Stuart's passion for diversity comes from his belief that a diverse team creates a challenging workplace that facilitates flexibility and drives growth through differing values, skill sets and backgrounds. This passion is reflected in the work Stuart has been undertaking with the Clontarf Academy and more recently the SHINE program, an education program established in Western Australia.
Stuart believes when you employ the right person, it is much easier and takes less time to up-skill people than change people's values and behaviours. Iluka needed to recruit people with values and behaviours that aligned with the company's, so Stuart facilitated a fundamental change to the way Iluka approached recruitment. The job criterion was altered in order to attract people without previous mining experience. Given that it is difficult to pick up on values and standards of behaviours when reading a resume, it was necessary to broaden the scope of who was interviewed. The interview process was modified to include questions that explored applicants' commitment, integrity and responsibility, which are Iluka's key values.
It was important to have a solid process for up-skilling people who came into the business with no previous experience, so at the same time Stuart improved their training systems to meet the needs of new recruits who had the right values and behaviours, but would need more training to carry out their jobs. By adopting a new approach to recruitment, the number of female employees at Iluka's Narngulu operation increased from 16.5% in 2012 to 25.4% in 2013 and from zero to 20% in operations crews over the past three years. Instead of one demographic with similar backgrounds reinforcing certain dominant behaviours, Narngulu now has male, female and Indigenous employees of different ages from a range of backgrounds, expertise and experience and a more consistent and higher standard of behaviours.
Iluka’s new recruitment process adds to the company’s reputation within the local, mining and broader communities, with an increasing perception (now reality!) that they provide opportunities for all individuals.