Diversity - Values based Recruitment
To improve diversity within the operator workforce, Iluka’s Narngulu Operations Manager, Stuart Forrester, developed a values-based recruitment initiative at the company’s Narngulu site, near Geraldton in Western Australia.
After identifying that he spent 80 per cent of his time on 20 per cent of his staff as a result of behavioural issues, Stuart concluded this was a result of a misalignment of core values.
It was determined that investing in skills training for individuals is less time consuming than attempting to alter a person’s core values and resulting behaviours, which are often deeply entrenched within a person’s core identity. Although behaviours can be modified, this requires significant time.
In order to build a workforce with more appropriate values and behaviours, Stuart liaised with the company's Human Resources department to alter the recruitment model and job criteria for position openings.
This approach fundamentally transformed the way the company approached recruitment at Narngulu, which now aims to attract people with suitable values and behaviours, including more women and indigenous employees.
The approach comprised revising job criteria to attract applicants that did not necessarily have mining experience. The interview process was also modified to include questions that explored applicants’ commitment, integrity and responsibility, which are Iluka’s core values.
While less skilled workers have been employed under the new approach, Stuart implemented a process which incorporates accelerated training programmes to meet the needs of new recruits who display the appropriate values and behaviours, but who require additional training to perform their duties.
Success of the values-based recruitment approach was reflected in one way by the number of women in production crews at Narngulu increasing from zero to 20 per cent of the workforce.
Instead of one demographic profile, with similar backgrounds reinforcing certain consistent behaviours, Iluka’s Narngulu operation now employs male, female and indigenous employees of different ages and from various backgrounds. Although new recruits have mixed experience, behaviour standards are now considered much higher.
As well as success in improving diversity at the site, the values-based recruitment approach has had other benefits, which include:
- within 12 months of implementation record productions levels were achieved;
- a substantial lift in employee engagement was evident, with surveys indicating an increase from 48 per cent in 2012 to 86 per cent in 2014, relative to a mining industry average of 38 per cent; and
- improvement in the safety culture with total recordable injury frequency rate reducing from 42.0 in 2009 to 4.2 in 2014.