Canadian oil and gas sector regarding industry climate with pragmatism and cautious optimism

May 14, 2015, 15:15 ET from The Caldwell Partners International Inc.

TORONTO, May 14, 2015 /CNW/ - In the face of an historic plunge in oil prices, one might expect executives to batten down the hatches in anticipation of stormy weather ahead. However, executive search firm Caldwell Partners recently conducted a survey of executives at oil and gas companies in Canada and found that where some leaders see disaster, others see opportunity.

The survey asked senior executives from oil and gas companies in Canada about their talent plans, their perceptions of the current industry climate and their expectations for the future.

Surprisingly, according to the resulting whitepaper, only one quarter of respondents indicated plans to reduce headcount, and 40 percent anticipated continuing with plans to increase their head counts this year.

"Because the oil and gas sector is so technically demanding, having quality talent on board is an extremely valuable element of success," said Les Gombik, co-managing partner of the firm's Calgary office.

Many of the executives who responded optimistically hailed from enterprises included on the 2014 list of Top 50 Performing Oil and Gas Companies, which suggests that representatives from top-performing organizations have a different outlook from those whose firms did not make the list.

"Surveyed executives from the Top 50 companies were found to display a generally bullish view of the industry over the mid- to long-term," said Sean McLean, co-managing partner of the firm's Calgary office. "By and large, these individuals held a strong conviction that the Canadian oil and gas sector will thrive once again."

McLean added: "Although our research found that there is still some degree of positivity existing within the oil and gas companies outside of the Top 50, it is very clear that these organizations feel considerably more tense and uncertain about the current situation."

"The Top 50 organizations are far more optimistic," stated Gombik. "This could be because they've got more money and can weather the downturn longer than the lower performers, but I believe they think differently from a talent perspective and this gives them an edge. Top-performing organizations think that talent leads results, whereas bottom-performing organizations think that results lead talent. The top-performing organizations believe that if you have the right talent in place, you will get through the tough times a lot more easily and maybe even avoid them entirely.

McLean noted: "During this slowdown, organizations eager to power through the downturn and emerge well-equipped to capitalize on the opportunities available must take a two-pronged approach that involves finding ways to retain key talent while simultaneously recruiting top performers who were previously unattainable."

To speak with Les Gombik or Sean McLean, or for a copy of "2015 Talent Plans in the Oil & Gas Industry," please contact Caroline Lomot at clomot@caldwellpartners.com or 516-830-3535.

Les Gombik is co-managing partner of Caldwell Partners' Calgary office, conducting board and senior executive search assignments in the energy sector as well as in customer-service intensive businesses such as retail, financial services, transportation and industrials.

Sean McLean is co-managing partner of Caldwell Partners' Calgary office. He focuses on recruiting senior executives across the industrial sector, with particular expertise in the oil & gas industry.

About Caldwell Partners

Caldwell Partners is one of North America's premier providers of executive search and has been for more than 40 years. As one of the region's most trusted advisors in executive search, the firm has a sterling reputation built on successful searches for boards, chief and senior executives, and selected functional experts. With offices and partners across North America, and a strategic presence in London and Hong Kong, the firm takes pride in delivering an unmatched level of service and expertise to its clients.

The Caldwell Partners' Common shares are listed on The Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: CWL). Please visit our website at www.caldwellpartners.com for further information.

SOURCE The Caldwell Partners International Inc.