KEEPING STAFF IS THE KEY

KEEPING STAFF IS THE KEY

FINDING the right people in an industry with high staff-turnover is part of the battle. Keeping them is what’s really important.

Praanesh Prasad (pictured) is passionate about the staff at WorkPac, one of the state’s leading recruiters for the mining, construction and engineering industries.

The company’s group chief executive says WorkPac has a high staff retention rate in a sector that traditionally suffers from high employee turnovers.

Prasad is not resting on those laurels and has set a goal of improving staff retention even further in the coming year.

“We want to keep our people. We have 47 business centres across Australia that are managed by people who treat this business very much as their own,” he says.

“Our sharing of dividends with our people is very much a part of our culture. We place no boundaries on others, respect people, treat them well and allow them to be commercially astute by regarding revenue as if it were their own money.”

The Fortitude Valley-based WorkPac, ranked 17th Top Private Company in 2012, sees great growth opportunities in the coming year.

“We want to be right across all the oil and liquefied natural gas projects kicking off in the next 12 months, particularly in Gladstone, the Northern Territory and Western Australia,” says Prasad.

“At any one time we have almost 1000 people out working in the Bowen Basin, Emerald, Blackwood, Moranbah, Clermont and Mackay. Top coal producers and our blue-chip clients operate from there, allowing that business to grow locally.”

However, Prasad says the company must overcome at least two hurdles to realise its goals.

“Key challenges are always based around people and productivity,” he says.

“We need to keep generating high levels of business output, activity and financial return. This is driven by very high levels of productivity, which we need to keep going.”

Prasad’s defining moment in the last financial year was renewing several bluechip contracts with existing mining services and land-owner clients in the Bowen Basin, Hunter Valley and Pilbara region.

Prasad also reports that WorkPac has developed two new business groups, WorkPac Training and WorkPac Health, Safety and Environment.

He envisages fiscal 2013 as a year of organic growth.

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