A leading Norwegian headhunter who recruits engineers and other skilled workers for Norwegian oil and oil-service companies says he’s encountered a “shocking” degree of what he calls blatant “racism” among prospective Norwegian employers. Even those in dire need of engineers and other specialists routinely turn down top foreign job candidates. They want Norwegians instead.
A looming shortage of workers in Norway’s offshore industry isn’t helped by attitudes that only Norwegians need apply. One leading recruiter sees routine discrimination against foreigners and seniors, although their presence at the larger firms like Statoil is far more common. PHOTO: Statoil/Arne Reidar Mortensen
Erik Hansen, who heads operations in Norway and Scotland for the world’s largest recruiting firm for the oil and gas industry, told newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) on Friday that when Norwegian companies claim they have trouble finding qualified employees, they mostly can blame themselves.
“When we put forward foreign job candidates, or experienced workers over age 55, they just say ‘no, no, no,’” Hansen told DN. He said that all of the 139 management positions that his firm (Progressive Global Energy) has helped fill so far this year went to Norwegians, even though fully 22 percent of the candidates put forward were foreigners…