Attract, retain, develop—in my years of involvement in the human resource field, these were the guiding principles. Things are no different today, only more challenging.
On the attraction side, MiHR (the Mining Industry Human Resources Council) has identified, through its sector study, that the industry is facing a huge mismatch between supply and demand in the labour force of tomorrow. As more and more senior mining executives are realizing, there will be no quick fix to this problem. Our industries, be they mining, metallurgical, or petroleum, will be competing for the same resources as all other industries in Canada. Throwing money at the problem will not make the problem go away.
The supply side has to increase. Different strategies are available to some of us. For example, Mining in Society was deployed for the second time at the CIM conference in Vancouver this past May. It is an excellent venue for changing our image and attracting new entrants into our industries. Other solutions include increasing participation of women and native people in our industries, and immigration will certainly come into play as well. But these are only partial solutions. All of these strategies will also bring their own set of challenges.
But how does this relate to CIM? Through the retention and development aspects.
For those of us who participated in the Vancouver conference, we had the opportunity to witness the new CIM strategic framework for the next few years and its new vision statement - world-class professional development, networking, and knowledge sharing. Applied within and across our own industries, the very foundation of our Institute is by definition the greatest retention and development tool available to us. What better opportunity to exchange among ourselves through CIM’s structure on best practices for optimizing the use of our current workforce or developing and retaining current employees? What better opportunity to exchange on successes in implementing alternative recruiting strategies? What better opportunity to… the opportunities are endless.
I invite each and every one of you to carefully read through CIM’s revised mission statement and guiding values and principles (CIM Magazine, June/July 2006, p. 110). Needless to say, members actively involved in CIM strongly support them. The Institute offers its members the greatest opportunities to attract, retain, and develop members, so let’s get our people involved! The payback is fantastic.
François Pelletier, CIM President