Innovate to Entice a New Generation into the WorkforceWed, 10/16/2019 - 17:17
Widening the talent pool for the mining industry is all about making it sexier to a new workforce, says Victoria Moreno, Founder and Executive Partner at Viarmosa International, which specializes in finding the right talent to fill senior positions for Canadian companies in Mexico. “New generations have an old-fashioned idea of mining but if we could give them the opportunity to visit modern mines and experience some of the industry’s training programs, we could change their minds,” she says.
Enticing young professionals into mining requires a different approach, Moreno adds. “One of the major commitments of the industry is to introduce innovations to become more appealing to new generations.” For example, regarding the exploration phase of mining, data analysis innovations are ever more abundant. “These are booming in the industry because they make it easier to find better resources and require more specialized people,” she explains.
Innovations in mining are not limited to the operational area; these have also permeated the management of its human capital. “Paper CVs are gone. Talent and job platforms have really shifted the ways in which the industry can find the best people from all over the world,” Moreno says. “If you are interested in starting a career in the industry, go ahead and open a LinkedIn account and start connecting with as many people as you can.”
But while LinkedIn has been particularly useful for Viarmosa International in finding the right talent, the company employs what it sees as a much more effective tool. “Networking is the key. Mining is a really small industry, so everything about its talent will come to us through networking,” she says. “Hence, reputation is crucial. Mining peers will identify who is a good or bad professional.”
Viarmosa International itself has a proven reputation in the Mexican mining industry, which is invaluable, says Moreno. “We have worked with Agnico Eagle, Endeavour Silver, Leagold, First Majestic, Pan American Silver and Aura Minerals, just to name a few. When you have a good reputation, your clients will talk about you and your success and they will recommend you.” The company has partners located in Vancouver, Miami, Durango and Toronto. “We support Canadian companies working all across North America. It is due to our partnership with them that we expanded to the US as well,” she adds.
All these companies have different projects and hence, different talent needs. Moreno says that personalized service is the element that really adds value when trying to match the right talent to a client’s needs. “It is very important for me to go and meet with my clients personally to understand their demands and the targets that they have for the talent they seek to hire.”
For example, Moreno explains that while some client looks to move people to areas where they can be close to their families in order to keep them together, others prefer to have its people living close to the mine to build a sense of community. “Every client and each company’s culture are totally different, so we work directly with them to have a close connection that will enable us to better meet their needs.”
Regarding the cost-benefit relation the company can offer, price flexibility is atop its competitivity strategy. “We can work with payment flexibility as what matters the most to us is to create a relationship with them,” Moreno says. Its business contracts are simple: the client comes to the company with a talent need and Viarmosa International submits a contingency contract that establishes that Viarmosa will present the best three candidates to the client and charge it 18-20 percent of the yearly salary of the person eventually hired.
To avoid this, Viarmosa International relies on talent mapping as a tool for designing high-performance teams that can stay together. The latter considers language proficiency, job requirements and personality traits. “Personality is key. We must make sure to create teams whose personalities can work in harmony and even become a family eventually. Career goals are also a top flag when evaluating if a given individual is right for a given job,” Moreno says.