Is getting a mining job ‘who you know, not what you know’?

Dump truck on minesite

Does who you know in the mining industry outweigh what you know? We look at this age-old adage and whether it's still relevant in the workforce today.

The old saying that when it comes to getting a job, “it’s not what you know; it’s who you know”, is often repeated.

But does that ring true in an era of LinkedIn profiles? And is that really the case in mining, when the Australian mining industry is thriving and scooping up the best talent it can find?

Let’s find out.

What you know beats who you know

If you ask American entrepreneur and author Auren Hoffman what he thinks of “what you know versus who you know”, he’d argue that “what you know” absolutely beats “who you know”.

Hoffman reckons that while “who you know” mattered in the past, these days social media has democratised access to the kind of insider knowledge the old networking system relied on.

He said while having a large network will always be important, “weak ties” (a person’s network beyond the first 50 closest friends) are much less important today than they were in the past.

“Young people should focus on understanding. Understanding beats networking. Knowledge beats weak ties,” he said.

Beating the old boy’s network

But it’s not just social media that’s breaking down the iron grip of “the old boy’s network” when it comes to finding a job.

Consider the example of Mining People. Mining People was created precisely to bridge that knowledge gap — to give good candidates for mining jobs advice, industry insight and resources, to help them make connections and secure employment opportunities.

FURTHER READING: What makes a good recruiter?

In other words, by using a specialist mining industry recruiter, you get access to the networks of the entire team.

Recruiters take the time to get to know you, so they can present you to employers as a whole person: someone who would fit into the employer’s team because of both your personality and your skills.

To be considered for unlisted jobs, make sure to register with us so we have your details on file.

Dan Hatch
Mining People International