Working in the mining industry requires a huge amount of trust. You need to trust that the bloke next to you won’t cause you serious injury. You need to trust that the mine operators have some idea of what’s needed from them. That’s why I value trust above all else when it comes to adding people onto my books. I need to trust you as a person that you will turn up every day and do the job that’s being asked of you. There are a few simple processes that I have developed over the years for evaluating the right people who work for me and knowing who to trust.
It’s about Your Reputation
The mining industry is really very small, and the chances are, if I get an application from someone, I’m going to have a few contacts they’ve previously worked with. Even if my company doesn’t work with them directly, I’ve been working in mines since I was 18, and the fact is I’ll be connected via Facebook or LinkedIn with one of their former supervisors. It takes me less than five minutes to know if someone is worth working with or not. If you have a reputation that is less than favourable, you won’t hear from me at all.
It’s about the Conversation
One of the first things I do when I’m considering bringing someone on board is to have a 30-minute plus conversation with them. I’m not talking about an interview, I’ve already seen their resume so I’ll already know if they have the skills needed for the job. The conversation I have with them is simply about me getting to know them as a person, how they think about situations, who their family is, what their goals in life are, and their plans for the future. If the applicant can carry a decent conversation – if they can share things and be open and trusting – then I can make space for them in my business. If they can’t, then I’ll pass on their application, no matter how good their skill sets are.
It’s about Your Transferable Skills
There are a lot of people who want to get into the mining industry, be it for the promise of easy money or because they’re interested in a career change. If an applicant has made it through my reputation and conversation tests, and they haven’t got any specific industry experience, then I look for their transferable skills. If someone has worked on a road crew and they’ve operated heavy machinery, then I know they can access that skill set on a mine. I can trust that they’ll know what they’re doing when they get into the job.
Trust is the one asset that someone can’t teach you, but it is the most important one you need, in life and the job. And it’s one that I value above everything else in my industry.