The Northern Miner, Monday, October 13, 2008
Commentary: Economic turmoil: a headhunter’s perspective
By Andrew Pollard
Special To The Northern Miner
As an executive recruiter within the mining industry, I have experienced a very troubling phenomenon over the last four months or so: my phone has been ringing off the hook.
Who’s calling, you ask? Well, if you are at the helm of a resource company, it’s a relatively safe bet that one of your employees is on the other end.
With investment in the sector down markedly from 2007 (albeit a record year), many junior and mid-sized resource companies have more than begun to feel the pinch. Some have scaled back exploration programs, others have deferred implementing new directives or sold off assets, and some extremely hard-hit companies have taken the drastic measure of cutting their overhead by letting some key employees go.
There are, however, a few who have weathered these turbulent times historically and are able to use the current climate to their advantage. Good or bad economy, these employers realize that the difference between making things happen in the marketplace and fading into oblivion is talent.
So they focus their efforts on maintaining their core group of leaders and, in some cases, bolstering their team by cherry picking the high-calibre people that are now readily available and very receptive to offers.
What can you do to ensure your company will weather the current storm?
As is often the case, fear has a way of perpetuating itself. Your employees read the newspapers and watch TV, and though there may be absolutely no cause for concern at your company, many get tricked into believing the sky is falling.
Regardless of the state you find your company in now, it can always get worse, with those whom you have come to rely on most leaving to seek greener pastures. By being open, quelling concerns before they arise and displaying how much you value the contribution of your employees, you stand to significantly reduce the risks of this happening.
Of course, this is just a suggestion, as I relish having those people, who at one time wouldn’t take my call, now actively coming to me — and so do my clients.
–Andrew Pollard is president of The Mining Recruitment Group, a Vancouver-based boutique executive search firm focused on the unique needs of the mining industry.