MINING INDABA: Discovering the staffing issues facing mining companies in Africa

Although a visitor to Indaba previously, this was my first real involvement as an exhibitor and it certainly met all expectations – to be part of the “bigger” picture was certainly a privilege!  One of the biggest issues that seemed to come out of all the meetings we attended was the question “How do I get the right mix of people on my site and how do I keep them there?”

I came to realise that many mining companies were not really aware of the challenges facing them with regards to visa applications, staffing, retention, cultural fit etc.  Being African and having worked with several different countries within the continent, I felt that this was an area where I could really make a difference!  Governments need to be made aware that the mining companies operating within their country are not there to exploit their resources – but rather enrich the people through job creation, training & education, community service and environmental awareness.    This is done through a positive and aggressive labour plan which starts off with perhaps 60% expatriate staff and 40% national staff – the goal is to bring that down to 10% expatriate and 90% national staff within a 2 year period

The next challenge of course is to keep that ratio consistent and really the only way to do so is with a solid performance management policy – speak to your people, show them the opportunity that your company can present to them.  We all need to know there is light at the end of the tunnel and by setting goals for your workforce that they can see will materialise, you’re assured of their loyalty.  Again, with the talent & experience we have retained in our consultants, this is something that Globe is ideally equipped to manage.

I look forward to follow up meetings with all the interesting people we met at Indaba and even more so, I look forward to helping out with the critical issues of staffing.

— Lisa Paluzzi, Recruitment Consultant, South Africa

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