Recruitment in the mining industry is becoming a more proactive environment.
Gone are the days of the mining construction boom when miners and contractors grew their workforces through recruitment blitzes. Also gone are the days of the mass redundancies that followed the boom.
With the industry moving on to a production phase it has provided the opportunity for companies to be more calculating with human resources and recruitment strategies, including how employees are recruited, talent nurtured and management developed.
Technology is playing a part in this, as it is for most mining disciplines these days.
Digital technology is driving many industries towards a proactive recruitment environment where companies have pools of qualified, interested and available candidates for every role, on demand when they are needed.
This approach has arrived in mining. In July, Roy Hill – a fully integrated iron ore operation – launched the cloud-based LiveHire recruitment tool, described as a productivity and collaboration platform for talent management.
Roy Hill, a cornerstone client for LiveHire, unveiled the so-called Talent Community across its workforce, which consists 1600 employees at three sites in Western Australia.
Chaired by Gina Rinehart, Roy Hill is the first enterprise in the mining and resources industry to adopt the LiveHire technology and methodology, inviting 65,000 past applicants to the ecosystem during the initial launch phase, before mapping the market further.
LiveHire founder and director Mike Haywood believes proactive recruitment will be the future of human resources management for not only mining, but all industry sectors.
“The future of recruitment for all industries and employers is removing the unnecessary administration involved with reactive recruitment – procuring for applicants after a role becomes vacant – and instead shifting to 100 per cent proactive recruitment, having your talent pools of qualified, interested and available candidates for every role on-demand,” Haywood told Australian Mining.
“The future of recruitment for candidates is controlling your own data, sharing it privately with the employers you wish to work for in the future, and communicating with the people inside organisations in a more human way, rather than competing with hundreds of applicants to receive automated email responses from HR software.
“This creates a more fluid and agile workforce that increases participation and in turn, the productivity of Australia.”
Livehire has been developing the live talent ecosystem for six years and has grown exponentially each month since inception. The retail and healthcare sectors have proven particularly effective for the platform so far.
Haywood also sees enormous potential for LiveHire in mining, especially as employment in the industry starts to edge higher after a few leaner years.
The mining industry has been one of the fastest growing employers in Australia over the past 12 months, Haywood noted, expanding 0.8 per cent to 232,600 employed people, about 70 per cent of which are in Western Australia and Queensland.
Haywood said each mining employer that joined LiveHire made it easier for the next to launch a Talent Community of their own, to realise the value of proactive hiring, as well as the return on investment the platform made possible.
“Roy Hill has been the first to make the shift to proactive recruitment, however, LiveHire is well advanced with many mining and resource operators, and supporting organisations, wanting to make the shift from reactive to proactive recruitment using the Live Talent Ecosystem,” Haywood said.
Roy Hill launched its community on July 12 – six days after signing the LiveHire contract. It rapidly built a target community 10 times the size of its workforce using its recognised employment brand.
The Talent Community features thousands of active profiles, communicating directly with Roy Hill’s human resources team – all of which was created within a few days of signing the contract.
Haywood said Roy Hill could create live Talent Pools for every role in its organisation to deliver the personnel it requires on demand – a more efficient method than traditional reactive recruitment processes.
“The average time to hire in Australia using traditional reactive recruitment is 68 days,” Haywood explained.
“The LiveHire Talent Community Ecosystem keeps these Talent Pools live with fresh candidate data, and candidate availability known. Candidates in the Roy Hill Talent Community are active on the platform, collectively updating data at a rate of two thousand times a minute.
“This data immediately flows into Roy Hill’s talent community as well as into other Talent Communities that the candidates choose to join.”
Delivering diversity to mining
Most mining companies now focus on increasing the diversity of their workforces.
For Roy Hill, it has been a priority since the company launched development of the 55 million tonne per annum iron ore operation in 2011.
Another major iron ore miner, BHP, also focuses on diversity, with plans to make 50 per cent of its workforce female by 2025.
Haywood believes proactive recruitment is a valuable approach for mining companies aiming to increase their diversity, whether it be in terms of age, gender, ethnicity or cognitive ability.
He said diversity of all types was critical for company success.
“Not just because an organisation’s clients are diverse, but because diversity of all types is proven to lead to higher levels of collaboration, ideas, innovation, and hence company profit, growth, and success,” Haywood said.
“Hiring for diversity requires knowing people for who they are, and engaging them one to one like a human, to build trust and familiarity. You cannot achieve this in recruitment effectively by processing hundreds of paper CV applications each time in a reactive matter.
“It requires a proactive approach to building pools of talent, having conversations, and hiring the right people when the timing is right based on the right balance of attributes.”
LiveHire is proving to be a gender diverse platform for job seekers, with 59 per cent of candidate traffic across its talent communities being female.
As LiveHire aims to change the way that mining companies recruit their employees, it also looks set to evolve its platform in a way that reflects the human resources trends in the industry.
“HR strategies usually follow company purpose changes and corporate strategy key pivots. We are certainly observing major pivots in global mining company towards technology and corporate responsibility, for example ‘diversity and inclusion’ as a competitive advantage,” Haywood concluded.
This article also appears in the September edition of Australian Mining.