An ExxonMobil recruiting session took a strange turn on Monday, September 23, when the lead recruiter referenced some of the oil company’s past dealings. ExxonMobil was hoping to find potential employees among the Mount Allison student body. The session was attended by only two students seeking information about employment opportunities.
During the session, Carlos Tocantins, North American credit manager for ExxonMobil, referenced the company’s oft-criticized work with companies and governments accused of unethical practices. One such example was the company’s hiring of allegedly abusive units of the Indonesian military to protect their interests in that country, for which they are still facing litigation.
Tocantins prefaced his remarks regarding ethics by stating he “is not naive,” and continued by saying that while he was “not naming names,” some business partners of ExxonMobil “may have lower standards of conduct. They are looking to [ExxonMobil] to help develop those practices, those ethics.”
ExxonMobil is also familiar with environmental criticism. The company is currently facing a joint law suit, filed by the United States Department of Justice and the state of Arkansas over their March 2013 Pegasus pipeline oil spill. The leak spilled nearly 800,000 litres of Canadian crude from the Alberta tar sands in a residential area about forty kilometers away from Little Rock.
This was ExxonMobil’s first informational and recruitment session at Mt. A, though they had previously visited campus for career fairs and to conduct interviews. The recruiting team sent to Mt. A was composed of employees of the ExxonMobil Business Support Centre Canada division.
Particular focus was given to the idea of energy challenges. With rapid industrialization around the world, ExxonMobil frequently characterizes itself as working to meet the energy needs of an increasingly globalized and fossil fuel-dependent world.
“It’s harder and harder to find oil and gas to pursue,” Tocantins said, referring to the investment in oil extraction technology by ExxonMobil. This has led the company to invest extensively in technology that would allow them to extract oil from difficult to access areas. Critics argue that such extraction creates a greater chance of spills or other environmental contamination.
In Canada, ExxonMobil’s gas stations operate under the Esso brand, while a good deal of their business is conducted through Imperial Oil, of which they own seventy per cent. ExxonMobil is active in over 150 countries on six continents, employing 77,000 people, and, according to their 2012 Corporate Citizenship report, paying $102 billion dollars in taxes and duties.
The Support Centre for North America is split between Moncton and Saint John. Moncton contains the majority of the customer service infrastructure, employing 900 people, while Saint John contains the “Treasure’s Credit” department, employing 200 people.
The Houston-based company is the world’s largest non-state owned oil company, and the largest publicly-owned company altogether.
Applications for work with ExxonMobil in New Brunswick will be accepted until Sunday, September 29, 2013.