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No downer in IMPROVED QUALITY OF HIRE Taking a project management approach to quality of hire is not only boosting Downer Mining’s talent retention and workplace culture, but is saving the company big dollars on the bottom line. AS ONE OF the world’s leading mine contracting companies, the quality of Downer Mining’s people is absolutely critical to its success. Managing more than 5,000 employees across 50 sites within a fully diversified portfolio of services, Downer Mining’s HR team is often recognised for recruitment excellence by organisations including the Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI). However, as a former project specialist, the company’s recruitment manager Clare Hudson is driven to find more efficient, cost-effective and ultimately, innovative ways of operating. Over the last two years her team’s focus has been on quality of hire and, while the concept is not necessarily new to HR insiders, attaching the ‘Six Sigma’ project management framework to Downer Mining’s entire recruitment cycle is cutting-edge. “Within Downer Mining’s HR department I have really focused my team to develop a project-driven environment,” says Hudson, speaking to Resource People from the company’s Brisbane head office. “As a mine contracting organisation we have peaks and troughs of recruitment and during those peak cycles where the recruitment function is operating at maximum capacity, previous statistics show your quality of hire and organisational value fit is negatively impacted. “We needed to ensure that even during those peak times quality of hire was not affected. Being project managementfocused we approach this from the Six Sigma strategy framework, which many business people will know originated from manufacturing efficiency. “Applying this to recruitment is a little unusual, but it allows you to focus on the wider management process and organisational benefits. Rather than getting tied down with isolated recruitment areas or particular sourcing strategies and selection tools, it encompasses the broader picture.” There are a number of qualitative and quantitative metrics to gauge an organisation’s quality of hire – ranging from the percentage of new recruits to pass the probationary period to satisfaction feedback from hiring managers. DEMONSTRATING SAVINGS The challenge for many recruitment specialists is to demonstrate the true value of HR innovation to senior executives who are often driven by the bottom line. According to Hudson, this is not an issue for Dower Mining. “While we have significantly increased the percentage of | Winter 2013 |

Applying the Six Sigma management framework to recruitment is a little unusual, but allows you to focus on the wider management process and organisational benefits.

CLARE HUDSON RECRUITMENT MANAGER DOWNER MINING. recruits who pass the probationary mark, which is a common metric for quality of hire, we are also demonstrating financial savings,” she says. “There are three different costs involved; the first is the cost to recruit, then the cost in bringing somebody onboard. The final is estimating the true cost of replacing somebody within the organisation in terms of all the IP, training and everything that has been invested in that person. “Through a process of properly costing these elements we can identify that the total financial savings for Downer Mining in increasing the percentage of people reaching their probationary period will easily run into the millions for the year. “It is key to make note however that even though we have

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RESOURCE PEOPLE Issue 004 | Winter 2013  

RESOURCE PEOPLE Issue 004 | Winter 2013