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National Post (Canada): Oilsands vie for top talent in all fields

‘THE TABLE STAKES’ Energy companies pay premiums of 20% to lure staff
BY DEREK SANKEY

18 April 2007

Calgary and Edmonton have attracted widespread attention for the rapid growth of their economies and populations, but farther north in Fort McMurray, the growth has happened so fast it makes that of larger urban centres seem modest by comparison.

Professionals, from accountants to lawyers to engineers, are so desperately needed in booming Fort McMurray that energy companies are paying large premiums to attract white-collar workers to this remote region.

Compensation premiums that typically rangefrom about 15% to 20% on top of base salary are just thebe ginning, says David Fulton, vice-president of human resources for Shell Canada.

“Money is the table stakes, but after that it is [about] learning more, developing more, being stretched more,” Mr. Fulton says.

“You’regoing to get moree xperience, faster than you would working in a nicecomfor table officein Calgary [or] Toronto.”

Paul Ramesar, human resources business partner with ConocoPhillips Co.’s oilsands division, moved to Fort McMurray from Winnipeg last October becauseof theacce ss it affords to such massive, globally significant projects.

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