Thibaud Cadieu
Vice President Latin America
NES Global Talent
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View from the Top

The Workforce of the Future

Wed, 01/18/2017 - 07:27

Q: How will automation and digitalization affect jobs in the oil and gas industry?

A: It creates a brand new range of jobs. We have seen many companies create departments called “Production IT” or “Production Technologies,” solely focused on designing software aimed at managing production or even the drilling phases. It will bring about a shift in the required skills, with software engineers and related backgrounds making their way into the industry. We are sure that companies will re-train their employees to adapt to these changes.

Q: What role can a company like NES Global Talent play in including more women in the industry?

A: I believe the issue will revolve around the necessary education and training at every step. You need to make sure there are a fair number of women in those training sessions as well as people from rural communities. Companies are much more sensitive to these issues than one might think. Mexico remains traditionalist in some ways. There needs to be a strong effort to further incentivize women to work in the industry. The reform has been advertised and marketed to a very small group of people but I remain convinced and fairly optimistic that the new entrants will shake up everything on this particular subject.

Q: What will be the main challenges for onshore operators In Mexico?

A. The main challenge for operators in onshore fields will be the social environment. This includes dealing with unions, local communities, the ejidos and local authorities. More often than not, our clients express an interest in professionals who have dealt with similar environments in other countries. Obviously Latin America is a preferred region due to the comparable social background. Canada is also a recurrent choice because it has also dealt with indigenous populations.

Q: What is NES’ strategy when starting a new project?

A: We sit with our clients and identify their needs and go through their business meticulously. All these companies find themselves in different stages in Mexico. We usually start by profiling Mexican nationals with experience abroad. We provide reinforcement for this talent pool by profiling Latin American candidates with similar qualifications and continue with a global search involving our offices worldwide if at this point we have not found what we are looking for. Quite surprisingly, when we sat with several Round 1.3 winners to discuss their requirements, the technical skillsets and personalities they were looking for were quite different from one company to another.

Q: What type of problems does NES help clients solve?

A: Finding local talent is one. Training is another. Finding people worldwide is a quick fix that is going to work for a few years. We expect our profiled candidates to go beyond their appointed tasks once they are hired and actually train Mexicans to transfer their knowledge. The economic context was quite challenging in previous years but I believe conditions are now optimal to develop internal and external training programs.

Q: How challenging was it to set up an office in Mexico in 2015?

A: It was both a challenge and a blessing. Our activity was very low in the upstream sector. Looking back, that experience gave us some time to learn Mexico’s intricacies to properly launch our business and market the NES brand. With the exception of people who had worked with IOCs and in other countries, we were unknown in Mexico. We needed some time to create our network and make our potential clients aware. We have global agreements with all the major IOCs and we are definitely looking to leverage those relationships. Our clients know we can work with them here since we are compliant with their international counterpart.