With strong mining market confidence and many new mining projects on the horizon, PeopleStart has become a core partner with several mining companies to provide comprehensive labour market salary analysis for detailed feasibility studies and also preliminary HR plans to ensure businesses are ready to meet the current labour market challenges.

PeopleStart recently partnered with an innovative small cap mining company to do just this as it moved from exploration to production. Read how we gave the company the confidence to move forward with its project by providing a thorough understanding of its projected labour costs and what would be required to attract the necessary skilled workers.

1. Labour market salary analysis

PeopleStart provided a detailed labour market salary analysis to the client to enable them to make key strategic decisions and understand the full cost of labour for the project.

This included:

  • Roster options and impact: Reviewing the labour market and providing key data on a range of roster options and how that would impact the project both in terms of logistics costs and attracting skilled staff.
  • Salary costs: Preparation of a schedule of annual salaries (average, 50th, 75th, 100th percentile) for all operations staff based on different roster options and plant locations, including overhead and recruitment costs.
  • Market analysis: Detailed analysis on the availability of technical skills (labour) within the area and information on other project labour i.e. live locally, DIDO, FIFO, relocations offered etc.
  • Accommodation: Detailed analysis on the cost of relocating staff to the area of the plant and supplying accommodation offsite at several different locations.
  • Point of hire: Analysis on the cost differences between different points of hire across Australia.
  • Personnel logistics: Provision of a cost analysis on expected personnel logistics costs (flights, buses etc.) by breaking down labour into point of hire based on roles and strong understanding of the current labour market.
  • Expenses: Break down of costs involved with meals, other ad-hoc accommodation, relocations, mobilisation / demobilisation, potential labour hire and recruitment costs.
  • Benefits: Analysis of current and expected employee benefits that will be offered to attract skilled staff.
  • Competitor information: Detailed information on how competitors are attracting skilled labour, salary costs, benefits, rosters etc.
  • Turnover: Provided detailed information on current turnover trends and projected costs to the business.

2. Development of human resource management plan

PeopleStart was tasked with the development of a detailed HR Plan that would ensure best practice HR management of operations staff including recruitment, onboarding and strategic employee engagement as well as retention initiatives.

This included:

  • Workforce planning – How the workforce would be recruited and managed, comments on the workforce requirements, interfaces for the project and a foundation for which recruiting can be measured and controlled (owner’s team, contractors and subcontractors).
  • Recruitment plan – A guide to the recruitment strategy and approach, local content availability and competencies.
  • Employee / industrial relations strategy.
  • Industrial relations management plan – For the organisation, contractors and subcontractors.
  • Retention plan – To ensure a stable and skilled workforce in a tightening job market.
  • Staff on-boarding processes and procedures.
  • Performance management plan – To ensure proper PM processes, the tracking of staff progress and development and legal protection.
  • Training and development outline – Requirements for the training and competency with the plant, processes and systems.
  • Organisational development; – Development of a plan to develop an integrated high performance project team.
  • Organisational charts and levels.
  • Position descriptions – Detailed position descriptions with KPIs (key performance indicators) for all roles and responsibilities.
  • Team building and employee engagement plan.
  • Site conditions – Provide details on site conditions and management.
  • Communication plan.

The outcome

The client was amazed by the detailed information provided by PeopleStart which provided salary comparison against 10,000s of mining employees. Several of the businesses PeopleStart obtained data from were major labour area competitors for the client.

The salary information provided by PeopleStart in comparison to an earlier feasibility study done by an engineering firm showed that labour costs would be DOUBLE than what was previously projected. This had a significant impact on the client’s financial forecasting and capital raising requirements.

This more accurate projection was due to PeopleStart’s extensive knowledge of the industry and up-to-date salary information. This information was key in the executive team understanding the REAL project costs and where there were opportunities for ‘blow outs’ or unexpected recruitment or turnover costs.

The ability for PeopleStart to breakdown costs based on plant location, point of hire and role, better enabled key strategic decision making by the executive team.

In addition, the HR Plan gave the business confidence to tackle the challenging labour market and attract skilled people, and the exiting journey from explorer to producer starts for our client in Q1 2019.