Challenges of HR in Mining Industry: Stagnation and Diversity

August 27, 20211:55 pm776 views
Challenges of HR in Mining Industry: Stagnation and Diversity
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Mining industry, more than other sectors, is confronted with the dual challenges of a rapidly aging workforce and a lack of skilled talent working in the industry. HR performs a critical role in attracting and retaining new talents to this industry, as well as ensuring that they bring in competent talents to meet the sector’s future demands. The mining sector must improve the public’s view of the business via communication, education, and best-practice operations. Communities, governments, regulators, and prospective candidates must all be included in these efforts.

Current Composition of Boards in the Mining Industry

Mining companies can achieve their goals and strive for more effective rules and processes if they have a strong board on their side. Is the present structure of mining company boards, on the other hand, impeding their capacity to deliver this degree of management and limiting innovation? A report by Swann reveals several key findings about this matter:

  • 44% have a tenure of five years or more
  • 21% have a tenure of nine years or more
  • Only 10% are women
  • Only 5% have backgrounds in health, safety, environment and community; and environment, social, and governance. Of these, half are women.

Due to a lack of variety and necessary expertise, the mining sector is at threat of stagnation and lacks some critical perspectives. There are several potential ways to make mining a more sustainable and socially responsible business, and there are areas of exemplary practice. The mining industry as a whole should follow the lead of industry leaders and offer to take constructive steps toward more responsible mining and a shift in public opinion.

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Diversity of Talents in the Mining Industry

Other than the lack of gender diversity, age diversity is also a problem. The mining industry has struggled to recruit fresh talent, resulting in an aging workforce and a shortage of new ideas and methods entering the business. John Murray from Swann has long advocated for big mining companies, governments, and stakeholders to present mining as an appealing choice for graduates. The lack of new ideas in mining is emphasized by HR’s evident hesitation to hire people from other industries or backgrounds. Hiring from the IT industry, for example, will help overcome a skills gap that might become an existential problem as miners increasingly rely on automation, artificial intelligence, and networking.

There are actually a lot of advantages from diverse workforces, but not many companies are aware of it. These can be in the form of increased innovation, fresh solutions to old issues, reducing skill gaps, and greater financial performance. HR in the mining industry should be aware of this by now. If the mining sector is to thrive, more innovations are required. It will also be beneficial to have outreach efforts from industry groups, as well as recruiting processes and methods that promote applications from people other than the conventional candidates.

Overcoming Scarcity of Talents

Skill gap in the mining industry is the result of vast numbers of top management retiring, divestments, and redundancies. The problem of losing outstanding talents has been amplified by the industry’s inability to capture the knowledge and skills of senior team members before they leave. Fresh graduates are more versed on new technology nowadays. Consequently, they are drawn to the cleaner, greener world of IT rather than the mining industry, which they have been made to believe is dirty, destructive, and ethically dubious. This drives developing leaders into alternative industries, and mining companies struggle to make the business appealing to fresh graduates. A major change in paradigm, starting from the current workforce, needs to be addressed by the HR of mining companies.

As the mining industry becomes more technologically oriented, these digital natives will be exactly what the mining industry demands, while individuals with more conventional mining abilities will become less important. Education and industry must learn to work together more effectively in order to create the talent that our industry will require in the future. Leadership and management approaches are expected to evolve as new talents expect to be consulted and informed. Receiving comments individually and on a frequent basis, rather than as part of an annual performance evaluation, is one example. As these new talents grow into leaders, new types of development will be required. Therefore, HR needs to also be aware that workforce dynamics among new talents are different and need to be taken into account seriously.

The mining industry has a history of being slow in terms of HR innovation, as John Murray highlighted in his report. Mining companies appear to be overly reliant on external consultants to do their strategic thinking. This means that they do not develop this type of strategic expertise internally. Companies may have access to recognized global intellectuals, yet struggle to implement what is told. Changes can start internally and it is the chance for HR in the mining industry to finally create a positive change towards the better.

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