How to attract quality candidates

With a tight labour market, how do you attract the right people to your business?

The last 10 years has seen a significant increase in the demand for skilled mining professionals including trades, professionals and management.

Demand is particularly high for skilled trades people and mid-tier professionals – mining engineering and geology – particularly in the four to eight-year experience bracket.

Failure to have a clear recruitment strategy can become very expensive, according to Mining People International manager, eastern region Darrell Ballard.

"A one size fits all approach no longer works," he said. 

Consideration must be given to where, when and how to connect with the target candidate group.

"Many organisations have upped the ante in retention strategies," Ballard said. 

"To attract and recruit the best people all aspects of the position must be considered rather than just base salary and bonuses. This might include career development opportunities, mentoring, management, flexible hours, camp and town facilities and team dynamics. 

"In short, the days of a mining company saying 'Here's the offer take it or leave it' – are well and truly behind us." 

When recruiting, says Ballard, ensure your line managers and recruiters know your company's value proposition. 
"Treat the candidate with respect. Give them an indication of expected time frames. Provide feedback and most of all: get back to them regardless of whether they have been successful or not," he said. 

"Whether you employ the person now or not, this will build goodwill in your brand through the broader candidate market."

Attitudes to recruitment are not the only thing that has changed. 

The more traditional recruitment methods, says Ballard, are no longer effective in attracting quality people. Advertising has become less effective in both the print and electronic media. 

"Mining companies now have to develop strategies that engage more directly with the candidate group," Ballard said. 

"This includes employers using their own search methods as is the case for some of the larger mining company employers, or by utilising the search methods and databases of external recruiters. This is the case for smaller to medium sized mining companies or for particularly hard to fill or heavily technical roles. " 

So what can mining companies do to attract the best skilled people? 

It's important mining company employers know how to connect with their candidate market, according to Ballard. 
"Additionally it's important that the team involved in recruitment know their product, in other words: what does the opportunity actually represent to a candidate? Know the value proposition of the position, the site and the company. 

"All of this is mission critical during the recruitment process because candidates want to know what is it that sets your opportunity apart from others they may also be looking at. Employers need staff that deliver these messages clearly and sell them persuasively."

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