How To Hire Mining Executives

How to hire a mining executive

The mining industry is one of a kind.  Because of this, it needs specialized leaders who have extensive knowledge of the mining process, the lifecycle of a mine, the funding process, and the promotion.  Your requirements in terms of experience, knowledge, and skill might differ from one executive role to the next, depending on what you’re looking for.  Therefore, let’s investigate the factors that must be considered when selecting mining executives.

Executives in mining need to understand the industry

Mining is a complex and capital-intensive industry with a long time horizon.  The typical mine lifecycle extends over several years, often over a decade.  Executives in the mining industry need to take a long view, understanding the risks and opportunities that come with such a timeline.  They also need to be comfortable with the inherent uncertainty in an industry where commodity prices can fluctuate wildly and where projects can be delayed or canceled due to changes in regulation or other factors.

Mining executives also need to be familiar with the financing process for mining projects.  Mining is a capital-intensive industry, and most projects require a significant upfront investment.  This can be a challenge for mining companies, as they often need to raise capital from various sources, including equity investors, debt markets, and government agencies.

Finally, mining executives need to be able to promote their projects effectively.  Mining is a competitive industry, and companies need to stand out to attract potential investors’ attention.  This requires a deep understanding of the market and the ability to articulate a clear value proposition.

Understand Their Role in Your Business

When hiring a mining executive, it is important to understand what role they will play in your company. There are a variety of executive roles in the mining industry, each with its own set of skills and experience requirements.

The most common roles include:

  • CEOs: responsible for the overall strategy and performance of the company
  • CFOs: responsible for the financial planning and management of the company
  • COOs: responsible for the operational planning and execution of the company
  • VPs of Exploration: responsible for the identification and evaluation of new projects
  • VPs of Development: responsible for overseeing the development of new projects

Establishing the responsibilities of the roles currently in your business and understanding your knowledge gaps will help you find the best addition to your team.  I suggest your leadership team explore questions such as:

  • What will they be responsible for?
  • What will they be measured on?
  • Who will they report too?
  • What would success in their first three months look like?
  • What would success look like after their first year?
  • Where do they need to be located?
  • What experience should they have? Open pit? Underground?
  • What country/regional experience do they need?
  • Is there anything a candidate in that role would have that would make them an immediate no or a less valid candidate?

Taking the time to do this as a team will reduce bias in your selection and help your search team and executive search consultants find better candidates faster.

lorry in mining tunnel

Where to find your next mining executive

Companies interested in hiring mining executives have a few options available to them.  Utilizing the services of an executive search firm is the choice that is most frequently made.  Executive search firms are companies that specialize in the process of locating and recruiting executives for various types of businesses.  They have an in-depth knowledge of the market and can assist you in finding candidates with the appropriate experience and skills.

Get recommendations from people already on your team.  If you already have a job description written up, you should share it with your leadership so that they can see if they can recommend someone they have worked with in the past or who they know.

Utilizing online job boards is yet another alternative.  Reaching out to many potential candidates in this manner can be an efficient use of resources.  On the other hand, sorting through the dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of resumes you might receive can be difficult, and it does not reach the market for passively held jobs.  The passive candidate pool typically includes the most talented people in your industry because these individuals do not need to look for work, and headhunters frequently approach them.

Last but not least, you could also work with executive recruiters.  Recruiters are comparable to executive search firms; however, they typically operate on a contingency fee basis.  Recruiters allow you to improve the promotion of your opening so that it is viewed by more people in a shorter amount of time, and they also sift through applications on your behalf, but their focus tends to be on professionals currently looking for new employment opportunities.

Working with executive search to find top talent

Executive search firms can be a valuable resource when it comes to hire mining executives. They have extensive networks and relationships within the mining industry and they understand the unique skills and experience that mining leaders need to be successful.

If you are looking to hire in the mining space and need help, please contact me.  I’m Robert Travis, and for more than 25 years I’ve been a Managing Partner at Boyden. If you want, I can put you in touch with the most qualified executive search consultant in the business, or I can help you put together a team of consultants to help you meet your specific regional or international needs for a global mining executive search.

Want to learn more about what an executive search firm does?

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