Matching people to jobs in the energy industry

The natural gas boom in the region has resulted in increased drilling activity, pipeline construction and job opportunities. And Allison Fountain, the regional manager for the northeast territory of Swift Worldwide Resources, has seen a change in the type of applicants applying for such jobs.

“Many candidates we talk to are women,” she said. “I think women are entering the industry and the days of the good ol’‍ boy mentality are over. I think it’‍s already starting to transform and will continue to do so.”

Swift Worldwide Resources, which has locations all over the world, is a recruitment agency that helps local people find jobs in the oil and natural gas industry. In fact, that’‍s why it was drawn to Pittsburgh.

“Swift builds business on the back of our clients. We want to be able to support it locally from the ground,” Ms. Fountain said. 

Ms. Fountain is in charge of promoting sales and recruitment efforts for her agency. She eagerly agreed to leave Swift’‍s Houston headquarters when the opportunity to relocate to the Steel City presented itself four years ago.

“I had been on a handful of trips for business and I had somewhat of a feel for the area. I love that it goes through all four seasons. The summers are gorgeous, the falls are gorgeous ... in Texas it’‍s just hot, hot, hot.”

Unlike most recruitment agencies, Swift works exclusively with oil and gas companies, including Chevron and BP.

“It’‍s a branded selling tool with many clients,” Ms. Fountain said.

Q: What kind of people usually apply for jobs in the oil and gas industry?

A: Honestly, it depends on the discipline. … Something I noticed when I moved here was seeing the types of difference in backgrounds than what I would usually see in Texas. People locally come from outside the oil and gas industry and seeing that transition has been amazing.

Q: What is a typical day like for you?

A: A day in the office is never the same. We’‍re very active in our market. That is where we gain the strongest traction from. You need face time — there’‍s only so much you can do in an e-mail. You need that interaction. That’‍s both as critical on the candidate side as the client side. There‘‍s only so much you can determine about someone from paper ... it takes multiple interactions.

Q: Do you think it’‍s better for a potential hire to be lucky, skillful or charismatic? 

A: It depends on the core function of that role ... there’‍s not a solid answer to that. I think it depends on the position in which you‘‍re working.

Madasyn Czebiniak: or 412-263-1269. Twitter: @PG_Czebiniak

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