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.


With a focus on creating an inclusive organisational culture for all, in 2017, the Company successfully piloted the Recruit for Fit program in Australia.

The Recruit for Fit program is a ‘just in time training’ for hiring leaders which is designed to challenge and develop their thinking regarding the recruitment of people who fit our organisational culture. The program includes specific elements of diversity and inclusion and aims at removing unconscious bias in the minds of our hiring leaders. The Recruit for Fit program supports IPL in embedding diversity and inclusion into our standard business processes and will continue to be rolled out across the business in 2018. 

Targeted training programs are also in place to nurture the next generation of talent, including our Australian Manufacturing Graduate Program and our Dyno Nobel Vacation Program, which is actively supporting Austmine's Women in STEM: METS Career Pathway Program in 2018.


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.

In August 2017, IPL Australian Manufacturing Program graduate Hannah Campbell was awarded the prestigious 2017 Industry Awards Young Professional of the year at the Australian Mines and Metals Association (AMMA) Industry Awards. While we retained all of our current graduates during the 2016 restructure necessitated by our challenging markets, we did not recruit any new graduates in 2017. However, graduates recruited in 2016 completed their second year of the program throughout 2017, and we plan to reintroduce recruitment for this program in 2018. The success of the Australian Manufacturing Graduate Program is demonstrated by the employment outcomes: we are pleased to have offered roles within IPL to 100% of the graduates who have completed the program in the last 5 years.

Austmine is the leading industry body in Australia for the mining equipment, technology & services (METS) sector and is actively supporting the promotion of women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). IPL is proud to be supporting Austmine’s ‘Women in STEM: METS Career Pathway Program’, designed to improve gender diversity across the sector. Our Dyno Nobel Metals Team will be welcoming three female STEM students who will work with the team from December to February 2018 as part the Dyno Nobel Vacation Program. This program is designed to nurture the next generation of talent by providing a learning platform to develop the technical experts and future leaders of tomorrow whilst preparing them for a career within the sector. 

Case Study: IPL Graduate Hannah Campbell Recognised with 2017 National Australian Mines and Metal Association (AMMA) Award

Process engineer Hannah Campbell’s first job out of the IPL Australian Manufacturing Graduate Program was to prepare IPL’s Moranbah ammonium nitrate plant for a 42-day maintenance shutdown involving up to 700 workers on site. It was one of the largest turnarounds in IPL’s Australian manufacturing history, with 94,000 man hours, 695 work packs, and a high-risk and complex scope of work. The 24-year-old rose to the challenge and was recently named as the 2017 AMMA Industry Awards Young Professional. The Young Professional Award recognises an individual who, in a short period of time, has had a positive and noticeable impact on workforce-related processes or practices within their organisation.


“Hannah is one of many up-and-coming young professionals in the industry who are showing great leadership and innovation,” Australian Mines and Metals Association (AMMA) director industry services Tara Diamond said. “To take part in a history-making turnaround at IPL shows that Hannah is going to be a real leader in the industry for years to come. She is lighting the path for other young female professionals to make their way in the resources industry.”


As an IPL Australian Manufacturing Graduate, Ms Campbell spent her first year of the program at IPL’s Gibson Island manufacturing site in Brisbane, and her second at Moranbah before being tasked with the turnaround planning. “I would say it was a very, very steep learning curve for me,” she said. “I was very lucky that I had some very strong mentors and people who gave me on-the-job training to coach me through the process. It was definitely a challenge.”


This award is a fantastic achievement for Hannah so early in her career, and is a great example of our people achieving outstanding business performance.


Case Study: IPL’s Dyno Nobel Vacation Program.

New challenges demand new ideas, and as an organisation we continue to look for the next generation of leaders and innovators of our industry. We seek people who will think beyond possibility to deliver ideas and answers that are essential to our customers in the blasting services industry.

This is why the Dyno Nobel Vacation Program exists. Providing a great opportunity to tap into the minds of the next generation of visionaries, it also provides an opportunity for them to apply their minds to the challenges in the STEM field. This year, the program of work chosen by the Dyno Nobel Metals underground team for the Vacation Students involves applying their skills to a fresh concept for the next generation customer operated emulsion pumping system - ‘DynoMiner’. After experiencing the underground mining environment at Jundee and consulting with our customers on their needs, the students will be set the task of reviewing the existing designs down to the last component and engaging industry specialists to produce an underground mining industry leading emulsion delivery system. Kim Le, Mechanical Engineering (Curtin University, WA), Ye Mon Thant, Engineering Science (University of WA) and Arnadya Pudhiastono, Chemical Engineering (Curtin University, WA), will join us in December 2017.


In our Americas business, the explosives manufacturing plant in Cheyenne, Wyoming will recommence a four year partnership with Laramie County Community College in 2018.


Established in 2012, our Cheyenne Dyno Nobel manufacturing site began a partnership with LCCC to assist 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 guaranteed interviews to program graduates through to the end of 2016, when our Company restructured. In 2018 we are reintroducing the partnership by working closely with LCCC to customize and introduce a Basics of Manufacturing course curriculum. In addition, the site and LCCC are discussing opportunities to work together with Climb Wyoming to provide work and training opportunities for women in the community. Climb Wyoming is a non-profit organisation whose mission is to help low-income single mothers discover self-sufficiency through career training and placement.   

Our Asia Pacific business is also associated with several industry and related organisations, including the SkillsDMC, TAFE Queensland South West, the Queensland Resource Council, Australian Mines and Metals Association, Diversity Council Australia, National Association of Women in Operations, 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 percentage 
of employees across the Group who participated in the performance review process increased to 59%. This was a targeted increase in response to lower figures in 2016, which were primarily due to the impact of the 2016 restructure.


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 includes 

safety goals in support of our Zero Harm strategy and 

explicit links between STI payments and the performance 

of the business. During 2016, employees were assessed against their individual goals, leadership competencies and,

for the first time, against our Company Values.

Our leadership competencies are a set of expected

capabilities against which our leaders were measured

for development and performance as part of the

performance management cycle.


These competencies incorporate the leadership skills required to deliver BEx, such as holding people accountable, driving improvement and the capacity to influence and develop others. The introduction of our Values into the performance management cycle enables a better understanding of the behaviours that are expected for each core value and allows our employees to make our Values a part of everyday work and management, enhancing IPL’s performance and culture.

Workforce Planning

Last year our workforce planning was focused on shaping our organisation and our workforce to meet customer requirements whilst addressing challenging market conditions. We restructured our operations into three components: two customer facing businesses in Asia Pacific and the Americas, which share a common nitrogen core through an upstream business - Global Manufacturing. All businesses now serve three sectors: Explosives, Industrial Chemicals, and Fertilisers. This has resulted in a more fully integrated and streamlined organisation which is well placed to build sustainable value into the future. During 2017, we continued to train employees, team leaders and middle managers to learn new skills and work practises to meet the challenges arising from the restructure and the changes associated with its implementation. Read about how we are building our employees capabilities under Learning and Development.

We also continue to remain competitive in recruiting talented people for key positions which may arise through:

• Continuing to provide market competitive remuneration, alongside merit-based performance management;

• Our new social media strategy, which was implemented last year to raise our profile amongst prospective new candidates;

• Continued use of innovative sourcing strategies to identify talent for future critical talent groups; and

• Consistently reviewing our recruitment process to ensure it is best practice and builds diversity through leveraging new forms of assessment and new technology where appropriate. During 2017, new strategies included the Fit for Hire program and an IPL page on the DCC: Working for Women website. DCC is the only online job platform where employers are pre-screened to ensure they support women’s careers.


Our Social Return on Investment Metrics

More than ever, people want to know how the work they are doing on a daily basis is contributing to the world. At IPL, we recognise that in addition to creating economic value, the social value that we create as a company is also important, particularly when attracting new talent and engaging our employees. During 2016 we engaged a third party to assist us in the development of Social Return on Investment (SROI) metrics to help us quantify and communicate the value of our social contributions relative to our financial investment in areas such as food production, safety training and employment, and to relate these to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. SROI is a principles-based method for measuring the extra-financial value created by companies. The metrics will become part of the IPL employee value proposition going forward, as they will assist us in communicating to our prospective and current employees how their work at IPL contributes value to the communities in which we operate. See our Social Return on Investment Metrics under Community.