Patch Personnel Subsurface Oil & Gas Employment Insights Report Launch with David Styles

Employers and professionals working in the Australian Oil and Gas industry have experienced a tumultuous couple of years that resulted in high redundancy rates and challenging working conditions.

However, it appears that the tide is turning as employers share their plans to hire both contractors and permanent staff in the coming year, and employees consider their needs in future roles.

In our latest webinar, Managing Director David Styles presents the findings from the second annual Patch Personnel Subsurface Oil & Gas Employment Insights Report.

Below is a summary of the key takeaways from the session to help inform your hiring and recruitment needs in 2022.

Employment Market Snapshot

Changes in headcount over the past year indicate stability and growth for the sector, with 85% of employers stating their permanent headcount increased or stayed the same as the previous year. Similarly, contractor headcount showed no decrease in 2021/22.

However, the survey showed that nearly all industry professionals would consider accepting a new job in the next six months which indicates a considerable amount of movement to come in 2022.

Key findings:

  • 65.3% of respondents maintained their employment status in 2021/22, up from 60% in 2020/21.
  • Just 4.8% of participants were made redundant in the past year, compared with approximately 43% in 2020/21.
  • 42.8% of employers plan to hire permanent staff in the next six months, while 57.2% intend to hire contractors.
  • 90% of employees would consider accepting a new job in the next six months and 36% are already actively applying.

Adapting to a Changing Employment Market

The Oil and Gas industry is on the cusp of a change in its employment market – a trend which has already happened in most other sectors including construction, mining, medical and IT. This change would see Australian Oil and Gas shift from a vacancy-led model where the number of candidates outweighs the number of roles available.

We predict the Oil and Gas sector will soon move into a candidate-led model where there will be more companies trying to hire people than there are candidates to fill roles. Demand will outweigh supply and good candidates will receive multiple offers along with counter-offers from existing employers.

How do we adapt?

  • Move (much) faster
  • Reduce steps in the hiring process
  • Understand the motivations of job seekers
  • Articulate how your role meets their needs
  • Take advice from trusted agency Recruiters

Desire to Leave the Industry

The report showed that more than half of survey participants (58.7%) have contemplated leaving the Oil and Gas industry in the past 12 months. While this may come as a surprise to some, perhaps it shouldn’t if we consider the number of market downturns since the oil price collapse in late 2014.

Given the fact that the market will soon be candidate-led, it’s essential that companies are adapting their employment offering and focusing on retention as well as attraction. On a positive note, David believes many of the reasons listed below are reversible.

Providing Reasons to Stay

Overall, we didn’t see significant salary increases over the past 12 months although there were some areas such as Environment that did see growth. However, remuneration is not the only factor professionals will consider as they look for new jobs as highlighted in the table below.

It’s also interesting to note that flexible working arrangements did not score as highly as in the previous report, which leads us to ask the question about the importance of working from home.

Work from home findings:

  • Nearly 85% of employees want to continue working from home in some form
  • Just under 20% would consider looking for alternative employment if working from home arrangements were cancelled. A further 37.2% would be unhappy but willing to accept the decision
  • 42. 9% of employers stated they would continue with work from home but it would depend on the role, and one-fifth said they would not continue with any arrangements.


This is just a glimpse of what was covered in the webinar – we encourage you to click below and view the recording and presentation slides to get a full picture of the oil and gas employment market.

For a comprehensive look into Australia’s Subsurface Oil and Gas Employment market, including remuneration data from across the sector, click the button below to download your copy of the report.

If you have any questions regarding the webinar or report or would like to find out how we can support you and your business during this time, please don’t hesitate to contact us.