Style over substance?

COMPANIES hiring in the energy, oil and gas sector prioritise people who are a good "cultural fit" over candidates who have a thorough understanding of the technical skills needed, according to recruitment expert Hays.
Style over substance? Style over substance? Style over substance? Style over substance? Style over substance?

The latest Hays quarterly report says job seekers are more likely to choose a company which provides the right working environment, often ranking a firm's culture above the salary on offer.

With a cross-spectrum of skills needed for the resources industries in demand across Australia, more candidates are turning down lucrative job offers for a post where they are likelier to be happier in the long-term.

There are an estimated 92,000 workers directly involved in the mining, oil and gas industries in Western Australia alone; and with around $267 billion worth of projects in the pipeline, the state faces a potential labour shortage of 76,000 workers by 2015.

According to the April to June Hays quarterly report, in WA there is a shortage of electrical designers, sub-sea engineers, project managers and construction managers. Line workers are in demand in Victoria, along with principal and senior level candidates with experience in mechanical, electrical and instrumentation.

In South Australia there is a need for piping designers, bid coordinators and substation design engineers. And in New South Wales secondary or protection design engineers and control specialists are being sought, along with project managers and engineers with a civil and electrical background.

Hays director Nick Deligiannis said the trend was occurring across both the private and public sectors from candidates in fields from sub-sea engineers to electricians.

"We've seen several cases of candidates turning down job offers because they didn't feel the company culture reflected their long-term career goals," he said.

"Employers meanwhile are also considering not only a candidate's technical skills but their cultural and team fit. We have seen many cases where an employer will train a candidate in the necessary technical skills if they are otherwise the right cultural fit for the business.

"The focus on cultural fit is to ensure a new recruit will integrate into the existing team, has an intrinsic understanding of the way the business operates and is more likely to be retained long-term. There is a belief that technical skills can be taught, but cultural fit cannot."

Deligiannis added: "Considering the demand for skilled professionals in many industries it is vital for employers to get cultural fit right to ensure business continuity and productivity is maintained. It's also encouraging to see cultural fit acknowledged as strategically important."

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