- Ribeiro (0.03 MB)
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Over the past five years, Rosond estimates that it has reduced an annual staff turnover from around 40% per annum to 15%, a feat that it attributes largely to a substantial investment in recruitment and training. “Our recruitment process is something we take very seriously,” says Rosond’s Operations director Ricardo Cravo Ribeiro.
“Our operations take place in a very stressful environment and it’s not for everybody; we need to understand that and identify the right people”.
Since around 2012 Rosond has spent heavily on recruitment and training, incorporating psychometric testing to identify candidates that will be able to handle the tough environment and who are good team builders. Testing also ensures that candidates have at least a grade 8 level of literacy.
Literacy and language have been a problem in the past, according to Ribeiro, as illiteracy impeded employees from progressing beyond being operators, and made it difficult for employees to follow procedures, safety checks and so on. One response has been to rely heavily on pictures in communications; the company has also sent staff to ABET courses run through the mines, but this takes time. Recruitment procedures have largely dealt with this issue.
“With the improved recruitment, we’ve had a substantial increase in supervisory talent. This makes for healthy competition, because an operator has to perform; if he doesn’t perform he knows that the guy behind him is being trained up to take over,” says Ribeiro.
Hand in hand with recruitment goes training. Rosond has a number of training centres, including one in Carletonville, which services all the mines in that area. It includes mocks ups of underground scenarios, and two of the machines used in operations. These are employed in both initial training and refresher training – all training modules are done in house. “We show potential recruits the environment, the extremities of working underground – the heat, long distance walks, the hard labour.
At the training centre they have a chance to become accustomed to the machines, and the experience of working underground, so we’re quite confident that when someone’s passed their whole recruitment, there’s a high chance that they’ll stay with us,” says Ribeiro.
Rosond has always offered a high standard of benefits to their staff, which include contributions to pension fund, funeral cover, and disability cover. In addition, they offer a regular prize giving of useful appliances to recognise high achievers – over and above their production bonuses. This is less about the monetary value of the prizes than about recognising a job well done, says Ribeiro, and serves as an additional motivator, as the men are proud to be recognised.
Rosond’s investment into recruitment and training has cost millions, but Ribeiro believes this is money well spent. “We carry a lot of overheads, but those overheads hopefully come out in the productivity and performance,” he says.