Drug Use Among Job Applicants Hampers Offshore Recruiters

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The offshore drilling industry is struggling to find younger labor as its workforce ages. Companies are finding that a lack of skilled job candidates isn't their only problem. Many applicants are washing out due to drug use.

Ask Hercules Offshore CEO John Rynd why it’s so hard to find skilled workers for offshore drilling and he’ll talk about hefty competition from shore-based employers.

There’s a big demand for workers on land-based wells, thanks to the hydraulic fracturing revolution. The rise of auto manufacturing along the Gulf Coast means workers that traditionally formed part of the offshore labor pool are now able to find jobs closer to home.

But then, Rynd says, there’s the drug problem.

“We have about a 30% attrition just alone on the drugs, not passing the drug test. We cannot afford to allow anybody under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs to board one of our vessels.”

Rynd says it’s common for job applicants to show up with drugs in their system even though they’re warned in advance that drug screening is part of the application process.

Bio photo of Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Business Reporter

Andrew Schneider joined KUHF in January 2011, after more than a decade as a print reporter for The Kiplinger Letter...