Recruiting Applied Geologists for a Small Organization


Applied Geology can be a lucrative profession. Professional, experienced geologists will have opportunities to hold well-compensated and prestigious positions at large petroleum companies, governmental agencies and large corporations. It can, therefore be challenging to recruit the best prospects for your small firm over these other potential options.

We recommend the following strategies to attract candidates away from large firms to consider a smaller or startup company.

Know what sets you apart.

What makes your organization unique? You need to be able to articulate what sets your firm apart from your competition and be able to use those qualities to sell your company to prospective customers and staff. Some selling points might be that your principal is accessible and readily available for consultations at any time, project managers have fewer bosses to report to, you offer numerous paid training opportunities or provide a flexible schedule with support for remote working. Another option is providing ownership or equity in your firm for a successful candidate if they have the right experience.

Scope out your competition.

If you are having a hard time determining what sets you apart from your competitors, see what you can discover about their company culture and what might be lacking that you can offer at your firm. Talking to actual employees is ideal, but if you don’t have any connections to do that kind of research, you can look at job sites like and find out quite a bit about a business based on employee reviews. You may discover that a big mining company has great pay and benefits, but there is a poor ability to advance and low job security. That is something you may be able to capitalize on when talking to prospects interested in career advancement.

Give yourself plenty of lead time.

The more specialized the positions you need to fill, the more time you will need to find the right candidate. On an annual basis it is a smart idea to assess what positions you may need to fill in the coming year due to promotions and retirements and start the recruitment and hiring process as early as you can.

Develop relationships with colleges and universities.

Begin grooming prospects before they even graduate by attending university professional nights, on-campus interview sessions, and becoming involved with geology clubs. Offer to come and speak to students on topics about which you have expertise. Sponsor a field trip to show students applied geology in action at a real work site. If attending in person is not an option due to distance, offer to do webinars.

You should also strongly consider creating an internship program. Internships offer a great chance for you to develop a relationship with a college but also to scope out some possible future employees. Be sure that you can offer valuable learning opportunities to the students and that there will be at least one dedicated staff member who can manage their time and work assignments.

Keep a database of prospects.

Whenever you meet someone at a networking event, convention or elsewhere, enter them into a “prospects” database or spreadsheet. Make note of their current position, contact information and anything notable about them or their experience. If you are on LinkedIn or network through another social media platform, look them up and connect. The next time you are getting ready to hire, go to your prospects database and directly contact anyone that you’d like to invite for an interview. Receiving a personal invitation like this can score a lot of points with the right candidate who will appreciate being remembered.

Hiring for a small firm can be more challenging, but there are many professionals who will appreciate the benefits of working for a smaller organization. Perhaps you will find one of them at an AEG event, we hope to see you there!






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Jennifer Bauer - Thursday, September 16, 2021

Thank you for this post!

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