The global talent shortage has affected nearly every industry, and the mining sector is no exception. Nearly three-quarters (71 percent) of mining leaders say the talent shortage is holding them back from meeting specific objectives, and 86 percent of mining executives say recruiting and retaining talent is more complicated than it has been in the past. Many factors have contributed to talent shortages in the mining industry, but one reason is that people are hesitant to move to remote locations for mining jobs. To combat this issue, it’s up to recruiters and HR reps to simplify the employee relocation process and ensure it’s worthwhile for the new hire. it’s worth the new hire’s while.
This guide breaks down some critical information and strategies for recruiters to help with employee relocation in the mining industry.
Challenges of Employee Relocation in the Mining Industry
Relocating for a mining job presents many unique challenges for employees and their families. The following are some of the most frequently cited issues employees face when during and after the relocation process:
- Fear of adapting to life in a new place, especially a traditional “mining town,” may present an environment vastly different from the one in which they currently reside.
- Fear of uprooting their entire family's lives to join a company and effectively losing the current job stability they have
- Different rotations are a big issue in mining. Some employees like 7/7, some like 14/14, while others like Monday to Friday, etc. Finding an affordable home can be dependent on locations.
- Concerns about family members adapting to life in a new place, from finding a job and making friends to settling in at a new school.
- Stress and expenses associated with the moving process, from the cost of packing and hiring movers to the time spent traveling to the new destination.
Strategies for Handling Employee Relocation
To help employees overcome the challenges listed above, it’s vital that recruiters and hiring managers have a plan in place for handling the relocation process. The following strategies will help them streamline and simplify employee relocation and ensure they’re providing adequate support.
1. Prioritize Preparation
In a perfect world, employers would realize the costs associated with acquiring new employees. They should do as much as they can to show prospective new employees they truly want them at their organization. Mike Luke, TPD’s Mining Workforce Manager, says that this could include assisting with temporary housing, giving moving company names, suggesting schools, searching for spousal or partner jobs, etc. Just five minutes of research can make a huge difference in how employees see themselves being valued.
Especially during times when new mining employees are hard to come by, recruiters must be extra careful when it comes to assisting with the move and helping them settle in.
Here are some examples of steps that employers might include in their relocation plan:
- Assemble an internal team of current employees who will assist with relocation, communication, onboarding, etc.
- Assign each team member specific tasks; for example, if you have offered to assist with finding housing, assign someone to research houses or apartments in the area.
- Review and share the relocation agreement; pay special attention to key elements, such as information about bonuses or the minimum amount of time the employee has to work for the company, to ensure everyone agrees and is on the same page.
- Provide the new employee with essential information related to the job, their responsibilities, safety training, etc., so they can start learning before they arrive.
- Provide the new employee with other important hiring documents, such as tax documents, so that they can fill them out in advance.
- Provide the new employee with a "Welcome to Your New Town" package that includes favorite schools, restaurants, points of interest, activities, etc.
2. Communicate and Provide Support
Continuous communication will make the relocation process more manageable and less stressful for everyone involved. That’s why having a team is so important; it helps to divide the amount of work one recruiter has to do and ensures that no one falls through the cracks. Recruiters should make sure new hires know which communication lines to use (email, text, etc.) and encourage them to reach out with questions at any time. If new employees feel supported during this transition, they’ll be more likely to start their job on a positive note and want to stick with it.
3. Manage Logistics and Transportation
Some of the most significant challenges associated with employee relocation have to do with the logistics of moving. Moving is stressful, especially when someone has a family or pets involved. To minimize this stress, hiring managers (or their team members) should assist with organization and planning as much as possible.
For example, recruiters can help new employees find and coordinate with a professional moving team and offer help locating places to stay along the way to their final destination.
Financial assistance can also improve the relocation experience and entice hesitant employees to take action and move for a new job. Employers should consider giving employees a stipend to put toward moving expenses or offer to cover the employee’s moving costs up to a certain amount.
4. Don’t Forget About Cultural Integration and Employee Well-Being
Beyond the logistics of relocating, many new employees will struggle with cultural integration and the mental and emotional aspects of moving to a new place. Recruiters and their team members should continue offering support after the new employee arrives. This support should include sharing information about cultural norms in the new location, answering questions about topics like schools and activities for kids, and addressing other concerns the employees and their families might have. Hiring managers should also check in with the new employee regularly to talk about how they’re acclimating to the area, what challenges, if any, they’re facing, and what kind of additional support they might need.
Employee relocation can be tricky, especially for recruiters in the mining industry. With proper planning, communication, and employee support, though, it’s possible to streamline the relocation process and ensure new employees settle into their roles as quickly as possible.
Do you need more help with recruiting mining professionals? If so, TPD has the experience and resources to assist. Contact us today to learn more.