Diversity, equity, and inclusion is a strategic priority for leaders in the mining industry, and there is no disputing the business case for it. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects that by 2029, more than half the current US mining workforce will be retired (approximately 221,000 workers) creating a significant skill and knowledge gap. Let’s look at gender diversity alone, women make up only 16% of the industry workforce, and if this imbalance continues it significantly reduces the talent pool likely to replace those retirees. Company values are increasingly important to potential employees, post COVID-19, 59% of employees are either changing or looking to change jobs to work with a company whose values align with their own. There is a clear need to incorporate diversity and inclusion measures throughout all aspects of business, and with mining conference season around the corner now is a great time to start the conversation. Visit TPD at PDAC and VRIC to discuss how you can build a more diverse and inclusive workforce.
- Build diversity into your hiring strategy
Attracting diverse talent to your mining company must be a strategic process. The first step is to outline your hiring goals. This includes the number of people you want to hire, what positions you want to hire for, what skillset you’re looking for and your diversity objectives. Once you’ve established your hiring goals, it’s time to plan how you will to reach your target candidates, leveraging niche job boards, social media, and employee referrals, especially from team members who belong to a minority group.
Throughout the process it’s crucial to have a strong employer brand that showcases the diversity within your company. Do an audit of your company’s website and social media to review whether the images and language truly reflects the diversity of your team or that which you hope to achieve. Not happy with what you’re seeing? It’s likely time for an update.
- Ensure your job posting speaks to a diverse audience
A job ad is a marketing tool. In addition to being informational, it needs to be compelling. It needs to speak to the candidates you’re looking to attract and make them want to join your team. It needs to tell a story – and it needs to do it quickly.
Be mindful about how the language on your job ad can turn off some candidates. For example, research shows that words like “aggressive” and “decisive” that are associated with masculine stereotypes reduce the number of female applicants. This is especially important to consider in the mining industry, where there may be a perception that positions in this space are geared more towards male applicants.
- Conduct inclusive interviews
Here are some job interview quick tips:
Have a structured conversation - Research shows that organizations that don’t use a standardized interview process are five times more likely to make a bad hire. The structure, flow, questions and post-interview evaluation rubric should be the same (or, at least, very similar) for each candidate.
Come to the interview prepared - Prior to the interview, make sure you have a strong grasp on what the role is – its duties, goals, impact on the organization, etc. Be ready to talk about your company, its culture and why it’s a great place to work. This is a perfect opportunity to showcase your organization’s commitment to diversity and inclusion!
Use a variety of questions, and be mindful of the language - Bring out the behavioral and culture fit interview questions. With these questions, you’re looking for real-world examples about how a candidate has handled different work challenges and tasks – and whether their approach aligns with your organization’s culture and values. Just as job postings require mindful language to appeal to a more diverse candidate pool, the same applies to interview questions. Keep in mind that not all applicants will have had similar life experiences, so you’ll want to take this into consideration when creating interview questions and evaluating responses. It’s important to know that there are plenty of illegal interview questions – such as those about nationality, religion, marital status and many more – so be sure to stay focused on topics relevant to the job.
- Make a compelling job offer
Here are some best practices to keep in mind while making a job offer:
Put together a competitive package: Exceptional candidates understand their value. The compensation and benefits package that you pitch when you make an offer needs to reflect that value. Even candidates who are motivated by mission, culture and values care about what’s in it for them, so you’ll want to aim to be the best of both worlds.
Don’t delay: Once you’ve selected your top candidate (or candidates, if hiring multiple people for a role or project), make the offer as soon as possible. This shows the candidate that you’re enthusiastic. Any undue delay could result in you losing the candidate to a competitor.
Call the candidate: Make the initial job offer via a phone call. Tell them why they stood out amongst all the applicants. Be prepared to provide details about title and duties, compensation, a potential start date, etc.
Give them time to think: Candidates may request a bit of time to think about the offer. That’s OK. Still, provide them with a hiring timeline. (For example: “We’re hoping to fill the role within the next three days.”)
Follow up in writing: Soon after the job offer call, put all of the details into an email and send it to the candidate. This will give them a chance to review the offer.
- Ensure your onboarding process supports diversity and inclusion
Having a strong employee onboarding program is crucial for setting the employee up for success and for retention. That entails more than just having a new employee fill out paperwork and review the company handbook. A good onboarding program brings a new employee into the fold. It communicates a diverse and inclusive company culture and values. It lays the groundwork for professional and social connections between the new employee and the existing team. And it sets short-term and longer-term goals for the employee.
Are you hiring for positions in the mining industry? TPD provides a Total Workforce Solution that supports organizations like yours with flexible, scalable, diverse talent options aimed at optimizing your return on investment and reducing your liability. We have deep expertise in the mining industry, and extensive experience with diversity and inclusion initiatives.