Case Study

Recruiting operational employees for a new Greenfields expansion project

Selection Centre Methodolgy

Industry: Mining


A global mining company with established mines and ports in Western Australian ventured into a large expansion of one of their small mines to increase its production capacity to one of the biggest in WA. To achieve this, the company needed to recruit employees for 1000 roles within a 12-month period.

Due to the scale of this recruitment campaign, the company decided to use selection centres as the process for recruiting trade and operational roles.


The company’s volume recruitment team had facilitated Selection Centres for the recruitment of operational roles over the previous 18-month period. During this time, People Solutions supported the company in designing and implementing a process, activities and training for the team to deliver themselves. However due to the scale of this campaign, the leaders of the recruitment team knew it would be challenging to manage selection centres as well as their other recruitment responsibilities.

Further, the ability of the facilitator was important with this new expansion project as there was some resistance to the process by line managers in seeing the value of a selection centre over and above interviews. The company needed a facilitator who was prepared and experienced in challenging, questioning and setting the standards of Selection Centre best practice as most of the company’s team were new to recruitment and/or Selection Centre methodology.

The line managers of the company saw the need to establish a work culture from “scratch” and recruit employees who aligned to the company values. The facilitator of the Selection Centres needed to build a relationship with both the recruitment team and line managers to gain buy-in to the process and its effectiveness of the selection centre methodology in identifying technical and cultural fit. People Solutions trained all personnel involved to ensure they were skilled to be involved the Selection Centres.


Based on the above challenges, the company decided for this expansion project that the facilitation and logistics of the Selection Centres would be outsourced to People Solutions. This solution assisted the recruitment team in managing the other aspects of the recruitment process and the 1000s of applicants they needed to manage.

The recruitment leaders spent 1-2 months going to site to talk to the line managers about the recruitment process, including the Selection Centres and their involvement in this. People Solutions supported the team in doing this by providing training to all the leaders (and the recruitment team involved). Part of this was talking to the line managers about the types of employees they wanted onsite and also what activities would be included in the selection centre.

People Solution designed the methodology in line with best practice, the role and the technical and cultural fit to the company. People Solutions facilitated all the Selection Centres over the 12-month period. This involved planning the days, organising all the materials, co-ordinating assessors and candidates, facilitating all activities in a professional, fun and engaging manner, and ensuring discussion of candidate results and selection decisions lead to the employment of the right people for the right roles.  


This process successfully selected employees for all 1000 roles within the 12-month period, which meant around 2,500 applicants participated in the selection centre process (on average 50 candidates were assessed/week).

The initial communication, engagement and training of the line managers was a key factor to the success of this recruitment campaign. This approach resulted in the line managers working with the recruitment team and People Solutions to ensure all parties had the information they required to do their role successfully. Those line managers who didn’t initially see the value in this process preferred this approach and were positive about the Selection Centres in identifying the best candidates from a technical and cultural perspective.

The result of employees selected from this process, at the 12-month mark, had no behavioural issues and performance at least at a “3” (competent) or above. Those employees who were selected through the Selection Centre but were not with the company 12-months later, had left predominantly due to the Operator not being aware of what it was like to work and the expectations on a Greenfields site versus those on an established mine site.

Due to the success of this campaign, the Selection Centre process is now being used as a standard method of recruitment, not only for this site, but all other sites within the company. This allowed for a whole business approach, where the recruitment team could effectively and efficiently hire for all operational and trade roles.  The Selection Centre method (with adaptions) was also adopted for the recruitment of any traineeship and apprenticeship program for the company, leading to high retention rates (around 98%) and good to high levels of performance for personnel 12 to 24 months into the programs.

Our selection solutions are designed specifically for each organisation, see a case study about how we were able to develop a culturally appropriate assessment centre.


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