Hiring senior-level talent is a challenge, no matter what industry you’re in—you need the best and brightest at the uppermost levels to steer your firm in the right direction. You’re seeking individuals with great track records and years of experience, plus the know-how and skills to lead your operations.
Mining and natural resources companies have it especially tough when it comes to finding senior-level talent. Not only is there a small pool of qualified candidates, but there’s plenty of competition, both at home and abroad. It might leave you wondering just how mining companies can find and hire the senior-level talent they need.
The International Market
Mining is big business around the world, from the diamond mines of South Africa to mines in Chile and Peru, to operations in Russia and Australia. Here in Canada, there are plenty of mining operations; Alberta, Manitoba, BC, and Ontario are all growing their mining industries. As resources become more accessible in the Far North, mining operations in the Northwest Territories are also becoming more common.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Canada is home to quite a few mining companies. More surprising is just how international Canada’s mining scene is: Many companies are headquartered in Canada but also operate overseas, such as in Central and South America and in Africa.
Canadian companies aren’t alone in other markets, nor are they the only ones operating at home in Canada either. Major multinational companies compete with Canadian companies in many places, including in Canada.
With mining companies operating in close quarters across the globe, it’s little wonder Canadian companies and other major multinationals end up competing for the same candidates when it comes to filling senior-level positions. Despite the number of companies and mining operations, there’s still a relatively small pool of candidates who are qualified for these senior-level positions.
It’s a hiring manager’s worst nightmare in many ways: There’s fierce competition from other, sometimes giant corporations, for a very small pool of people to fill important roles within the company. This is the situation every mining company faces—especially those on the international scene.
A Well-Kept Secret
When it comes to hiring senior-level talent, plenty of people talk about headhunting and passive candidates; CEOs are often courted by companies in search of a new head honcho, for example. And while there’s certainly some mining companies wooing passive candidates for senior-level positions in their companies, they also have another trick up their sleeve.
Many international mining companies are turning to specialized recruiters who have deep knowledge of the mining industry. In many cases, these are technical recruiters who have a lot of experience hiring for specialized jobs in a variety of fields, such as engineering and, yes, the mining industry.
Since these recruiters have worked with many companies in the industry—and many people within it as well—they have a good understanding of the industry and its needs, as well as an in-depth understanding of the companies they’re working with as well. Their experience has enabled them to build a wide network of contacts within the industry, which helps them in getting the word out when your firm needs to hire.
What to Look For
Not every recruiting agency has such a specialty; indeed, they’re few and far between. While there are plenty of agencies hiring for positions in the mining industry, relatively few of them have the experience, knowledge, and network necessary to hire for the uppermost positions in your company.
Look for a recruiting agency with a focus on finding and hiring senior-level talent for the mining industry. It’s how other international mining companies are finding the talent they need.