How to Negotiate a Pay Rise as an Experienced Oil Pro

How to Negotiate a Pay Rise as an Experienced Oil Pro
Rigzone talks to several experts to find out how experienced oil and gas professionals can negotiate a pay rise.

Make sure you are well informed. That’s one of the tips Christopher Melillo, founder and managing partner of recruitment firm Kaye/Bassman’s energy practice, has provided for experienced oil and gas professionals looking to negotiate a pay rise in their current jobs.

“Know the comparative compensation packages for your position with other operators producing similarly sized and structured assets before doing/saying anything regarding your potential raise conversation,” Melillo told Rigzone.

“Make sure you also know your asset performance compared to internal, company peers on other assets and make sure that you’re running at a higher efficiency rate,” he added.

“If you work with a firm that provides well documented performance evaluations, try to identify where you rank in your peer group,” Melillo continued.

Offering further guidance, the Kaye/Bassman representative advised experienced workers not to have pay rise conversations on an impromptu basis.

“This needs to be done in a scheduled meeting with your boss. Do not do this having beers or in an ad hoc, impromptu conversation,” he said.

Melillo also warned against being cocky, arrogant and entitled.

“Make sure that you do not threaten to quit and go into this conversation in somewhat of a ‘what do you think about as raise’ mode, as opposed to walking in with some level of entitlement,” he said.

“If … salary decisions are left up to the division or group leader, a conversation with human resources beforehand could be helpful to build confidence or perhaps get them in your corner ahead of time,” he added.

Finally, Kaye/Bassman’s energy practice founder advised experienced oil and gas professionals not to be surprised by the awkwardness of this type of conversation.

“No matter what your relationship is with your boss, this is almost always an awkward conversation. Don’t be surprised by that,” he said.

“If you’re confident enough to know you realistically deserve more, then you should be able to get through this conversation,” he added.

Craig Slater and Sara Howren, recruitment directors at Airswift, a global workforce solutions provider for the energy sector, advised experienced oil and gas professionals looking to negotiate a pay rise to “get up-to-date statistics that back-up the request”.

“Reach out to professional and social forums containing people in similar roles. Use job boards and organizations such as the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development to compare job roles and salaries,” they told Rigzone.

“It will also be helpful to reach out to agencies who are close to the market and will know exactly how to advise on market rates for salaries,” they added.

The recruitment directors also advised experienced oil and gas professionals to “clearly understand the deliverables required by one’s job and track achievements and progress against them in annual performance reviews”.

Offering his guidance for experienced oil and gas pros looking to negotiate a pay rise, Huw Rothwell, North America managing director at Petroplan, said “if you don’t ask, you won’t get”.

The Petroplan representative also advised this group to remember that today’s market is not 2013’s market and to be “realistic” with their salary expectations.

“While a salary increase is always welcome, think how important the salary increase is to you and what you are willing to do if it isn’t forthcoming. The market is still in transition and are you willing to ‘rock the boat’,” Rothwell said.  

“With that being said, the senior candidate market is now beginning to warm up and high caliber business leaders with sought after skills are always in demand,” he added.


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