Meet Dylan Raymond of Noble Drilling Services
Dylan Raymond had been working for Noble Drilling Services, Inc., for about four months when he was promoted in the US Army Reserve and selected to attend Warrant Officer Candidate School. The advanced training meant 38 days out of the office. Most people would dread telling their boss they need more than one month off from a new job — not Raymond. “It’s an honor for Dylan to be promoted and chosen for the training, and we think of the training as a great asset for Noble,” said Raymond’s supervisor, Personnel Manager Joe Knight.
The news reached Jim Day, CEO of Noble, who announced Raymond’s promotion and training opportunity at a staff meeting. Noble, a leading global offshore drilling services contractor based in Houston, Texas, employs many ex-military personnel worldwide. In fact, Raymond’s job at Noble is to recruit former and transitioning military personnel to entry-level positions as electricians, mechanics and electronic technicians for offshore rigs. His transition has been easy. “My learning curve is more about the industry and the equipment,” he said, “since I have recruiting experience.”
Raymond has been in the military for almost 18 years as an optician, drill instructor, recruiter, and military personnel technician serving in the Reserve as well as six years full-time active duty and one year in Iraq, where he trained senior Iraqi leaders. When he returned from Iraq in 2005, the native New Yorker relocated to the Houston area, and while reading the newspaper, noticed an advertisement for someone with military recruiting experience.
“The recruiter thought I’d be a good fit and forwarded my resume to Noble,” he recalled. “I looked up Noble on the Web (http://www.noblecorp.com/) and was blown away by the company and the industry. Noble is 85 years old, a very solid company.” It currently operates 63 mobile offshore drilling units around the world.
Noble has a long history of recruiting ex-military personnel — whom they respect for their discipline, work ethic and attention to safety — and has stepped up its recruiting efforts recently to meet the demand of the booming offshore oil and gas industry. Their workforce has grown significantly in recent years, and the company expects the growth to continue for the foreseeable future.
Noble’s fleet count includes three enhanced premium newbuild jackups under construction, with scheduled delivery of the first unit in the third quarter of 2007, the second unit in first quarter of 2008, and the third unit in the first quarter of 2009. A new rig can cost nearly $200 million to build, and each rig requires a staff of 30 to 90 workers, depending on its size, to operate and maintain the equipment and the rig itself.
Raymond has been spreading the word about Noble, mainly to transitioning military personnel. “I once sat where they sit. It can be somewhat frightening to go from the military to the private sector. But when I talk to them about the camaraderie and safety culture at Noble, they understand that,” he said. “Noble has a family orientation and a very strong safety orientation that are similar to what we have in the military.”
While in Norfolk, Va., site of the largest US Navy base in the country, he talked to an individual who was apprehensive about transitioning. “He was not used to completing applications and resumes,” said Raymond. “I directed him to the Noble home page, and he was very impressed. We started him on the application process.”
In addition to visiting transition locations, Raymond posts ads for Noble jobs on http://www.hireveterans.com/, http://www.taonline.com/, http://www.militaryresumes.com/, http://www.defenselink.mil/ (the Department of Defense web site), and http://www.acap.army.mil/.
“I enjoyed the service to my country,” Raymond said. “After 20 years in the military, I welcomed a new challenge with Noble in the offshore drilling industry. Depending on the schedule, you work hard for 14 days or 28 days, and then you have equal time off. It’s a great job.”