How to avoid 5 common mining industry recruitment mistakes


Being a mining industry recruiter in a skills shortage can be intense even when things are running smoothly, so here are our tips for avoiding 5 common and costly mistakes.

Mistakes can happen in any profession, and recruitment is no exception. The question should always be, “why did the mistake happen?”

Sometimes mistakes happen because we’re new and green, or because new systems are still bedding in, or because of a miscommunication or circumstance that was beyond our control.

But, even with the best of intentions, sometimes mistakes happen because we’ve fallen into bad habits, become too comfortable, or have lost some of our passion for the job.

We’re certainly not here to criticise. We completely understand. But with the current skills shortage now five or six years deep, if there was ever a time to work on quashing these negative moments and becoming more nimble, it is now.

With fewer and fewer candidates to choose from, everyone in the industry could use a refresher on where we sometimes fall short, to help bring ourselves back up to our A game at a time of fierce competition.

So, here are our five common mistakes to try to avoid.

1) Juggling too much

Of course, it is impossible to avoid juggling many plates when the mining industry is booming and you have a long list of roles that need to be filled.

You probably can’t change the workload, but if you’re forgetting to call people back or dropping the ball due to this workload, it’s time to look at how you can export your brain into a software system (or outsource some of your work). This way, you keep juggling, but your brain isn’t so overloaded.

Think about which tasks can be automated and which can be delegated.

2) Judging too quickly

It’s all too easy to look at a CV or meet a person for a brief moment and make a call based on what’s on paper or how they come across in the first instant. Everyone does it, but we should all know better.

Particularly in a short market, we can’t afford to make quick judgements when some people aren’t great at designing CVs and others take some time to warm up to a conversation.

Investing the time is essential to making sure no superstar candidate is overlooked. After all, if you don’t make time for them, another mining company will—and that company might just get a fabulous team member out of it.

3) Becoming complacent

This is a big one for long-term staff members. Maybe your form of complacency is that you leverage your network and haven’t needed to proactively go searching for new talent in a while?

Wherever you’ve become complacent of late, it’s time to find some energy, get creative, and find new ways to search for talent. Work on your LinkedIn strategy, spend time building your pipeline of candidates, and look for new ways to network with the industry.

4) Acting superior

Obviously, you want to make sure candidates don’t walk all over you and that you maintain some control over the process, but you cannot afford to come across as cocky or as though you think you’re superior. There is an entire industry vying for every good candidate and mining jobseekers are very aware of that fact.

Be firm in your processes but be careful to treat everyone with respect and leave them with respect for you and the organisation you represent.

5) Lack of direction

Having organisations run them around in circles, unsure of when they’re looking to act, is a big turn-off for candidates. It may or may not be within your control, but if it is, make sure you have set processes that you will follow and set dates that you want to hire by. Then communicate these to the candidate.

If you aren’t sure because the business isn’t sure, tell the candidate the expected processes and turnaround times and update them as these change. Nothing says you don’t care about someone more than interviewing them, telling them you’ll call in a few days and then not updating them for weeks.

RELATED: How to streamline your recruitment process

MPI is not only a mining recruitment specialist, we also help mining companies with HR consulting to make sure they’re best equipped to handle the current candidate landscape. Whether you need help sourcing or consulting, we will be by your side.

MPI has almost 30 years’ specialist experience helping the mining industry find the best candidates across every job category. Find out more here or get in touch today.

Dan Hatch
Mining People International