Case Study Pages:
BHP Billiton is a leading global resources company, comprising over 100,000 employees and contractors worldwide. The company creates long-term shareholder value by discovering, developing and converting natural resources and providing innovative customer and market focused solutions. Its operations are located in some of the best resource basins around the world and its products are sold globally.
With employees working in over 100 operations around the world, people are fundamental to BHP Billiton’s success. BHP Billiton are always looking for talented people to join the company so the human resources (HR) function plays an important role in the company’s overall business performance. Its people strategy is founded on attracting, developing and retaining talented employees. Effective HR involves understanding existing and future business requirements, and using effective recruitment strategies to attract the best people to deliver on these business requirements. Having a pool of talented people with a range of skills that can be drawn on to deliver on the company’s strategy now and in the future is paramount. BHP Billiton develops its people by providing opportunities to move around the business and experience working with different commodities in different geographies. This is an essential part of the development of its future leaders.
BHP Billiton’s award winning Foundations for Graduates program is an important way of contributing to the talent pipeline. The program aims to equip Graduates with the skills, tools and capabilities they will need throughout their career. The program was developed and implemented in partnership with the Melbourne Business School and has twice been recognised by the Australian Association of Graduate Employers (AAGE) as the “Best Graduate Development Program” in Australia.
Geologists are an important part of BHP Billiton’s processes. It’s their job to locate new resource deposits, such as iron ore, and determine the viability to mine. This involves analysing the structure and quality of the deposits through the application of geophysics as well as developing an efficient and safe process for extraction.
Donner Frater, Principal Geologist for the BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance describes it as an outdoor adventure career that encompasses lots of different jobs in many different places. Travel is an essential part of a geologist’s job as the valuable commodities produced by resources companies such as BHP Billiton are mined in some of the most remote corners of the world.
Jessica Barber is a Drill, Blast and Development Superintendent at BHP Billiton’s Iron Ore Whaleback Mine in Newman, Western Australia. Jessica started her mining career in Canada before moving to Australia with BHP Billiton. Jessica describes Newman and the BHP Billiton site as having a strong community feel, where one person from every household contributes to the mining industry. Although the town is remote, there is everything people need and it’s an ideal location for those who are family and friends focused. The shift structure of sites like Newman allows for an excellent work-life balance, enabling people to work in a way that suits them. This could be two weeks on, one week off, four days on, four days off, or a typical five day week.
Jessica is responsible for leading the team who remove the topsoil covering deposits, drilling down and exposing the resources through explosives and blasting and opening up the deposit for materials removal. Her team is also responsible for the planning, design, building and maintenance of the site’s road system.