HRMT20024 Managing Human Resources 7

HRMT20024 Managing Human Resources 7

HRMT20024 Managing Human Resources 7


Essay On Attracting And Retaining Staff

Assessment Task

There are two choices for Essay 3 – the mining sector, or the banking/financial services sector.

You will write an essay on the key challenges in attracting and retaining a workforce in your selected sector.

Your essay will draw on the academic literature (including the annotated bibliography you developed for Assessment 2), and develop an argument applying that literature to your selected sector.


The competition between corporations in all industries has increased at a global stage. Organisations focus on generating a competitive advantage in the market to effectively tackle the issue of growing competition. There are various factors which provide a competitive advantage to corporations such as effective leadership, cost management, efficient supply chain management, and others. Attraction and retention of talented staff members also enable companies in ensuring that they gain a competitive advantage over their competitors (Sokro, 2012). In the case of the mining sector, a high attrition rate resulted in adversely affecting the performance and profitability of companies. There is direct connection between attraction and retention of staff members and productivity of the company. However, there are various challenges faced by the human resource management department of mining companies while attracting and retaining talented staff members (Syed & Kramar, 2017). This essay will evaluate the role of attraction and retention of staff members in promoting the performance of a company. A wide range of literatures will be analysed in this essay in order to provide evidence on this topic. The purpose of this essay will is to identify the key challenges faced by the HR department in mining companies while attracting and retaining a workplace. Lastly, recommendations will be given for mining corporations to address this issue which will help them in improving their productivity and performance.

The performance of a company is directly linked with the performance of its employees. In case an enterprise is not able to hire and retain talented staff members in the company, then it becomes difficult for it to achieve its targets. A company cannot operate efficiently without a workforce which is dedicated to achieve its common objectives. In the case of mining sector, the reliance of organisations on the performance of employees is high which makes it relevant for them to ensure that they hire right people at the right posts (Ashiedu & Scott-Ladd, 2012). The number of workers in the mining companies is high and the corporations rely on the skills and knowledge of their employees in order to achieve their objectives. The top and middle-level management cannot handle the operations of the company effectively if they did not have support from the lower level employees. Moreover, only hiring and retention of employees is not necessary for the mining companies. They have to ensure that they hire employees who possess appropriate skills and knowledge which are required to perform the job. The tasks in mining sector required a certain level of skills in employees to ensure that they discharge their duties efficiently and effectively (Becker & Soosay, 2013). Moreover, these skills and knowledge improve through time; therefore, the demand for talented employees in this sector is considerably high.HRMT20024 Managing Human Resources 7

Organisations pay high salary options to experience employees working in other companies which make it difficult for them to retain them for a longer period. As the technological advancements continue to disrupt the mining sector, the importance of attraction and retention of staff members increase among companies (McDonald & Young, 2012). Organisations try to find those individuals who have knowledge and skills to effectively use tools and technologies which are crucial to efficiently perform the tasks in the company. The competition is fierce between mining corporations, especially in the case of Australia, with major domestic and international players operating in the industry such as BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Anglo American, Exxon Mobil, and others. Therefore, generating a competitive advantage is crucial for these companies to ensure that they stay relevant in the ever-changing industry which creates new threats and challenges for them. In this context, implementation of policies to attract and retain a workforce which is highly talented and skills is significant for companies. However, while implementing these policies, the companies face many challenges which make it difficult for them to attract and retain a strong workforce which is sustained to achieve common organisations goals (Vojnovic, Michelson, Jackson & Bahn, 2014). There are key drivers which will shape the future of work in the mining sector which include technology shift, generation shift, and career shift. Based on these elements, the challenges for corporations have increased, and they are expected to address them in order to sustain their growth in the market.

One of the key challenges faced by the HR department in the mining sector is lack of career development opportunities offered to the employees which makes it difficult for them to attract employees. A survey conducted by Seek regarding the Law of Attraction in 2012 which was conducted on the Mining, Resources and Energy industries provided that lack of career development opportunities is a major reason due to which people did not prefer to work in these sectors (Employment Office, 2013). Many times, the employees working in mines feel that they are ‘just another number’ in a larger scale employer. They knew that they will have to continue to work in the mines for a long period of time at a minimum wage. There is also a threat of safety of worker who works in these mines. They knew that they will not likely to become a part of the middle or top level management of the company. The mining companies are also unable to offer better career growth opportunities for their employees which make it difficult for the HR department to attract new employees (Syed & Kramar, 2017). This is especially the case of smaller companies which did not have resources to ensure that they are able to offer better career growth opportunities to their employees (Mayes & Pini, 2014). These factors resulted in demotivating the current employees in the company. The hierarchy of needs theory provided by Abraham Maslow can be used in order to understand this issue. HRMT20024 Managing Human Resources 7

This theory categorised the psychological needs of employees into five categorised which include physiological needs, safety needs, social needs, esteem needs, and self-actualisation needs. As per this theory, an employee cannot become motivated by upper needs if the basic needs are not fulfilled. For example, if the psychological needs of employees are not fulfilled, then the employees cannot be motivated through social or esteem needs (Cao et al., 2013). Similarly, after fulfilment of basic needs of an employee, same needs cannot be used in order to motivate the employee again. For example, after fulfilment of safety and psychological needs, the employees cannot be motived by them. Similarly, in the case of the mining sector, the employees become demotivated after fulfilment of their psychological and safety needs after which their productivity reduces, and they are not able to motivate through similar needs. Therefore, the HR department finds it difficult to ensure that they attract talented employees in the company. In case they are able to hire qualified employees, then they find it difficult to retain them in the company due to lack of availability of career development opportunities (Syed & Kramar, 2017). Another issue with the mining industry is that it has a reputation for providing negative working environment to employees. Most companies are not able to offer appropriate health policies to their employees to ensure that they remain safe during the work (Franks, 2012). For example, in Australia 58 people died in mining sector in 2018 due to lack of safety policies implemented by the corporations till August and this number is expected to grow further (Dludla, 2018). HRMT20024 Managing Human Resources 7

The job location is another major challenge faced by the HR department in mining companies as well. The mines in which these workers have to work are situated in remote areas and employees often have to stay there for long period of times. Rarely mines are located near a large city based on which employees have to leave their family and work for months without seeing them (Kuranchie-Mensah & Amponsah-Tawiah, 2016). Therefore, a combination of job location and lack of Workplace Health and Safety policies resulted in increasing challenges for mine workers. These factors also create challenges for the HR department of mining companies since they find it difficult to attract new employees in the company. They also find it difficult to retain the current employees in the workplace since they get frustrated with long working hours and working schedules. The middle and top-level management in mining companies did not directly engage with the lower level employees who working in mines (Amelia & Nasution, 2016). They rarely receive information regarding workers who perform exceptionally better and exceed expectations. Since the workers did not receive recognition and rewards as per their performance, other than their basic pay, they become demotivated. As per Adams’ Equity theory, if the employees did not receive outcomes or results as per their inputs, then they are discouraged.

They did not feel like a key part of the company, and they did not feel any connection with the top level management of the company. Therefore, the employees are not loyal towards the company or its management based on which it is easier for them to switch the company in which they work. As soon as they find a better job opportunity, they quickly leave their current job and get the new job. The HR department also fails to give rewards to the employee as per their performance based on which the employees are not encouraged to improve their performance (Jauhari & Singh, 2013). Since better performance of employees is not rewarded by the management, the employees are less likely to work at their highest capacities. Conflict is another major problem which is faced by mining companies which leads to increasing attrition rate of employees. Workers usually work in harsh conditions without receiving appropriate facilities which lead to conflicts with the management and between employees. This is a major factor which leads to strikes of workers which resulted in stopping the work of mining companies and it costs them millions. A hostile working environment also increases absenteeism of employees which reduces the productivity of the company (Vidal-Salazar, Cordon-Pozo & Torre-Ruiz, 2016). The organisational behaviour of the company suffers negatively due to the high conflicts which create a negative working environment. All these factors contribute to decreasing the performance of employees in mining companies, and they are more likely to leave the company. It makes it difficult for HR management to ensure that they attract and retain staff members who contribute to the success of the organisation. HRMT20024 Managing Human Resources 7

In order to address these challenges, there are various actions which can be taken by the HR management of the mining companies which will result in increasing the retention rate of employees. Mining companies should focus on creating a healthy workplace environment in order to ensure that they attract talented employee and retain them for a longer period of time. A healthy environment can be established by providing a supportive environment where employees are encouraged to share their issues with the management, and they actively take actions to resolve their queries (Sokro, 2012). The companies should provide Workplace Health and Safety facilities for employees to ensure that their basic health-related needs are fulfilled. They should receive a healthy workplace environment in which they should not work in hazardous environment which will reduce the number of deaths in mining sector of Australia. The employees should also receive facilities such as mobile phones with long coverage options to ensure that they are able to speak with their family and friends while working in remote areas (Syed & Kramar, 2017). They should receive appropriate time to spend with their family and friends which include company paid holidays as well. These facilities will build a strong relationship between employees and new candidates will be encouraged to work in the company as well (Schlechter, Hung & Bussin, 2014). This will increase attraction of new and talented employees in the company and current employees will remain for a longer period of time-based on the facilities provided by the company. It will create a positive image of the company in the market which will help the HR department to leverage while attracting talented candidates in the organisation.

The corporations should also focus on look for career growth opportunities for employees in order to ensure that they stay in the company for a longer period of time. Employees should be promoted in the company based on seniority and performance. The company should not only create posts just for the sake of keeping employees in the company. Instead, posts should be linked with the operations of the company and the employees must have option to get promoted to middle level and even top-level management of the company (Ashiedu & Scott-Ladd, 2012). The promoted employees should have authority and responsibility in the company, and they should have direct connection with the middle and top-level management. This will show mine workers that there are growths opportunities in the companies if they retain themselves and perform effectively. This will result in reducing the attrition rate of employees in the corporation. The management should establish rewards and recognition facilities in the company. Employees who perform better and exceed expectations should receive incentives for the work which they did after completing their set target (Syed & Kramar, 2017). The middle and top-level management should monitor and engage with employees while monitoring their performance. They should also recognise and appreciate those employees who perform better than others to set an example. It will encourage top performance to sustain their performance and it will also encourage other employees to improve their performance (Brown, Susomrith, Sitlington & Scott, 2014). Both monetary and non-monetary rewards will result in motivating employees which will assist the company in retaining them for a longer period of time.

Based on the above observations, it can be concluded that retention of talented employees is a major requirement in the mining companies which resulted in influencing the performance of the company. The HR department of the corporations faces many challenges while attracting and retaining employees in the company. These challenges are caused due to lack of career development opportunities in the industry. The job location is another important factor due to which most employees are discouraged to work in a particular organisation. There are high rate of deaths and employees are not able to create a balance between their work and personal life. These factors make it difficult for mining companies to attract and retain talented employees which adversely affect their performance as well. In order to address these issues, various recommendations are given in this essay. The companies should focus on providing a healthy workplace environment for employees to ensure that they are able to create a balance between their work and personal life and reduce the number of deaths. They should receive appropriate health facilities and career development opportunities to ensure that they remain in the company for a long period of time. The top-level management should provide rewards and recognition facilities to employees which will reduce their attrition rate. All these factors will result in sustaining the growth of mining companies by ensuring that they are able to attract and retain talented employees in the company. HRMT20024 Managing Human Resources 7


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Becker, K., & Soosay, C. (2013). Labour attraction and retention in rural and remote Queensland communities. Australasian Journal of Regional Studies, 19(3), 342.

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HRMT20024 Managing Human Resources 7