our personnel and providing them with the necessary qualifications,” they mention. Comive develops candidate profiles based on the needs and desires of its clients, always requesting its clients to determine the skills, academic and professional qualifications of the personnel they need. However, oftentimes the clients do not provide this information, so they usually focus on work experience. “This is one of the main complications of the outsourcing business,” the CEOs explain. “Many of our candidates are in the process of finishing their internships and most clients require three, five, or more years of professional experience.”

As a means to fill the gap between the clients’ needs and the available personnel, Comive works hand in hand with a company that o†ers personnel training and skills building services. However, Comive has a policy of not hiring recent graduates since its main customer is Pemex and the NOC has very specific requirements regarding its needs and personnel qualifications. In order to meet all these requirements, Comive asks candidates to take an exam to demonstrate their technical capacity and experience. According to Comive, the company’s focus on training enabled it to become the first outsourcing firm to award the Rig Pass certification – a security protocol required by Pemex - to its trainees in Mexico.

Comive o†ers regular safety courses, since the safety certifications have expiration dates, and personnel always have to be up-to-date with new guidelines and requirements. “In order to be the most successful outsourcing company and to satisfy our clients’ needs and requirements, it is vital to provide the necessary safety training and quality certifications, especially with regard to jobs with elevated risk exposure on o†shore platforms,” emphasizes one of the CEOs. Pemex and other companies in Mexico have very strict guidelines and regulations regarding the hiring of personnel, but this is not the only hurdle in becoming a leading outsourcing company. “In order to be successful we have to be very careful, since sending personnel without su·cient work experience, qualifications, or safety certifications could be very damaging to the reputation of a company working in such a small market,” they conclude.