HR automation and digitisation can improve efficiency in the mining industry

A mining company’s head office may be in a city but most of its employees are out-of-office workers, often in rural areas. So, the challenge is: how are HR managers supposed to provide their employees with effective support and ensure everything continues happening efficiently? What if some of the general HR tasks could be automated? Digitisation of HR in the mining industry could help to streamline processes in-office, while also having a game-changing community impact. Read more


The mining sector is incredibly important to the global economy and one of the world’s largest industries. Whether it’s coal-mining in South Africa, gold-mining in Australia or copper-mining in Chile, mining operations are often the leading employers in the communities where they operate. However, along with a larger workforce comes a greater burden on the HR team. They don’t have sufficient time to attend to the large volume of HR queries, meaning the quality of support provided to each employee starts to suffer. This is compounded by the fact that most employees of mining companies are based in remote areas, making delays, miscommunications and mix-ups all the more likely. In addition, when it comes to recruitment and training on policies and procedures, the process of ensuring transparency and compliance tend to be very laborious.

How do employees manage in the mining industry?

From the employee perspective, it can be equally frustrating to be so far removed from an office and the more individualised support it would bring. Getting feedback regarding an HR query or performing a simple task such as requesting a payslip or applying for leave can often involve time-consuming email and paperwork admin. With only around 10% of South Africans with computers at home, 16% with no electricity, and limited data it is challenging for many employees to follow up on HR support. The lack of HR support in remote areas and limited access to Internet also make it difficult to find and keep a job. 

A more effective and appropriate strategy is required if HR efficiency is to be improved in the mining industry. The automation and digitisation of HR could have a major impact on the workload of HR managers, as well as on the lives of remote employees. By using WhatsApp, many of the access-related concerns are already addressed. This is because, in South Africa for example, the instant-messaging platform is already used by 85% of people. With Mintor’s HR support tools, employees can instantly do a number of tasks themselves, such as skills training, payslip management and timesheet logging.

This is the future of people management, and the results speak for themselves: up to 70% improvement in job retention, 10 times faster recruitment, and a third of the usual payslip print and distribution cost. Employees are empowered to support themselves, while HR managers can spend more time focusing on people instead of paperwork.

HR automation is the way forward for improved efficiency. In developing tools that improve HR processes, we’re helping to close the digital divide between mining’s HR managers and the large remote workforce that relies on them for support.

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