BP Seeks to Raise Profile Via Aggresive Recruiting

BP is putting its money where its money is.

As the largest investor in the Gulf of Mexico over the last 10 years, the company is continuing to push its employment recruiting efforts, both worldwide and especially in the Gulf, according to Simon Drysdale, BP’s head of Upstream Human Resources.

“BP recruited more than 11,000 employees in 2012, and this year recruiting has continued to play an important role in our global business development,” Drysdale said.

“BP directly employs more than 2,300 people in the Gulf of Mexico business and supports tens of thousands of additional jobs in the region,” he said.

Last year, BP announced it expected to invest on average US $4 billion each year in the Gulf of Mexico over the next decade.

“According to BP’s Global Energy Outlook 2030, the global demand for energy is expected to rise by 36 percent between 2011 and 2030. Now, more than ever, we need talented people to help us solve one of the biggest challenges the world faces – finding and producing responsible energy. We plan to lead that growth by hiring and developing the best and most talented people in the industry,” Drysdale said.

Potential employees seem to be responding to the company’s efforts.

BP experienced “record levels of applications” from college students in 2012, with more than 10,000 applicants for 700 full-time, intern and co-op roles, according to the company.

Looking Long

BP is hiring across many areas of skill and expertise, including for international deepwater operations and U.S. operations. However, the company’s two areas of greatest need are for specialist engineers and specialist geoscientists – particularly for enhanced oil recovery, Drysdale said.

BP takes a proactive approach to recruiting, with its geoscientists and engineers active in professional societies and workshops.

“Additionally, we have found our Challenge Program to be very appealing to recent graduates,” he added. “The Challenge Program is a global initiative … (that) focuses on developing the careers of these new recruits, and providing opportunities to gain practical experience through formal, on-site learning and helps to build a strong foundation in upstream disciplines.”

Program participants rotate through each of BP’s various business units and receive extensive coaching and mentoring throughout their two to three years in the program. The goal is to produce fully competent, independent professionals ready to meet the challenge of supporting the upstream business, he said.

“We are also increasing our outreach directly to students at our target schools and universities through ongoing partnerships and programs,” Drysdale said. “We feature internships that give undergraduate students an opportunity to gain a feel for the company, the scale of available projects and the work they could accomplish while at BP.”

Drysdale said the company’s focus is long term, “which begins with anticipating where we’ll be operating 30 years from now. Our geographic spread is constantly widening, and so must our recruitment efforts.

“We don’t want to hire based on ‘location rather than vocation,’” he said, “nor do we want to restrict well qualified applicants from countries where we are not currently operating.”

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