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Oil & Gas skills shortages a challenge for employers as headcount rises in China

Updated: 14 Apr 2016

Three quarters (76 per cent) of oil and gas employers in China plan to increase their headcount this year, reveals the Hays Oil & Gas Global Salary Guide.


The Guide, which is based on data from 24,000 respondents, also shows that skills shortages are a significant challenge for 24 per cent of oil and gas employers in China. Thus hiring plans will exacerbate the already skills-short market and add pressure to increase salaries to attract candidates.


In other key findings, 85 per cent of employers predict an upturn in salaries in the coming year as hiring managers vie for top talent, at the same time as further emphasis is put on benefits. The number of employees receiving benefits grew by 3.9 per cent over the last 12 months as employers look to bolster compensation packages with incentivised bonuses or attractive pension plans.


According to the findings, in China 36 per cent of employees are offered bonuses, 30 per cent receive a home leave allowance and 29 per cent have health plans included in their salary package.


The Guide, produced by recruiting experts Hays Oil & Gas in conjunction with leading jobsite Oil and Gas Job Search, shows a decline in salaries in China, however employers’ confidence in the market is high as 76 per cent of hiring managers have a positive or very positive outlook for the oil and gas industry.


Mike Wilkshire, Director of Hays Oil & Gas, comments: “Plans are in motion to attract talent to develop what is believed to be the world’s largest shale reserves and employers’ confidence in the market for this year is high.”


For comparison, the industry globally has seen a decline of 1 per cent in salary levels from 2013. The slight reduction in salary growth can also be attributed to a market correction after a particularly buoyant two year period of increases within the industry. This is probably a necessary correction after two consecutive years of salary growth have started to threaten the financial performance of some companies.


John Faraguna, Global Managing Director of Hays Oil & Gas, comments: “Globally, salaries may have dropped slightly last year in line with the industry but what is important to note is that we are finding that confidence is steady to the industry and that demand for skilled workers continues to rise. However, one of the main issues threatening to upset confidence is the lack of skilled workers available to employers.


“More women and young people made up the respondents of the survey compared to last year, which is an indicator of the make-up of the industry, and a very positive sign. It’s important that employers tackle the skill shortages by training these younger workers and putting in place succession plans before the older workers exit the industry along with their years of experience.”


Download a free copy of the Guide at or


- Ends -


2014 Salary Guide Summary:

Disciplines covered                                                          24

Countries represented                                                     53

Respondents to the survey                                              24,000

Respondents who are employers in the industry       7,200


Hays is the leading global specialist recruiting group. It is the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people across the full lifecycle of the global oil and gas industry. Our recruiting experts deal in both permanent positions and contract roles within upstream, project development and downstream operations.


Hays employs 7,800 staff operating from 245 offices in 33 countries across 20 specialisms. For the year ended 30 June 2013, Hays placed around 55,000 candidates into permanent jobs and around 180,000 people into temporary assignments.


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