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Spencer Ogden is the global energy recruiter of choice. By joining together the project lifecycles of the energy sector, it offers a 360-degree service to its energy clients. Since its inception in 2010, the agency has formed long-term client and candidate relationships built on trust and success.


With vast knowledge and experience within each sector of the energy market, Spencer Ogden represents energy professionals at all levels. The company employs over 250 people across its London headquarters, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Houston, Singapore, Hong Kong, Cape Town, Calgary and Dubai offices working in Oil & Gas, Renewables, Power, Smart, Nuclear, Energy Trading, Mining, Technology and Energy Finance.


With many of the oil and gas industry’s seasoned professionals nearing retirement and a rising energy demand worldwide, the industry has faced a skills gap that challenges companies’ ability to find and secure the right people. To address that need, recruitment expert David Spencer-Percival partnered with philanthropist Sir Peter Ogden to form Spencer Ogden in January 2010. The duo wanted to offer something different than the already established oil and gas recruiters who sign large contracts with “supermajors” to facilitate moving contractors from one rig to another or one part of the world to another. Instead, Spencer Ogden recruiters are headhunters who proactively find skilled people who might be interested in a job. The agency relies on job boards and social media sites like LinkedIn, where it sets up or monitors groups dedicated to specific areas, such as directional drilling or subsea engineering. These are areas where it is difficult to find candidates, so the agency has to determine where they congregate, and then reach out to them.


The agency has grown rapidly since its launch, immediately becoming recognized as a leader within its sector. In 2011, Spencer Ogden achieved an annual $29.4 million in revenue. Its third year of business proved to be largely successful, reporting a 74 percent increase in revenues and a 93 percent increase in profits, generating $51.2 million. In addition, Spencer Ogden doubled the number of employees and expanded its international operations, opening new offices in Houston, Singapore, Calgary, Hong Kong and Dubai.  In April 2012, the company launched its mining division, complementing the agency’s seven existing energy sectors.


Spencer Ogden also stood out amongst its peers last year with several accolades including CEO David Spencer-Percival’s Entrepreneur of the Year award at the Recruitment International awards, which was just a day after he and the agency were honoured as finalists in two National Business Awards categories, and the Global Business Excellence Awards named Spencer Ogden an ‘Outstanding Fast-Growth Business.’ Most recently, the agency has been awarded 3-Star ‘Best Companies’ accreditation for 2013. The highest rank available, 3-Star status means the company has been deemed an extraordinary place to work, with excellent work practices and employee care.


In addition, Spencer Ogden recently announced the globalization of its renowned Graduate Academy, which involves fully immersive training and career development opportunities over a 12-week training period. With twelve global graduate academies planned for 2013, Spencer Ogden’s workforce is set to increase by at least another 100 consultants.


The agency has no plans of slowing down and admits several ambitious goals for 2013. CEO David Spencer-Percival expects sales to reach $80 million and plans to open at least four new offices to complement its existing portfolio of eight global offices. These expansions continue to propel the company toward its ambition of becoming the global energy recruiter of choice and the only end-to-end recruiter in the energy and mining markets.


Spencer Ogden was faced with the major challenges that any startup company faces (i.e. starting from scratch with no staff, infrastructure, offices, systems or clients), but all were overcome relatively quickly as the agency was armed with previous experience, startup funding and immense effort and focus. However, the existing competition was working at very low margins, which only added to the challenge. There was a high cost of entry into the oil and gas and offshore markets due to insurance costs and demanded service levels. 


Spencer Ogden overcame a number of these challenges by carefully selecting which clients it dealt with and to which specific areas of energy it delivered. Initially, Spencer Ogden only chose to recruit for the sectors with the highest demand for skilled candidates. These two factors allowed the agency to achieve higher margins along with a very tight control of cash flow, enabling the working capital to fund new client business and the growth capital to fund its investment in infrastructure (i.e. the opening of new offices and the hiring and salary costs of increasing employees).