Mining for talent

Global company IAMGOLD strengthens its talent acquisition capabilities

Having most of your workers spread around the world can make recruitment even more challenging than usual. But one Toronto-based mining company simplified its efforts with help from a talent acquisition software provider.

IAMGOLD is a mid-tier mining company with four operating gold mines (including current joint ventures) on three continents. It employs a team of more than 5,000 workers globally, primarily at operations in Canada, West Africa and South America. 

Prior to 2013, IAMGOLD managed candidates and recruitment processes manually, with local HR staff in various countries 
doing their best to facilitate the talent acquisition needs of their operation, and head office HR staff working primarily with search firms to fill expatriate positions. 

But in 2012, the company determined it needed to strengthen its talent acquisition capabilities globally and it established four business goals:

•Implement a standardized global talent acquisition framework to support talent policies, global mobility and enable real-time reporting. As a publicly held company, this was very important: Human resources had previously found it difficult to provide management with reporting on its efforts. 

•Establish a strong global sourcing strategy that leverages multiple sources, including social media and commercial job boards, via a single platform. 

•Develop a global talent database that enables sharing of talent information across both continents and operations. 

•Trim talent acquisition costs by reducing the need to engage external recruitment firms.

IAMGOLD did a review of talent acquisition software suppliers and selected Lumesse’s TalentLink, a SaaS-based on-demand global talent acquisition solution. The product was available in 30 languages — including French, English and Dutch — which the company needed, and Lumesse also understood the challenges and complexities of having a decentralized HR function and having users in several countries. 

The TalentLink team also offered a rapid deployment with an implementation phase of 12 weeks and its solution was easy to implement, configure and use. The latter was crucial because IAMGOLD doesn’t have a large professional talent acquisition team — most of the HR team members involved in recruiting are HR generalists with many different responsibilities.

While IAMGOLD handles most system change requests itself, it also engaged Lumesse as system administrator to handle more complex system enhancements and to continue to define best practices and optimize the tool. The company is now able to source talent by leveraging multiple channels, including Linked-In and specialized mining job boards such as InfoMine and Jobs4Mining. 

IAMGOLD also implemented the ability for candidates to apply directly with their LinkedIn profiles. TalentLink uses Burning Glass’s parsing technology to read profile data and places the information into TalentLink’s online application data fields.

It also uses a job board aggregator function so job postings can be easily managed from a single place in the system, saving time by eliminating the additional step of manually creating job postings on boards. There’s also robust tracking of the sources used to attract candidates — last year, more than 150 positions were filled via this means.

With the new systems, IAMGOLD’s four business goals for its talent acquisition strategy were met:

•The company now has a global talent position dashboard that reports to the executive management team on a quarterly basis. Reported metrics include the number of positions open, the number filled, how long they have been open, at what level they are open and new positions versus replacement positions. In the future, this information will support strategic talent decisions and inform IAMGOLD’s sourcing strategy. The company also has robust governance around the hiring approval process. In the past, department heads and executives may not have known about individual open positions; now, senior leaders have a clear line of sight into all hiring activities. 

•The mining firm grew its global database to more than 10,000 mining professionals in less than one year via a variety of social media and job board sources, exceeding expectations. 

•IAMGOLD can now measure the return on investment on efforts to promote its employee value proposition globally. Engaged prospects can be converted to active candidates who are now captured in the new system. Talent pools are created and managed by recruiters in the system, which enables re-engagement and marketing to candidates for future opportunities.

IAMGOLD also has a tool to facilitate internal mobility across its operations. For example, a highly skilled expatriate employee living in West Africa discovered an open position in South America on TalentLink and submitted an internal application, resulting in a successful transfer. 

•By creating one centralized system to manage candidates, IAMGOLD has greatly reduced its need to use outside recruiters. Using a conservative formula, the new platform contributed to cost savings of close to $1 million in 2013.

Going forward
Some local recruiting efforts at operations outside of Canada are still not supported by technology and employment applications continue to be received and managed on paper. Ultimately, the goal is to manage all talent acquisition activity using the new system.

Ongoing change management and education of hiring managers and its human resources community will continue to be a focus in the near future. And metrics from the system will start to play a key role in realizing IAMGOLD’s talent strategy. 

Charles Doucot is senior vice-president and general manager at Lumesse in Boston. For more information, visit

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