Adriana Robles
Director General
BPO Human Resources
View from the Top

Nationality Mix Will Strengthen Mexico’s Oil and Gas Industry

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 13:40

Q: What makes training and capacity building essential for companies in the oil and gas sector?

A: Training is absolutely essential for oil and gas companies looking to increase their competitiveness. The oil and gas industry as a whole is strongly focused on complying with international best practices, and companies must follow this trend to ensure improvements to their productivity and the safety of their operations. This can be done by conducting proper and constant training of personnel. Simply put, companies that do not train their personnel stop being competitive. This is why BPO Human Resources (BPO) always recommends that its customers train their personnel beyond what the regulations require.

Q: How are PEMEX’s budget and personnel cuts affecting the general landscape of human resources for the oil and gas industry?

A: PEMEX’s decisions have had a direct impact on how operations and human talent decisions are made in Mexico. Due to the oil and gas industry’s current status, companies are seeking to reduce costs and keep their operations as steady as possible. However, we have seen that they are applying the correct policies to recruit and maintain the best human talent when needed. These two factors are playing into each other. PEMEX’s personnel cuts have led to more experienced Mexican staff being available when private companies need that expertise.

Q: What specific characteristics does BPO place the most emphasis on when looking to fill a position?

A: For senior or executive positions, we guarantee our customers that they will receive high-level executives that can take on their new responsibilities immediately. For operational positions, under the trial period scheme, we offer qualified personnel who can rapidly grow into their responsibilities and provide evident results in a short period of time. For operational positions that require a fixed training period as part of the contract, we offer profiles of people who already have the knowledge and aptitude to do the job.

Q: How attractive is Mexico as a destination for foreigners in terms of salaries or career projection?

A: In many ways, this country is a highly attractive destination for upwardly mobile employees. Much like many other competitive markets, international companies with offices here offer their expatriate employees compensation for moving, for rent, for their children’s education, immigration issues, and vehicles. However, SMEs also need to hire highly qualified foreign personnel and often need BPO’s help to develop the guidelines they need to attract said talent. In such instances, BPO offers advisory services to help these companies to design the right packages and guidelines to get the best talent. We will be applying this majorly to our oil and gas customers. We can carry out a full analysis and study that shows the recruitment benefits of each country and the most attractive recruitment scheme for foreign workers, depending on where they come from.

Q: How is BPO addressing the perception that Mexican professionals are underqualified as compared to their foreign counterparts?

A: There is a certain belief that a foreign professional possesses greater knowledge and skills than a Mexican professional. However, our practice has shown that differences in knowledge come from universal criteria, such as variations in the training that an employer has offered or how correctly a talent was placed within a company. Therefore, BPO focuses on matching profiles based on a candidate’s knowledge, expertise, and skills, without taking nationalities into account. Furthermore, companies should note that Mexican regulations state that they cannot hire more than 10% of foreign personnel. To assist in this, BPO invites Mexican professionals in the country’s oil and gas industry to keep themselves up-to-date. For assistance, they can turn to BPO, as we offer face-to-face and online training courses on a range of issues. BPO’s training courses are divided into four specific areas: the Energy Reform, industrial safety, human resources, and fiscal and legal matters. Industrial safety is mostly aimed at training operational personnel. The human resources and fiscal and legal areas focus on training medium to senior executives in these areas. Finally, as a result of the gradual changes following the Energy Reform, BPO is focused on providing courses where each participant garners the necessary knowledge to successfully comply with the new regulations in the Mexican oil and gas market.