I have read quite a few articles indicating that the mining industry is seeing a shortage of experienced people, on both the technical and management side of the business. Apparently the baby boomer generation is now nearing their retirement or early-retirement stage and there is a gap in the number of experienced people following behind.
Many of these retirees enter the “independent consultant” stage of their careers.
I also hear from recruiters that there is a shortage of engineers willing to take remote or international assignments. This is particularly difficult when a senior level candidate has a growing family.
Can the independent engineers help out?
In a previous article (14. Miners – Why Have Your Own Independent Consultant?) I discussed why mining companies (or even consulting firms) should make use of the independent engineers as advisers or Board members.
I understand from colleagues in the mining industry that many of the people nearing retirement are willing to take on consulting assignments or board or directors roles or other management roles. They are often willing to work part time and independently. Or they may work as “associates” with engineering firms.
So there likely is a significant network of experienced people out there. It’s just a matter of being able to tap into that network when someone needs specific expertise.
So how can one do this?
LinkedIn currently seems to be the only global network for technical people. It is a great way to connect with engineers and geologists industry wide.
LinkedIn members work everywhere, at mine operations, consulting firms, financial houses, as independents, or even retired. Almost every technical person I know is registered on LinkedIn.
The question is how to find these people when you are looking for a specific independent expertise for a short term or over the longer term.