Miners overlook the job market

Not a day goes by without the general media in Australia dedicating significant space to the looming skills shortage, with companies consistently issuing press releases about their latest project, resource find or financial performance.  The average Australian – either working in the industry or not – is left in no doubt that mining is the sector to be in.

If the availability of skills is one of the major issues impacting project viability and steady-state operations, why then don’t companies recognise the job market as a critical stakeholder in their business?  Why don’t companies communicate with the job market with the same consistency and focus they do their shareholders or current employees? 

General job postings and brand advertisements aside, mining sector companies are essentially mute in this space.  Instead, the media are left to report high level numbers created through individual projects  or more generally across the industry, leaving the job market void of details on where those jobs will be, when they will come online, who with and how best to prepare.

Take the full page adverts recently appearing for Chevron proclaiming their support for Australian suppliers.  Whilst the general sentiment is understood, would it not be more beneficial to list who those suppliers are, particularly as the bulk of the 10,000 jobs often reported for the project are with the suppliers and not with Chevron? 

According to a recent US survey, the job market has two requirements of a potential employer: the truth and access. 

These results are further supported by a major industry survey conducted in late 2010 by The Resource Channel where respondents – and potential job applicants – listed authentic and accessible employment information as the overriding requirement in determining their next career move.  More than 2,500 respondents – a combination of those already working in the industry and those seeking an opportunity to join – voiced their frustration around the lack of employment-related information coming direct from companies. 

The bottom line is that job seekers are crying out for engagement.  They are fed up with populating recruitment databases for no gain. 

Consider the effectiveness then of communicating project or operational skill requirements ahead of time; the numbers and skill types, when and what experience will be required, terms and conditions, project updates and who is awarded which particular work packages. 

With most in the industry offering similar terms and conditions, roster arrangements and remuneration, a company’s major differentiator will be how well they consistently amplify the positive aspects of their culture across a range of online and print media; in other words, provide value content and accessibility in a more personalised approach to the job market.

Consider too, that at any point in time only 23% of the potential employment pool is actively looking for a job move.  How do you compel the other 77% to take a closer look at your organisation, or at least have a better idea of who you are and what you offer?  With consistent and transparent employment-related content which is easily accessible.

This article is from The Resources Channel, a website dedicated to helping people find jobs in the resources industries, and providing tips and information on how to do so.

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