Jacobs Engineering – International

Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. is one of the world’s largest and most diverse providers of professional technical services. With 2010 revenues of nearly $10 billion, Jacobs offer scientific and specialty consulting, engineering and construction, and operations and maintenance support to industrial, commercial, and government clients from more than 160 offices in more than 20 countries.

In pursuit of the Oil Sands business in Northern Alberta, Jacobs acquired a field-services company headquartered in Calgary. This acquisition launched and validated Jacob’s presence in the market and in the geography. The acquisition was a locally owned, 40 year old, employee owned company. A significant majority of the executive leadership either received an attractive financial package or chose an early retirement. Of the 400+ employees, more than 40% turned
over in one year and 75% of the turnover employees earned over $120K annually in base compensation.

Our charter was to replace all of the key management positions under the new structure, in a tightly knit, competitive market where the general perception of Jacobs at the time was the capitalistic, cavalier American John Wayne of Engineering firms was coming into Calgary to join the “knitting circle” culture and dynamic of the Canadian business culture. Recruiting between engineering organizations in Calgary was so rampant that the HR leaders from each organization created a ‘caucus’ so salaries wouldn’t get falsely elevated, increasing project costs for end users.

We hired 25+ executives in the $120K+ range in 6 months and continued to support these functional lead executives with pipelines of candidates for them to interview and hire. The fertile nature of the Oil Sands business meant increased earnings potential for candidates in Canada and the US. Unfortunately we tapped out the Calgary market and Jacobs Canadian culture became unreceptive to more American hires. This required us to extend our sourcing and search
parameters across Canada and then internationally, pulling from other petrochemical process rich environments. Our ability to support ongoing recruiting requirements, augment and complement their internal recruiting resources, and be a general business partner earned introductions to Jacobs other growing business segments in pharmaceutical, healthcare, industrial, and facility management. This subsequently led to opening an office in Reading UK to support locally.