The mining world is tough, and competition for the few jobs available in mining is fierce. Mining companies worldwide have become increasingly reluctant to add employees to their payrolls because of the uncertainty and trials that the industry has been facing.

For this reason mining graduates need to make sure they have what it takes to secure that first job and break into the mining industry. When companies employ graduates, they do not only look at their skill level. There are a number of other attributes that companies look for when recruiting graduates.

According to various reports more than 80% of employers say that when looking at new college graduates that they are looking for leaders who are also able to work as part of a team. Employers also cited written communication skills, problem-solving skills, verbal communication skills, and a strong work ethic, amongst others, as important attributes when looking to employ new graduates.

What are the main attributes that recruiters look for in mining graduates?

Leadership. Companies believe that employees who lead tend to stay in jobs longer, remain loyal, and have fewer absences. They also have a better work ethic as they see themselves leading the company in the future. The young graduates that a company employs today, could one day be steering the company, so for this reason, it’s essential that they employ mining graduates that have good leadership skills.

Attitude. Companies want to employ individuals that have a great attitude, and a positive outlook towards life. They want employees who have energy, are proactive and able to take the initiative. Companies are not necessarily looking for employees that have all the answers, but they do want to hire employees who are good problem solvers, committed and ready to try new ideas.

Initiative. Being able to take the initiative is essential in the workplace, and companies want their employees to be the force behind an action, and not merely a spectator. Companies want to employ young graduates who will make things happen and not sit back and watch things happen. Companies want employees who do the right thing and make the right decision without having to be told. Employees who take the initiative are those that will do things without being told, who will find out what needs to be known, and keep going when things get tough. These employees will take advantage of an opportunity that others would let pass by.

Writing Skills. Most professional roles in mining even highly technical mining roles require good writing skills. It is extremely important to be able to write well, because many roles will require reports and memos to be written. For this reason companies place a high value on good writing skills. More than two-thirds of salaried jobs require a substantial amount of written communication. According to Grammarly, major companies spend upwards of US$3 billion (£1.8bn) per year training their employees in order to get their writing skills up to scratch. For this reason good writing skills are an attribute that companies will be looking for when recruiting graduates.

Technical skills. Specialized technical skills are vital to mining companies and for this reason they place a lot of emphasis on a graduate’s technical skills ability during the recruitment process. Technical skills are obtained through specialized training in the form of practical and theoretical knowledge, and these skills are essential for mining professionals to have in order to succeed. Having weak technical skills will put graduates at a serious disadvantage in the recruitment process, no matter how well the applicant scores in other areas. For this reason it is essential to have good technical skills.

Interpersonal skills. It is reported that on a scale of 1 to 5, that managers rate the importance of having good interpersonal skills in the workplace at around 4.37. For this reason it is vital that employees have good interpersonal skills, and this is an attribute that companies really focus on when recruiting graduates. Graduates who have worked on developing strong interpersonal skills are usually also more successful in the workplace than those that haven’t. Companies therefor want to employ graduates who have strong interpersonal skills, work well in a team and can communicate effectively at all levels.

Verbal Communication. The spoken language is used to express thoughts, idea and feelings and is what is known as verbal communication. There are two forms of verbal communication, interpersonal communication and public speaking. Interpersonal communication usually consists of a two way interaction between 2 individuals, whereas public speaking requires a person to deliver a speech to a group of people. Many companies require graduates to do presentations or represent the company in meetings, so good communication on both of these levels are attributes that are often earmarked as essential by companies.

Team work. No matter how big or small a company is, teamwork can improve just about every aspect of a company’s performance. When working in a team one works towards a common goal or objective. Effective teamwork in the workplace will ensure a company is able to take on additional work, which will help ensure that things work more effectively. The companies aim being to generate more revenue without having to hire more staff. For this reason young graduates need to be able demonstrate that they are able to work in a team during the recruitment process, as teamwork is an attribute that companies will focus on, when looking at graduates.

Work Ethic. Is that quality that star employees show daily in their determination to do the best job possible. It is those that take exceptional pride in their work. These are the types of graduates that companies want to hire and promote. Companies want their employees to come to work every day, to be on time, to attend meetings as and when necessary, to interact in positive ways, take pride in their work, and most importantly always have the best interests of the company at heart. For this reason they will be taking work ethic into consideration when recruiting.


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