We sat down and spoke with Sibel Dincer, one of our leading talent acquisition specialists recruiting across Queensland and the Northern Territory for mining infrastructure projects and production roles.
What sorts of roles do you recruit for?
I mostly recruit heavy earth moving equipment operators. Generally, I’m looking for people who have experience operating this kind of equipment (using some combination of scrapers, final trip graders, small diggers, dozers, Moxys or water carts) and could be placed in a civil infrastructure or mining environment. The roles range from candidates who work with a single machine, to specialists with experience working with multiple machines (scraper operators, final trim graders, dozers, for example). It just depends on the site requirements at the time and what they need.
Do specific candidates suit certain clients over others?
Yes, and we would look at their experience to date, including how much time they spent in each role, to match them with a client. For example, one of our clients requires about two years’ consistent experience; they won’t really look at anyone under that. We'd also look at the size of machinery they’ve operated, and where they’ve worked in the past.
There have been times where an operator has applied for a certain site, but their skills better match a different one, and so I’d get in touch with them and say, “that site’s not quite right for you, but this one would be, and this is why.” And they also have different rosters, so everything needs to align.
Do your roles require qualifications or ticketing?
I mainly recruit for mining infrastructure projects and production roles, but not in coal. Clients also have different ways to verify you are competent to operate. I look for RII’s (Resource and Infrastructure Industry tickets) or evidence of competence (VOC) that are less than five years old, as well as your experience.
What does an ideal candidate look like?
We’re looking for candidates with the right traits to fit into our client’s teams as value-adding team members. In terms of technical skills, we will look at the machines they’ve operated, how long they’ve operated them for, if they’ve worked in similar companies, etc. But overall, a multi-skilled, multi-ticketed operator with a few years of experience is pretty easy to place.
Consistency and tenure with an employer are big factors too. Candidates who chop and change jobs frequently can find that employers may be reluctant to take them on. That's why it's important for recruiters to understand where candidates have worked and what kinds of projects they’ve been on.
We’re also particularly interested in talking with indigenous or female candidates with the right experience, as our clients value diversity in the workplace.
As our candidates know, highly experienced top gun operators are the key to productivity for our clients, and I especially look for candidates who can become part of what we call our ‘A team’. We can find work for these candidates moving from project to project.
What should a candidate avoid doing when working with a recruiter?
We love enthusiastic candidates, and we’re aware that getting started in a new job can take longer than they may hope. We always provide lots of information about how long it may take, and we ask for patience as we work through the process.
Candidates can make the process go faster by having all of their documents ready, up-to-date CVs, training tickets (RII’s) and identity documents. It’s also important to attend and complete medicals and also the induction training required by clients.
What does the application process usually look like, from submitting an application to being placed?
We always try to respond to candidates’ applications within 48 hours. After receiving an application, we check to see if they’re a good fit, and if we decide not to proceed, we’ll let them know via email just so they still get a response and aren’t left wondering.
If they’re a strong candidate and we do want to proceed, then we will give them a call to chat about their experience. If I deem them to be suitable, then I’ll tell them about the role and make sure it’s what they are looking for.
What are some of the different rosters and pay scales in the industry?
A candidate’s skills and experience and the machinery they can operate determines the pay rate we can pay people. And the roster you work has an impact on what you earn.
On a two-and-one, two-and-two, or three-and-one roster you will earn substantially more than if you are on an even time roster. This all boils down to the total number of hours you work, because on an even time roster you really only work half the year when you add it all together.
If someone wants to start in the industry, how would you suggest they do it?
Brunel doesn’t recruit for new-to industry, which includes people who only recently achieved their machinery ticket in the hope to enter the industry.
My advice is to look for work in the civil construction industry. For example, a good place to look would be in subdivisions construction, where you can gain experience to potentially move into infrastructure mining. You might then get a shot at production, but it isn’t easy - it can be difficult to break into the industry. If you happen to know someone in the industry, they may also be able to help you get your foot in the door.
What are some common questions candidates ask you?
Some common questions that I get from my operators are: What's the camp like? What am I doing? Is it a production role? What's the roster? Very much the need-to-knows.
What’s the best piece of advice you can give candidates?
Be a team player. Operators who get the job done safely are ideal, and we can place them in multiple jobs over time. Also, be communicative. If there's an issue, if you can't attend a medical for example, or if you took another job, or whatever else it may be, I do try and stress that it's an open door and things happen and that's fine. Just let me know so I can accurately report back to the client. Even if you don’t want to call me, just send me a text message to let me know what’s going on.