The expand-contract cycle of hiring in the oil and gas industry can mean that industry team managers must monitor their teams’ work to determine when it’s time to hire or fire. With the industry heating up again, many are entering the “time to hire” phase of the cycle.

Here are five signs it’s time to expand your department:

You have more work coming in than you have places to put it.

If you’ve got more work or more project opportunities than you have people to address it, it’s time to bring in more talent. This is particularly true if department leadership has started taking on tasks that are better suited to their teams, simply because their team members are already juggling too much work.

Overtime isn’t occasional anymore.

Are your team members regularly taking overtime, coming in early or staying late? If so, hiring a new team member may be the most cost-effective option for addressing the increased workload. Not only do overtime or extra work hours mean more money, they also run the risk of burning out your existing staff, leading to a decrease in work quality, an increase in mistakes and a rise in turnover when you are least equipped to handle it.

Small balls (and sometimes big ones) are getting dropped.

If staff are making mistakes they don’t ordinarily make, they may be feeling the effects of overwork. Adding a new team member may be all it takes to restore everyone’s work to its previous high-quality standard – and to add an inspiring fresh perspective in the process.

You need something done, but nobody has the skill to do it.

“Skills gaps” are common when work expands and new technologies, tools or options come into play. A new hire gives you the opportunity to custom-tailor skill sets to fit your existing skills gaps, and it can be the best option when you don’t have time to educate or retrain existing staff.

One person’s vacation is everyone else’s crisis.

One vacation, illness or injury, and the entire department suddenly runs into chaos: Chances are good it’s not that one team member holding you together, it’s that everyone was already stretched as far as they could go. Avoid breaking the team when one member needs a break by having enough people on deck to manage the work.

If you see these signs, it’s time to talk to a recruiter. Recruiting firms with a focus on the industry see the signs of increased hiring as well, and they’re ready to meet energy companies’ needs with qualified talent and strategies for better hiring.

At FootBridge Energy Services, we specialize in connecting oil and gas industry companies to some of the best available talent in the field. Contact us today to learn more.