How to handle mining job offers, acceptances and counteroffers

An outback road with ‘start’ written on the ground.

Negotiating offers and acceptances in the mining industry can be tricky. Here’s what you need to know, and what to do!

Here’s a scenario that might feel familiar if you’ve been around the Australian mining industry for a while.

You’ve decided it’s time to move on from your current mining job. You reach out to a few contacts on LinkedIn, apply for a few positions and find yourself with interviews to attend during your next block of R&R. The following R&R you’re busy doing medicals and site clearance paperwork and then, a few days later, a job offer lands in your inbox.

During the mining boom, the above scenario was a common one — in the downturn, less so. Now, things are changing again. While we’re not at boom-time levels, once again candidates are securing new roles within weeks of deciding it is time to move on from their employer.

Unfortunately, some mining companies are still coming to terms with this fact, which means their recruitment processes aren’t being managed as tightly as they need to be in a competitive market to keep applicants interested.

But, where employers are engaged, proactive and eager to secure you as an employee, it can be easy to get caught up in the process and not consider all aspects of the role. So, here’s what you need to do before accepting or declining an offer (or a counteroffer from your current employer).

Reading the job offer

While it can be exciting to receive a job offer, ask for time to consider it properly.

Verbally accepting because the salary and benefits sound great is not a good idea until you have reviewed the complete, written job offer.

While the practice of including all benefits in a salary package has reduced in recent years, there are still occasions when the value of housing, utilities, vehicle or insurances is included in the total package at the offer stage.

 

READ MORE: How to know if a mining job is the right mining job for you.

 

Negotiating job offers

By the job offer stage a company has already invested a reasonable amount of time into making an offer to the right candidate. They want you on their team and can see the value you would bring. This is the time to raise anything if it doesn’t quite suit your requirements. Don’t think “I don’t want to upset someone and I’m sure I can sort this out later”.

So, what if something within the offer doesn’t match your expectations?

Knowing the market salary for your role is always a good idea before you start negotiating, but remember that salary is only one part of the package.

Consider if your other ‘deal breakers’ have been included or excluded. For example, are you seeking a position that is closer to home, with flexible hours or with ongoing training? Ensure your ‘deal breakers’ are included and, if not, ask. You need to ensure that at this point you ask all your questions and raise all your concerns.

Some of the things you could negotiate include

  • Salary
  • Benefits
  • Hours
  • Start date
  • Leave
  • Relocation
  • Training

 
Image of a man celebrating success.
  

Declining a job offer

Hopefully you don’t get to the point that an offer is in front of you and you need to decline. However, for proactive jobseekers it is a possibility.

For example, you may receive two offers at the same time, or you may realise that something is not in line with your objectives. Whatever the reason, you are going to have to tell the company. Doing this as soon as possible allows the company to reach out to other applicants and, in many cases, will ensure they don’t have to start the whole recruitment process again. It’s best to advise a company verbally or, if this is not possible, via email.

Definitely do not stick your head in the sand or just disappear into thin air.

This is crucial as the mining industry is small, and you never know when you will encounter someone again

Managing a counteroffer

As challenging as resigning can be, what if your current manager presents a counteroffer?

Chances are your manager will want to know why you are leaving and they may well present an offer of a higher salary or better development or training incentives.

At this point you need to recall your reasons for beginning your job search and ask yourself if this counteroffer is an improvement on those factors. Only you can honestly answer this. Asking for time to consider the points discussed is highly recommended.

Whatever you decide, ensure you are ready to commit to whichever role you choose.

Handling offers, acceptances and counteroffers

So, in summary, here are the things to remember:

  • Ask for time to consider the offer
  • Decide if the offer is aligned with your expectations
  • Negotiate to ensure your ‘deal breakers’ are included
  • Accept or decline, but do so in the required time
  • Resign gracefully
  • Consider counteroffers with care
  • Start your new job, either in your current company or elsewhere.

 

Need help contemplating your career move? Our careers expert can help you. Get in touch.

 

Gail Rogers
Senior Consultant - Candidate Services & HR Consulting
Mining People International

gail.rogers@miningpeople.com.au

Gail worked in operational and technical mine site roles for 15 years and has been with MPi since 2002 in mining recruitment and executive search and eventually mining career guidance and human resources advisory positions. Gail’s 15 years directly in the mining industry, across residential, FIFO and CBD based roles, has given her a unique perspective into the industry.