By Sandra Burmeister and Kelli Vukelic

Early figures and forecasts show that the mining sector is in for one of the most robust years off the back of the soaring demand for commodities and the industry’s impressive rebound in the second half of 2021. Even so, the sector is still grappling with a plateful of hot-button issues, including social restructuring, environmental protection, and the global push for de-carbonization placing particular pressure on the coal and platinum industries.

In the face of the seemingly endless pandemic and fierce competition for top talent, mining businesses worldwide will continue to wrestle with rapid transformation and the shift to the Hydrogen economy resulting in the rapid diversification and expansion of the skills base in the sector. As executive talents call for employers to meet their rapidly-evolving needs, mining companies are bound to embrace a genuinely talent-centric approach to business.

Below are three major C-suite talent trends those in the mining sector should expect to see in 2022:

Battle for Top C-Suite Talent Continues

One of the most brutal challenges organizations face across the industrial spectrum is attracting top executive leaders and retaining them. The recent pandemic has intensified this, which has essentially caused a seismic shift in virtually every industry, including the mining sector. With rising labor shortages, the need to attract and retain top talent has created what could now be described as a “talent apocalypse.” In 2022, we will see this play out in the mining sector, with c-suite talent at the center stage.

The Continued Dominance Talent-First Approach

The events of the second half of 2021 demonstrate that 2022 will be the year of executive talent yet again. In other words, there will be an augmented battle amongst mining employers to attract, find, hire, and onboard the best c-suite talent.

This upped attention geared towards c-suite talents is the impetus behind their readiness to ditch their present positions for greener pastures. That means highly sought-after executive talent won’t hesitate to seek new jobs with more career advancement opportunities, more extensive benefits packages, unheard-of salary increases, and more.

Increased Demand for Diverse C-Suite Talent

Inclusion, Equity, and Diversity will be among the most talked-about topics at boardroom meetings. Mining companies will actively seek to enhance equality in their c-suite hiring practices, with gender diversity taking center stage. Given the breadth of social and environmental issues mining companies face, the demand for a more diverse executive team has never been higher.

A recent survey across the mining sector in Southern Africa shows that Mining companies have not yet hit the targeted 30% gender mark on boards, and innovation and technology skills are not represented at the board level either. This trend seems to be replicated in Australia, reporting only 19.6% female directors in Australian mining companies and a mere 8% of all board seats in the top 100 mining companies.

And finally, expect mining companies to reach adjacent industries as technology becomes the most significant driving force behind further automation, increasing safety and competitive disruption in the sector throughout 2022.