Attracting and Developing Talent

We recognise the importance of having a talented and committed workforce at all levels. Succession 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.


During 2018 in Australia we engaged specialist communications company, Lightbox Communications, to assist us in attracting the talent we require to increase our global gender diversity and achieve better business outcomes.

Qualitative and quantitative research was conducted in Australia to assist us to develop communications that are meaningful, relevant, engaging and factual to resonate with diverse high potential talent. 

Targeted training programs continue to nurture the next generation of talent, including our Australian Manufacturing Graduate Program and our Dyno Nobel Vacation Program, which actively supported 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.

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 6 years, with all of the graduates who completed the two-year program in 2018 accepting permanent roles at IPL.

The 2018 program was evaluated through a feedback process involving interviews with our completing graduates and their mentors. As a result of this review, we increased the range of critical on-the-job experiences our graduates are exposed to and changes were made to the graduate and mentor matching process. Our Australian Manufacturing Graduates for the 2019 intake have been selected and we are pleased to report that 66 percent of the graduates beginning the program in 2019 are female.  

Graduates attending Gibson Island’s Graduate Assessment Centre are shown below. The Assessment Centre events, held at our major manufacturing sites, are a great opportunity to meet with upcoming engineers who are eager to kick start their careers, and include presentations by former members of the Graduate Program who describe their experiences and the different career pathways IPL offers. The Australian Manufacturing Graduate 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’s Dyno Nobel Vacation Program actively supports Austmine’s ‘Women In STEM: METS Career Pathway 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. 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 have supported Austmine’s ‘Women in STEM: METS Career Pathway Program’, designed to improve gender diversity across the sector, by welcoming three female STEM students to our Dyno Nobel Metals Team as part the Dyno Nobel Vacation Program.

In 2018, the program of work chosen by the Dyno Nobel Metals underground team for the Vacation Students involved 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 were set the task of reviewing the existing designs 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), joined us early in the 2018 financial year.

We assess the success of our talent management processes through monitoring the following key metrics.


• Retention of high potential individuals & succession candidates;
• Role moves based on development plans; 
• Talent outcomes year-on-year with the shape and spread of the population, and
with the goal of year-on-year improvement.


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. Employees are required to set goals for their performance and development each year and have a formal performance review at six monthly intervals. The percentage of employees across the Group who participated in the performance review process increased for the second year in a row, reaching 81 percent in 2018.
The percentages in the table to the right were calculated by dividing the number of employees in each category who received an annual performance review by the total number of employees in that category. The calculation for full time and part time employees has been included for the first time this year.

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 goals and the performance of the business.


During 2018, employees were assessed against their individual goals, with consideration of how they incorporated our Company Values into their everyday work and management, and enhanced IPL’s performance and culture.

More than ever, people want to know how the work they are doing on a daily basis is contributing to the world. At IPL, our purpose is to make people’s lives better by unlocking the world’s natural resources through innovation on the ground. We believe that we can fulfil our purpose through collaboration with the people that are most important to us: our customers, our employees and our shareholders.

We recognise 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. To that end, IPL 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. The metrics have become part of the IPL employee value proposition going forward, as they 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.