Uber-like recruitment technology launched for Australian mining

Workfast chief executive officer Tim Nieuwenhuis

Tech company Workfast has extended an Uber-like, on-demand recruitment platform it launched last year to the Australian mining industry.

The technology, which has already found success in Australia’s construction industry, will provide mining companies with access to labour hire workers at variable rates of pay, a first for the industry, according to the Sydney-based start-up.

Workfast claims that mining companies can save up to 30 per cent on recruitment costs thanks to the web-based platform, which calculates a worker’s hourly rate based on experience and availability.

The platform, Workfast adds, means a mining employer only pays for what they need from a worker.

With mining recruitment activity increasing in the past six months, the company saw now as the opportune time to extend its technology to the industry.

Workfast chief executive officer Tim Nieuwenhuis believes the service becomes available for mining companies with market conditions improving throughout the industry.

“It’s a great time, and with the predictions the industry will keep rising, human resources directors need to be prepared with the right workers that can satisfy their growth strategies while also satisfying the board’s requirements to be lean and efficient,” Nieuwenhuis told Australian Mining.

“The biggest trend for mining companies is the need to find savings wherever they can. As a result of industry fluctuations, HR directors are feeling immense pressure to be lean and efficient.

“This means looking at new recruitment agencies or utilising technology to assist in bringing costs down.”

Workfast, which launched five months ago across Australia, provides staffing in several fields, including labour hire, logistics and material handling, and building and construction.

The company has implemented a system where all its employees and contractors are guaranteed – if they aren’t right for the job, then no payment is required. If companies cancel within two hours, then it’s free.

Nieuwenhuis said variable pricing was a real innovation for the mining industry and would allow companies to secure significant cost savings.

“If we find a worker that meets your requirements and availability at a lower price, we will pass that saving on to you. And when you require a worker urgently, or you want to hire our very best worker, that’s when you may have to pay a premium,” Nieuwenhuis said.

“There is complete transparency, and you make the final decision. It all comes down to supply and demand.”

Another innovation of the platform is that it integrates the whole HR process with automated time sheet and weekly schedules, invoicing, payments, expense reconciliation, calculates overtime hours and produces payslips.

“It effectively cuts out the middle man, and that’s where the savings and efficiencies benefit everyone,” Nieuwenhuis explained.

“For big companies, even a five per cent discount on wages could result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in saving. In comparison, if a traditional labour hire or recruitment agency sourced a cheaper employee, they would skim that saving as a profit rather than pass it on to the client.”

Workfast is developing a mobile and smartphone app for the technology to add to the web-based platform.