HR practices in surviving the mining downturn: A review of practices in Australia and Indonesia
International Conference on Human Resource Management (ICHRM)
Place of Publication
School of Business and Law
Mining organisations are currently facing external competitive pressures with softening global demand, weakening price of commodities, declining investment, a more challenging and difficult regulatory environment as well as increasing competition in the global market. The attention on the mining sector in the literature appears limited and not much is actually known about human resource (HR) activities of mining companies, particularly during the current challenging times. The purpose of this paper is to provide a more comprehensive review of HR practices in surviving the mining downturn in two countries: Australia and Indonesia. HR plays an important role in ensuring the turnaround of the company through the introduction of both cost efficiency measures (workforce reduction, flexible rightsizing, work redesign, systemic change) and organisational effectiveness measures (increased productivity and innovation, training and development, flexibility in skills and behaviours, compensation and rewards for attraction and retention, and learning and collaboration for growth). The article highlights that the implementation of effective HR practices that address both the issues of cost efficiency and organisational effectiveness are more likely to assist mining companies to better manage their external and internal pressures in surviving the downturn.