M2E Projects was founded in 2012 with the aim of providing services to companies, in particular through the search, selection and administration of technical and managerial figures intended to operate and be integrated into the teams of the main Italian and international EPC contractors. Oil & Gas is the main operating sector, accounting for more than 70% of 2014 global turnover. This is mainly due to the fact that the company’s team has thirty years’ experience in this sector in terms of both engineering and plant construction. At the same time, the company is preparing, both from a commercial and a technical point of view, to operate in the mining, marine and renewable sectors, which are considered essential to complete the package of services aimed at the energy industry.
You have worked for several large plant companies for some time. How do you substantiate your services and what benefits does you offer to clients?
M2E provides high quality head hunting and staff leasing services, acting as a strategic partner to meet the needs of client companies, with the aim of finding professional figures with technical, managerial and behavioural skills we are commissioned every day. M2E is a recently established company, which works hard on the company’s efficiency and effectiveness. It is fundamental for us to bring together supply and demand with the greatest possible flexibility, providing clients with the best profiles with a very high level of specialisation when they are needed, with an increasingly tight timeline. We focus strongly on training young technicians, for whom it is very important to keep up-to-date on regulations and software, and managers, for whom we organise specific courses to refine and implement project and construction management techniques.
Which technologies do you use in the search and selection of personnel?
To date, over 80% of the search and selection of people takes place through informal channels or personal networks. Our goal is to reduce this value, especially thanks to the use of IT tools that allow us to reach candidates in any part of the world in real time. We use cloud platforms that follow all the typical business activities: invoicing, archiving, planning, payroll, quality documentation management, security, environment, etc. Moreover, we are evaluating the development of an App that will work on a “semantic” search and selection method, since it allows us to refine searches using an algorithm able to read documents such as curriculums, job offers and searches in progress. The system is able to encode their meaning and compare it with typical professional profiles, producing a search short list according to the keywords used. Moreover, it can understand the meaning of what is sought, associating and ordering candidates according to responsibilities, roles, tasks and concepts. Words almost never have simple, fixed or univocal meanings, but are complex and linked to the text, sometimes similar and sometimes very different. This is why semantic searching produces more precise and consistent answers.
Can you tell us about important cases with companies you have worked with?
The most significant example for us is the continuous collaboration with Amec Foster Wheeler. Specifically, in 2014 we started the EPC2 project to upgrade the refinery in Antwerp, Belgium, where we were involved in the development of detailed home office engineering and site supervision. We also consider, especially from a strategic point of view, a project that was recently started in the Russian Federation to be very important, where, through our partner Capex Engineering AG, we are involved in consultancy activities with the final client ONHP, which has 400 units and is part of the Orgneftekim group with its headquarters and business offices in the central Urals. In this case, we will be committed to the long-term development and implementation of Engineering Best Practices which represent the new frontier of quality engineering for the Russian market. Our objective is to raise the level of quality and reliability of the final local product with the aim of reaching the major engineering players with costs able to compete with Indian and Chinese operators.
What were the final results for 2014?
2014 was a fundamental year in the company’s growth in regard to both the figures and investment. Turnover was just under 2 million Euros, almost 3 times higher than in the previous year and therefore certainly above expectations. In regard to employees, considering all types of contracts, we employ 10 people and an average of 35 resources mobilized at our clients’ headquarters and/or worksites.</p>
What was the breakdown of 2014 turnover for sectors and geographical areas?
More than 60% was achieved in Europe, 40% in Italy. In our country, we operate mainly on in-house detail engineering, since we are closely related to the best EPCs; abroad, on the other hand, services relating to technical assistance during construction, exploration and extraction prevail. A further differentiation of services depends on labour law regulations that we have to deal with in each country, especially outside Europe, where we are focused on providing head-hunting services aimed at recruiting candidates for clients.
What do you envisage for the near future?
For the near future we expect a slight increase in turnover, due, in Italy, to the coming effects of the Jobs Act and abroad to a shift in business volumes from Europe to the rest of the world, mainly Russia, the Middle and Far East and China. We are currently assessing the feasibility of opening three branches: in Russia in Moscow, in China in the Shandong province, and in the United Arab Emirates in the state of Sharjah. The three locations we have identified are rich in raw materials, but at a local level they tend to be poor in technical and managerial know-how. The feasibility study of the new branch in Russia is therefore at a more advanced phase than the others because we have been operating in that country for some time and this should allow us to overcome bureaucratic difficulties more easily (also due to economic sanctions which Russia is currently subject to).
How could the new regulations imposed by the Job Act affect your work?
In our opinion, these rules, in both fixed and indeterminate terms, applied to the world of administration will lead to what is called “good flexibility”. We believe that the new labour market will be increasingly flexible and consequently work continuity will be ensured by what we call employ ability, i.e. the ability to develop people’s employability and facilitate the transition from one job to another. In this regard, M2E represents an ideal model of flexicurity, on the one hand, accompanying workers in all phases of their professional careers, ensuring continuity and necessary contractual protections and, on the other hand, fulfilling the requirements of companies in relation to flexibility needs to manage work peaks. In practice, we expect increasing percentages of workers who decide to opt for flexible solutions, such as staff leasing.