Mining for Talent: A Recruitment Agency’s Perspective

Mining for Talent: A Recruitment Agency’s Perspective

The Mining Indaba held last month in Cape Town drew executives and investors from the continent to discuss developments in a sector that contributes over R351 billion to GDP in South Africa alone. As an executive recruitment agency in Johannesburg, Mindcor InterSearch Global reflects on some of the critical human resource challenges faced by an industry that provides around 460 000 South Africans with jobs.

Mind the (Skills) Gap

As mining becomes increasingly automated, the skills gap is highlighted as a challenge to ensure that the next generation of workers is prepared for the industry’s digital advances. The Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data are being used to automate machinery, enhance safety, facilitate predictive maintenance, and improve environmental monitoring and mineral tracing. Driverless trains, trucks and drones require technicians with the skills for operation, maintenance, and repair. Although the industry is recognising the advantages of automation, they have yet to address the digital skills gap. Meaningful investment in education to prepare potential and existing workers for advances in technology and innovation is required.

Mining for Talent

Global Business Handshake

Reputation Matters

Just as with the oil and gas sector, mining is acknowledging that in order to attract the next generation of young, environmentally aware and tech-savvy employees, the industry must market itself as forward-thinking and progressive. Reputation matters as mining have to compete with the likes of Uber and Google to attract the newly skilled IT, mechatronics, and robotics gurus. As discussed at the Indaba, mining’s image as an exploitative “taker” rather than a “giver” needs to be addressed through professional communication strategies and environmentally sound policies.

Iron-Clad Leaders

Given Deloitte’s estimates that at least 33 per cent of the current mining workforce will retire in the coming decade. As such, a relevant question is whether or not the mining industry have enough potential successors to take over as leaders? In addition to the challenges already described, mining executives must have the necessary acumen to address issues such as crippling power shortages, alternative energy sources and the ever-increasing costs associated with deeper extractions given declining mineral grades. Leaders are required to remain robust and resilient and make wise investment decisions while under pressure from shareholders to make profits.

Precious Resources

Although Africa is rich in mineral resources, another critical resource, that of talent, particularly in leadership positions, is dangerously scarce. Strategies to attract, retain, and develop robust leaders and sought-after skills are needed to ensure the sustainability of one of the most important industries on our continent. Recruitment agencies with the ability to source the best talent on a global scale will ensure that the mining industry continues to thrive as an economic breadwinner.

For more information or for assistance in attracting the necessary digital and management resources for the future, please contact executive recruitment agency, Mindcor InterSearch Global on (011) 551 5500. Based in Johannesburg, we have over two decades of experience sourcing talent for companies across Africa and bringing skilled resources to the continent.

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