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Mining talent management: a new workforce for a new era

Mining talent management

Picks, shovels and hard hats are being replaced by laptops and university degrees, as desk-bound workers operate sophisticated drilling and digging equipment. And, with open cast mining also on the rise, driving skills have come to the fore.


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workers in mining site

As mining companies explore ever more remote sites, they must forge newrelationships with communities and educational establishments. Manylesser-skilled, manual workers could become redundant, a situation that needs tobe handled with extreme sensitivity.

Towards a coordinated talent management strategy

Mining talent management is primarily a science, not an art, withrequirements based upon detailed output targets, costs and extraction methodsover a long-term timeframe of up to 10 years. Forecasts feed into a talentacquisition, development and retention strategy.

Recruitment will shift to schools and colleges, as companies sponsor coursesand create internships. Mining training methods are also changing, to adapt tomechanized and open cast mining, leading to accreditation and other qualifications.

Companies are also exploring fresh organizational culture and managementstyles more suited to the growing proportion of trained and educated employees.A greater emphasis upon accountability and performance management, as well aspersonal development, can optimize performance and minimize attrition. 

As Human Resources (HR) professionals focus on a wider range of recruitmentand training methods, they need to acquire new skills and become directlyaccountable for workforce effectiveness.

Case study: Mining HR development in a changing world

A major global mining group was shifting its operations geographically anddisposing of an existing site, and wanted to ensure profitability in the face offalling commodity prices.

KPMG’s team reviewed the current workforce in terms of conventional,mechanized and open cast mining, and, using detailed production forecasts,projected the numbers of each type of miner needed. 

We assessed the entire HR operating model, including the skills and payrollcosts, to calculate an optimum number of employees required to recruit, trainand manage the workforce.

The client was able to identify a significant reduction in its HR team, dueto an improved organizational structure and ways of working, notably a greateruse of technology in training, and more emphasis upon graduate and management development. We also recommended a special training center of excellence, to setstandards and support training across the organization.

The company now has an excellent foundation from which to build a 21stcentury workforce that can deliver its strategic goals.

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