Report: More than Half of Houston Employers to Add Staff in 2017


Houston employers are looking to hire more workers in manufacturing, operations and engineering roles in 2017. These findings come from staffing agency Murray Resources’ 2017 Houston Growth and Staffing Outlook Report.

The report, which surveys 67 Houston employers – a significant number who work in or are directly tied to – oil and gas, found that more than half of respondents expect moderate to significant increases in hiring in 2017. And the top three functions expecting a moderate to significant increase in hiring are manufacturing (40 percent), operations (39.3 percent) and engineering (37.1 percent).

“I think survey results are a sign that the actual work being done by companies is looking to increase … companies are expecting work to come in,” Keith Wolf, managing director of Murray Resources, told Rigzone.

According to respondents, attracting qualified talent was cited as the biggest staffing challenge for HR executives (44.8 percent). Slightly more than 31.3 percent list retaining current staff as the biggest challenge.

“Attracting qualified talent is probably always going to be the most challenging part of an HR person’s job. Until you get the right people in place, nothing in a company really works the right way,” said Wolf. “What’s interesting is that retaining current staff is up to 31 percent as the biggest staffing challenge. Coming out of a downturn, employees who may have stuck through some tough times because of limited opportunities on the outside, may now see that things are improving and start looking at those opportunities.”

Wolf said survey responses indicate that Houston, in particular, is coming out of the downturn it’s seen over the past 18 months, which was largely due to the slowdown in the oil and gas industry. From late 2016 to now in early 2017, Wolf said phones are ringing from new clients who are looking to hire, most in the energy business. And that hasn’t happened in more than a year.

“I think that’s huge. Upstream companies are beginning to have some hiring activity,” he said. “Nobody really knows how strong 2017 is going to be. But we’re coming out of the worst and I think most people are pointing to 2018 to potentially be a big year for energy.”

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