How important is salary to mining job seekers.

man with binoculars

What do people want when they're looking for a new mining job? Our poll results might surprise you.

A new year brings opportunity to stop, take stock and think about our lives. We wrote about this in our annual “Reflect Recharge Restart” article in November.

For many people, that means starting to search for a new job.

In August 2016 we asked people looking for work in Australia’s mining industry what their biggest priority was when searching for a new job in the industry. Given the outlook for mining has changed so much over the past 18 months, we ran a new poll in January this year to ask the same question.

This time we received 335 votes. Here’s the poll result:

Question: What takes priority when you’re searching for your next mining job opportunity?

Salary 53 votes 15.77%
Career Development 127 votes 37.80%
Work/life balance 136 votes 40.48%
Other priority 19 votes 5.65%

Only 15.8% of people regarded salary as their top priority. But to put this another way, 84% of people rated non–salary factors – like lifestyle or career progression – as their priority when searching for their next job.

So, has this changed as the market has opened up for jobseekers since mid 2016?

Back then our media site was new and we were in a slower jobseeker market, however we still received 199 votes as follows:

Salary   48 votes 24.12%
Career development      57 votes 28.64%
Work/life balance 94 votes 47.24%

This tells us only 24% of people rated salary as their top priority. Again, to put it another way, 76% of people rated non–salary factors as their priority when searching for their next job.  

Now polls can be problematic, with bias introduced through issues like timing, the exact audience profile, and so on. But what we know is we asked exactly the same question, offered the same options and placed the poll on the same website. And, in short, the comparison suggests not a lot has changed!

The poll result continues to show jobseekers prioritise other factors ahead of money when it comes to a rewarding job in the mining industry. 

Keep up-to-date with mining industry salary trends

Interestingly we ran another poll in September 2016 which revealed only 16% of people would not be willing to take a pay cut if it meant their mine site would stay open. The others voted either ‘yes’ (56%) or ‘maybe’ (28%).

To anyone responsible for hiring or managing (that is, retaining) employees, it seems there is a clear message: Yes, you need to stay up-to-date with mining industry salary trends. This is something MPi can help you with via our dedicated Remuneration and Wage rate research service, but also, as pressure comes on to access specialised people, you have to ensure your salaries are reviewed in the context of all the other things employees look for in a job:

Look at all these things, along with salary as a complete “package” and you’ll likely create a better place to stay than just throwing more cash at people.

If you have a question or wish to submit a topic for discussion, please email the team.

Please vote in our latest mining industry poll

Take part here.

Third party commissioned research

If you are looking for deep insights into the mining markets and would like MPi to conduct some targeted industry research on your behalf then please email us.

Steve Heather signature
Steve Heather – BAppSc (Mining Engineering) WASM, FRCSA

Managing Director & Principal Executive Search - Mining People International (MPi)

Fellow/National Board Member – Recruitment, Consulting & Staffing Association Aust. & N.Z. (RCSA)

[email protected]