Mining industry employees and jobseekers are prioritizing a work-life balance when they look for a new role or when they start feeling dissatisfied in the position they are in.

This is according to a survey of almost 800 people conducted by Perth-based Mining People International in January 2019.

The recruitment agency reported that when asked “What takes priority when you’re searching for your next mining job opportunity?”, a work-life balance was the top choice for almost 40% of respondents. Second was career development with 37.6% of respondents choosing this option, while salary was third in the rank of priorities with just 20% of the votes.

According to MPI, these results are very similar to those obtained in the 2018 poll but quite different from what its experts saw back in 2016.

“It seems there was a higher dissatisfaction level with pay back in 2016, but that has been somewhat corrected now,” the study reads. “This is consistent with our observation that the mining industry has used some of its new-found profitability to raise salaries after a period of stagnation.”

Analyzing the survey’s outcome, Steve Heather, Managing Director & Principal Executive Search of Mining People, said that people stop putting salary at the top of their priorities when they feel confident they found the right job that offers fair pay.

In Heather’s view, these results show that companies should avoid falling into the trap of competing for mining talent solely on salary, something some firms have made progress with by putting more emphasis on family-friendly rosters, high-quality accommodation, and top-class communications technology.