HSEC - a Profession in demand Ben Wilson BMgmt (Emp Rel), Dip. FM Chris Ginever Grad. Dip. OHSM Wilson People Management
The hazards of being a safety officer... A big mining company recently hired several cannibals. "You are all part of our team now", said the HR rep during the welcoming briefing. "You get all the usual benefits and you can go to the cafeteria for something to eat, but please don't eat any of the other employees". The cannibals promised they would not. Four weeks later their boss remarked, "You're all working very hard, and I'm satisfied with you. However, one of our Safety Officers has disappeared. Do any of you know what happened to him?" The cannibals all shook their heads. After the boss had left, the leader of the cannibals said to the others, "Which one of you idiots ate the Safety Officer? A hand rose hesitantly, to which the leader of the cannibals continued, "You fool!!! For four weeks we've been eating Engineers and no one noticed anything, but noooooo, you had to go and eat someone important!
Demand outstripping Supply! Just not enough HSEC/Risk professionals to meet demand This positive trend started in 2000 It is expected to peak and continue with the super cycle for a minimum of 5yrs Biggest issue is dilution of numbers, quality, high salaries and wages, little mentoring and limited career succession programs.
At a glance Labour market and industry skills needs have undergone unprecedented change OHS&W Legislation has been ramped up and prosecution targets have been set by some state inspectorates. Some jurisdictions now have Industrial Manslaughter Strong economic growth coupled with low rates of unemployment Growth of new industries with few ready-skilled HSEC professionals Relocation of new industries into different regions with a different skills base Location of industry or project-based work in remote regional areas across Aust Technological changes within industry, especially production; resulting in new innovative methods that outstrip legislation and therefore increases need for HSE assessment by up to date OHS personnel.
Industries most effected by OHS skills shortage Australia is experiencing a boom in demand which is placing pressure on industries and their HSEC systems and processes: Resources (Mining, Oil & Gas) - Digging as fast as they can Construction & Engineering - Building as fast as they can Government – Managing the private sector demands and dealing with compliance issues & competing with big $.
Salary Survey Results For a career path thats often portrayed as the poor relative of Human Resources, the results of a salary survey of safety and risk professionals comes as a shock. OHS graduates coming into the workforce are attracting a minimum of $60k At the top end of town, Australian HSEC professionals are demanding – and getting – packages approaching $350k. Internationally this figure increases. Director HSEC or VP Global Safety attracting $450k +
WPM survey results The demand for Australian safety professions over the next 5 yrs will increase and the approximate levels are: PositionSalaryNumber HSE Graduate$60k +150 HSE Officer$70k +50 – 100 HSE Supervisor$70 – $100k70 – 100 HSE Manager$100 – $150k50 – 75 HSEC Executive$180k +30 – 50 HSEC President$250k + 15 – 25 VP or Director$300k +20 Duties Corporate HSEC culture, OHS Systems & Audit, Risk Management, OHS Policies and Procedures, OHS Training, OHS due diligence, OHS Rehabilitation, OHS Claims Management, OHS Nurse/ Emergency response.
Australian Salary Survey Results Permanent Safety Appointments Organisations that have 200 + staff are employing OHS graduates from $50 - $70k OHS Generalists in the medium to large Resources/Construction organisations are paying $80 – 120k Safety Superintendents in Resources/Construction $120 – $170k Safety Managers $150k + Group Safety Executives and Major Project HSEC Leaders $200 – $300k Global VP Safety role $400k + Contract Safety Appointments The minimum hourly rate for a OHS preventions contractor is $45 - 50/hr and this is for a relatively inexperienced but qualified OHS professional The maximum hourly pay rates are between $100 – $250/hr for highly experienced candidates on major projects.
Profession in Demand Just not enough HSEC/Risk professionals to meet demand This positive trend started in 2000 It is expected to peak and continue with the super cycle for a minimum of 5yrs Biggest issue is dilution of numbers, quality, high salaries and wages, little mentoring and limited career succession programs.
Safety, a lever for cultural change Safety is seen as a key lever for cultural change HSEC is seen as part of the risk management strategy Organisations switched- on understand that if they can bring all employees together on safety, they use this as a lever for larger cultural change and better business outcomes across the entire organisation HSEC is recognised as part of the organisations risk management strategy WPM see a clear link between organisations with solid safety programs and profitability These changing corporate attitudes to HSEC clearly mean the labour market is that much tighter for qualified professionals in this field, nowhere is this more apparent than the resources and construction industries in the boom states of WA, SA & QLD.
Industry effects Higher salaries, wages & organisational costs A recent survey, titled the Heath Safety and Environment Remuneration Survey 2006-07, states: In three of the five survey positions remuneration packages in the resources sector were the highest, some corroborating evidence supports our findings that the resource-dominant regions of WA, SA and QLD had the highest salaries overall when compared with others states and territories. (Source: Drawn from Australian Job Search - an initiative of the Commonwealth Government of Australia - based on the ABS Labour Force Survey to February 2006.) Safe seek Quality of OHS output is at risk OHS retention issues can effect performance and overall culture More pressure on existing OHS systems and processes Projects not completed on time or on budget OHS candidates have unrealistic salary expectations Some OHS candidates are running before they can walk Making organisations focused on OHS skills development.
Industry Effects continued Organisations are putting safety down as a real value and part of the overall risk management strategy and not just paying it lip service Some organisations are still attempting to take short cuts Some safety practitioners are not operational enough and loosing executive management support They need to think overall risk and influence OHS throughout culture programs Organisations need strategies to compensate for higher salaries e.g. OHS graduate programs, and OHS Contracts – mentoring programs Focus on long term, rather than short term solutions
Key strategies employed to deal with HSEC skill shortages Its time to skill!! Think safety culture!! Think organisational risk!! Safety must be seen as a real value and organisations must not compromise Integrating Risk Management, Quality, Safety, Environment & Community into business planning Job customisation, Internal OHS succession planning Outsourcing OHS project management, OHS Graduate programs OHS Contractor/Mentor programs Embarking on International recruitment drives in conjunction with Governments and niche recruitment providers.
Strategies for coping with growth Training more safety representatives – operational level input to safety management Collaboration with government, service providers & tertiary units Identifying university graduates Sponsorship of o/s graduates and practioners Offering existing staff OHS courses/education programs Think outside the square, multi-skilling, cross training from other disciplines.
What this means for HSEC Professionals Quality candidates are relocating on a global basis Employers must pay their best employees well to retain them Huge pressure on OHS systems and processes More QA on OHS strategies Think overall risk management. Not just descriptive OHS strategies
What this means for HSEC Professionals Higher salaries Be more open to contracting & flexible working arrangements to secure the best OHS professionals Contractor training for existing employees Be prepared to look outside Australia and consider sponsoring overseas OHS specialists Use FIFO/contracting as a short term OHS mentoring option Mentoring programs for new graduates.
How organisations are combating the long-term OHS & HSEC skills shortage They accept the new reality: the market, not the company will ultimately determine the movement of your employees Managing OHS retention in the past was like tending a dam. Today its like managing a river. The object is not to stop flow, but to control direction and speed (Source: Harvard Business Review - Finding and Keeping the best people) Convincing OHS teams that youre serious about career programs not just performance management Electronic OHS career centres are being adopted for regional OHS professionals Visible support for OHS from management is crucial
Conclusion Be aware of the market conditions Move quickly when the right candidate presents Dont be promoted or promote OHS professionals too quickly to fill a gap (walk before you can run) Be flexible in either full-time or contract arrangements Think about the long-term not short-term benefits Think overall OHS culture The best way to convince management and thus gain support for OHS is to present a financial cost/benefit analysis
Questions Wilson People Management Pty Ltd Adelaide:(08) 8232 9997 Perth:(08) 9480 0449 www.wilsonpeople.com
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