Fausto Muñiz
Grupo PAE
View from the Top

Working to Overcome Oil and Gas Human Capital Deficit

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 13:04

Q: What success factors have characterized the presence of Grupo Empresarial PAE in Mexico?

A: Grupo Empresarial PAE (PAE) has been in Mexico for over 20 years, satisfying the demand for dynamic outsourcing services and providing solutions especially designed for the Mexican market. Our success is built on the creation of human capital solutions for clients who need to comply with Mexico’s legal complexities. The majority of our competitors have tried to adjust their client portfolio to their operational practices, but we have done the opposite, which has been a key competitive factor for us. At the same time, we perceived the necessity to expand our activities across Mexico, the US, and Latin America, while introducing new and related businesses to complement our human capital solutions. Since our expansion, we look to export the working culture that has proven successful in Mexico to all the places where we operate.

Q: What major challenges has PAE overcome to make its oil and gas division more competitive?

A: Among the challenges that we have had to deal with is the fact that our sector has especially suffered from the poor disclosure of the terms of the Energy Reform. This has created so much confusion among our clients that some thought our industry was going to disappear. We provide solutions for companies without the necessary experience to deal with the complex labor legislation in Mexico, as well as for companies with a varying headcount. Following the boom of the energy sector, unexperienced companies offering savings in social costs will probably proliferate, confusing clients with false tax schemes and gains. However, PAE has a legal affairs department that safeguards our clients’ interests. The Energy Reform has allowed PAE to consolidate its clientele within the sector and to present a serious option for newcomers. These prospective clients are buoyed by the fact that our experience within the oil and gas sector started long before the Energy Reform. Today, we see a whole new range of possibilities that will probably be consolidated in 2015 and the years to come. To expand our business within the oil and gas industry, we have created clear strategies to attract talent and developed a plan to identify the main skills that companies need. For our strategy to succeed, we have readdressed our talent acquisition processes to optimize our understanding of the skills required by the oil and gas industry, improved our IT system to more efficiently manage our candidates, and strengthened our relationships with existing customers in this industry.

Q: How is PAE addressing the scarcity of local oil and gas talent in Mexico?

A: Human talent is a scarce resource in any industry, not exclusively in the oil and gas sector. It is true that this problem is accentuated in the oil and gas industry since demand is growing so much for petroleum engineers, plant and operation engineers, upstream project managers for large-scale projects, plant and operations managers and technicians, and geoscientists. However, other key trends apart from the Energy Reform need to be considered to fully understand this situation. Oil prices have been high in recent years, triggering major capital injection in certain segments of the oil value chain. Extractive processes have become more complex and expensive, pushing the new players to close the knowledge gaps. This increasing technica complexity has enhanced the need for companies to partner with consolidated players or even foreign companies. Furthermore, global oil and gas operators have moved to vertical business integration in order to ensure demand and keep their margins. We need to take these matters into consideration in order to understand the demand of professional resources in specialized and technical positions.

Q: What added value does Grupo Empresarial PAE offer to its customers in the oil and gas industry?

A: Grupo Empresarial PAE is a Mexican company that understands the challenges posed by globalization because it has grown alongside the oil and gas industry. Although we have established processes for every operation, we maintain our flexibility to provide quick responses to satisfy our partners. We have also imposed de facto standards in our sector across Mexico as the first outsourcing firm in the country to introduce accident insurance coverage for outsourced employees. In addition, we are the only company to offer our employees emotional and psychological support, as well as legal and financial consultancy through a Regulated Multiple-Purpose Financial Entity (Sofome). We instill our organizational culture to all our new collaborators as soon as they enter and reinforce it constantly through training and evaluations. Furthermore, we want to keep expanding our presence in new geographies and develop our organizational culture.