Finding the Best People & Betting the Jockey

The overarching set of skills that makes someone great, that lets them outperform their peers, perhaps exponentially, are: Do they have a track record? Have they spent time in the trenches? And, do they have emotional intelligence, are they self-aware?

Will Coetzer, Founder & Managing Partner Stratum International

There is a prevailing ethos in the mining sector of “bet the jockey”. The idea being that if investors put their money behind great people success will take care of itself.

But, how do we identify great people?

Answering this question is more challenging than most investors acknowledge. In an industry where success is highly correlated to luck and timing, it’s easy to conflate serendipity with skill.

A single past success seldom correlates to a future win, and It’s also nearly impossible to identify the hungry up-and-comers, those yet to establish a track record, who often deliver the greatest gains for investors.

So how does an investor pick a jockey?

Enter: Will Coetzer the founder and Managing Director of Stratum International a boutique mining recruitment and consulting firm headquartered in London, UK.

Originally hailing from South Africa, Will commenced his mining recruitment career in London more than 15 years ago and after identifying a lack of strategic recruitment practices being applied to the mining sector, set out to fill the gap and founded Stratum International in 2012.

Will and his team have sat across from some of greatest mining leaders of our generation and helped many of them find the people required to help create significant shareholder value, including several M&A and liquidity events.

In this discussion, we explore:

  • What my behavioral profile says about the way I work.
  • Why the traditional recruitment model is destined to fail so often, and how to avoid it.
  • How to identify and retain top-tier talent.
  • Applying metrics when evaluating leaders.
  • How psychometric assessments can help determine a team’s success.
  • Why leaders rarely need what they say they want from new hires.
  • How Stratum leverages their independent research to understand what it requires to lead in the mining sector.
  • The coming skills shortage in the space.

I had a great time chatting with Will and it was eye opening to see the scientific approach Stratum applies to identifying the truly great people in this sector. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! 


Co-Founder, Resource Insider

PS. Check us out on iTunes HERE.


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