M2E’s overview on mining recruitment and opportunities: overcoming the talent gap
Mismatches are everywhere: although highly skilled and highly mobile labor is available worldwide thanks to advances in technological networking, high unemployment rates persist in the US and in Europe, especially among the young. Many tasks can be handled remotely or outsourced, and Chinese professionals can visit job Fairs in Germany or vice versa. However, attracting talented workforce within certain industries is a major challenge: emerging economies are increasing demand for natural resources, putting industrial growth at the top of the agenda. But industries such as mining, for example, are short on the talent to make it happen. Approximately 40% of the worldwide resource extraction industry’s manpower is at least 50-55 years old, and one third is expected to retire by 2022. This is not a new tendency. Mining has lost its youth appeal, as young engineers have become scarcer, and specialist knowledge and expertise have become even harder to come by.
The sector is beginning to recruit applicants who can be trained on the job, up-skilling and recruiting from underemployed groups and bringing in relevant skillsets where they’re requested. In order to ensure the resources required and to satisfy clients demands, recruitment activity has become an international business and an effective global research a necessity for clients.
The capability to tackle this issue is clearly not only related to mining. The ability to hire, grow and retain talent in developing economies has become a major point of competitive differentiation among most Western companies as well as in the rest of the world. It has never been so evident that talent shortages and mismatches are seen as major threats to business – potentially resulting in negative impact on profitability and the inability to pursue market opportunities or strategic initiatives as well as the company’s ability to innovate effectively. In industries where businesses compete for highly talented people and talent constraints have impacted costs and caused lost opportunities, restructuring measures to specifically fill the talent gap must be considered a priority. Quoting one of the top Ceo’s in the mining sector: “The greatest challenge for growth is recruiting the right people to manage operations”. Moreover another top player of another Mining Corporation underlines that “there are fewer mining schools and mining engineers even if there’s more and more demand for them”. How come jobless rates persist and in some sectors there is shortage of manpower? Something must be wrong with the system.
Across different industries, with different requirements, and varying appeals, skill gaps remain. Considering talent management as a long-term strategic issue is essential to overcome this gap and to be prepared for future challenges and opportunities.