Attracting and Developing Talent

We recognise the importance of having a talented and committed workforce at all levels. Identifying critical roles, successions planning and building talent pipelines are key strategies to ensuring long term business success.

Succession planning is conducted annually, identifying short, medium and long term candidates for key roles. During this process, leaders within each of our businesses and functions identify employees with high potential. The identification process uses both a set of criteria and data from the annual performance management process. Action plans are implemented, with the aim of developing those capabilities required for future advancement.

Targeted training programs are also in place to nurture the next generation of talent, including our Australian Manufacturing Graduate Program.

Working and being mentored at an IPL manufacturing site is the ultimate opportunity to gain exposure to both the mining and manufacturing industries as an engineer. During our two-year program, graduates receive hands-on engineering experience through a combination of site-based rotations and a formal development plan. Graduates focus on their technical, professional and personal development and are supported by an experienced manager for the duration of the program. The learning structure is tailored to their discipline and individual needs. In addition, graduates are mentored by leaders in the company.

The graduate program ‘Onboarding’ week is undertaken by all first year graduates to learn about our business, culture, values, BEx and safety standards and processes. The learning and development component of the graduate program includes sessions on expectations, performance management, development, communication and self-awareness. Currently, two thirds of our graduates are female and recruitment for the 2016 program has seen an increase in both female and indigenous applications. The success of the program is demonstrated by the employment outcomes: we are pleased to have offered roles within IPL to 100% of the graduates who have completed our program in the last 3 years.

In our US business, the explosives manufacturing plant in Cheyenne, Wyoming, continued a partnership with Laramie County Community College.

The partnership assists the college in their efforts to secure Workforce Development Training Funds to support individuals enrolling in a Process Technology training program at the college. Recognising a need for well-trained individuals in all areas of our industry, most particularly with strong workplace safety knowledge, the team at Cheyenne has guaranteed interviews to program graduates and is assisting the College in the development of the course curriculum.

We also offer scholarships and support to engineering students in several universities in the United States, and at James Cook University and the University of Queensland in Australia. Our Asia Pacific Explosives business is also associated with several industry and related organisations, including the National Industry Skills Council, the Australian Apprenticeship Centre, the Southern Queensland Institute of TAFE, the Queensland Resource Council, Australian Mines and Metals Association and Reconciliation Australia.

Our performance management framework aims for consistency, fairness, equity and reward for performance.

It is a process for establishing a shared understanding of ‘what’ is to be achieved, and ‘how’ it is to be achieved. It is a collaborative process and requires both manager and employee to participate equally. Online tools provide a consistent process and a central repository for performance management information. All employees, except those whose collective bargaining agreement precludes them, are required to set goals for their performance and development each year, and have a formal performance review at six monthly intervals. This year, the percent of employees across the Group who participated in the performance review process increased to 58.2%.

In order to ensure individual goals and performance are linked to the key objectives and performance of the business, our Short Term Incentive (STI) plan now includes safety goals in support of our Zero Harm strategy and explicit links between STI payments and the performance of the business.

Employees are assessed against both their individual goals and either our Values or leadership competencies. The leadership competencies are a set of expected capabilities which our leaders are measured against for development and performance as part of the performance management cycle. They apply to all employees who are people leaders or who hold influential cross-matrix roles, and they incorporate the leadership skills required to deliver BEx, such as holding people accountable, driving improvement and the capacity to influence and develop others.   

Workforce Planning

Despite the downturn in the mining industry, our business continues to compete for the best available talent.  Effective workforce planning strategies are a key enabler.  A range of strategies are used to ensure we attract the right talent we need to be a high performing organisation, including:


• Providing market competitive remuneration, alongside merit-based performance management

• The implementation of a social media strategy this year to raise our profile amongst prospective new candidates

• Implementing innovative sourcing strategies to identify talent for current and future critical talent groups

• Consistently reviewing our recruitment process to ensure it is best practice, leveraging new forms of assessment and new technology where appropriate

• Implementing our Indigenous Employment Program in Australia

• Implementing proven local hiring strategies in Australia, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and the United States


An example of the workforce planning practices taking place across the Group is the approach taken by our Dyno Nobel Asia Pacific explosives business. Workforce Planning using BEx Human Capital initiatives has ensured planned control of employee turnover numbers, with a significant reduction in employee turnover in 2014 and a further reduction this year. This was achieved by:


• Providing a forum for open communication and increasing stakeholder understanding of workforce trends

• Developing a rolling six-month labour forecast horizon, which supports a proactive approach to recruitment and employee redeployment

• Increasing focus on key workforce trends such as Diversity and Retention strategies

• Tailoring training of existing staff to meet customer needs for upcoming projects


Due to the downturn in the mining industry, greater emphasis was placed on the redistribution of resources across the business in 2015. Our manufacturing and fertiliser businesses continue to annually assess the likely demand for recruitment through analysing turnover and determining business priorities. This key information is then used by the recruitment function to plan for key sourcing and talent attraction strategies.


Our Talent Metrics


As part of our focused improvements in 2015, we expanded our range of key talent management metrics. These are explicitly linked to our goals, objectives and strategies and allow us to track and measure our progress in managing our talent into the future. These metrics include the following: