The war for talent retains its strategic imperative

The war for talent retains its strategic imperative


The challenging economic climate in the resources sector has forced many companies to re-evaluate their current market position, service offering and strategic direction. However, as discussed here by Beilby’s Nick Verkerk, forward thinking and preparation is required more than ever for resource companies to have the right team aboard when the cyclical mining cycle picks up in the not-too-distant future. The last 12 months has seen a significant change in the sentiment towards the state of the mining industry. While the sector is still reeling from the impact of the major miners’ drive for greater cost eff iciencies and a scaling back of their exploration activities, there has definitely been an upswing in positivity as to what the future holds. Share prices have surged, and investors are actively seeking out opportunities with explorers and anything to do with gold, lithium and graphite. Mothballed projects are looking to be resurrected and miners are generally dusting off their potential growth and/or expansion plans. We are often told that mining is cyclical, and better times will return. Hopefully, that is the case now.

From a talent management perspective, the mining industry still needs to remain agile and manage their staff ing cost base closely. Some have to realise that they might have cut too deeply into their staff ing structures, stripping them of the ability to react quickly to the positive changes that are starting to appear.

The old adage ‘the war for talent’ is still very much alive.

Everyone understands the requirement to source the correct candidate from the heavy volumes of likely responses the company receives to successfully fill a position. What is also apparent is that while the volume of responses has dramatically increased, there has not necessarily been the same level of quality applicants available in the marketplace.

Creating the required talent pool means sifting through high volumes of inappropriate resumes and, in many cases, the talent pool will have to be enhanced through searching for the right candidates who are still currently employed.

With the number of potential projects starting to increase, we are again faced with the reality that companies will actively start to chase the same individuals for the same project roles.

The requirement for these project start-ups remain the same. Therefore, companies should be asking themselves some fundamental questions such as:

  • How do we stay ahead of what could be a ‘race’ for the candidates we require?
  • What makes our project more attractive to the candidates we may need to ‘fight’ for?
  • How do we mitigate the risk of a poor hire decision?