Staffing Solutions for the Oil & Gas Industry

Workforce management is evolving beyond simply filling an open position — companies are seeking the right mix of internal and external staffing solutions to meet their overall requirements, and have processes in place to manage them.

Today, there are three mature staffing models used in the Energy Industry:

Master Vendor. The Master Vendor consists of a single, main staffing vendor who is responsible for fulfilling all temporary staffing requirements. The cost, usually included in the hourly rate or markup charged, can allow for significant savings if a lower overall markup is negotiated. A best-in-class master vendor will usually provide a suite of services including payrolling for pre-identified workers such as alumni and retirees, and 1099 compliance management for existing independent contractors.

Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO). This model is based on a company outsourcing recruiting functions to an external service provider. It can include all elements of the recruiting process, ranging from job profiling, sourcing candidates, interviewing and on-boarding. RPOs charge based on a flat monthly fee, cost per hire or cost per number of candidates. RPO is considered a cost effective alternative for companies maintaining a large internal recruiting staff.

Managed Staffing Provider (MSP). The MSP is in charge of managing a group of approved staffing vendors (within a vendor management system) to fulfill temporary requirements for a client. The MSP acts as a central point for requirements, and is responsible for distribution to staffing vendors and ensuring performance and compliance. The MSP will take a percentage (1-3 percent) from the hourly billing rate charged by secondary vendors. An MSP program is more commonly seen in organizations with a large contingent workforce.

Ask the Right Questions

After you’ve determined what you need from a staffing provider, look for the following items to find the best fit for your company:

  • How does the staffing provider find talent?  Look for an agency that does more than just collect resumes – they should actively recruit the best candidates to work on your projects.
  • Does the staffing provider understand the complete staffing supply chain?  Find someone who can educate you on issues like wage management and supply and demand in your geographic area.
  • Can the staffing provider serve your needs locally, nationally, and internationally?  Some firms might have excellent local candidates, but very few workers for your overseas project.


Chris Sutton

Chris Sutton
Chris Sutton is a partner at Clover Global Solutions, specializing in professional payrolling, recruiting and staffing for the energy industry.

Chris Sutton

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