Smart HR Management Key to Weathering Resources' Sector-Perfect Storm

Successful recruitment and staff retention has become more vital to the success to resources sector operators than ever before, the recent HR Leaders Resources Summit on the Gold Coast was told.

Speakers from several major national and multinational businesses told the audience how they were navigating through the perfect storm of long standing skills shortages combined with the current tough market economics.

Getting the right people, with the right skills, in the right place has always been a major challenge for the sector, but lower commodity prices and a high Aussie dollar have piled further pressure on operating costs.

"Delivering a workforce to meet operational requirements in such a competitive environment is challenging! was the verdict of Keith Wilkinson, General Manager of People & Culture at Origin Energy, which employs a workforce of 5,500 and has an additional 1,750 contractors.

"You have to be smart and think long term. Developing talent communities of prospective candidates is crucial to managing business needs and keeping time to hire at a minimum," he explained.

He outlined the key strategies employed by Origin to recruit and retain their workforce at the summit. These include:

  • Identifying the key skill groups with a focus on criticality and scarcity
  • Engaging "passive" candidates by sharing information around current developments, thought leadership and organizational culture
  • Managing skill shortage by keeping in touch with losses

These strategies are being put to the ultimate test in Queensland where Origin is in direct competition with two other major projects, GLNG (Santos/Petronas) and QCLNG (QGC/BG) to secure a workforce for its Coal Seam Gas to Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) operation, also known as APLNG, with the plants all being built on Curtis Island near Gladstone.


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