Employee Development

Employee Attraction, Development, and Retention

Why is employee attraction, retention, and development important?

A stable and skilled workforce is key to any organization’s success. In geographically diverse organizations, multi-faceted and multi-cultural work forces can bring a wide array of experience, knowledge, background, culture and heritage which can lead to innovation, enhanced operations, and improved relationships with COIs.

In the mining industry, it can be challenging to achieve a skilled, stable, and diverse workforce due to remoteness of operations, local demographics, and competition for talent. To be competitive and provide value to our COIs, our Company needs to attract, retain and develop the best talent. That is why we offer our people long-term, quality employment with competitive compensation and opportunities for professional development. We are committed to building a diverse, inclusive organization, representative of the communities in which we operate.

Material TopicEmployee attraction, retention, and development
Sub-TopicEmployment conditions and benefits
Employee and contractor training and development
Inclusion and diversity and equal opportunity
Labour Relations
Non-discrimination and pay equity
DefinitionCreating the right conditions to attract, develop, and maintain a talented workforce
Feedback From COIsEmployees and potential employees look to us to provide fair compensation, stable employment, development and training.
How We’re RespondingWe are deploying human resources programs that align the employee experience with a successful long-term mining business.

Our Approach

Recruiting and retaining qualified personnel is critical to our success. In managing our human resources programs, Pan American Silver focuses on the following key principles: 

  • Creating long-term, stable employment
  • Providing competitive compensation
  • Providing quality benefits
  • Providing opportunities for training and professional development
  • Fostering an inclusive work environment


  • Global Code of Ethical Conduct – Sets out corporate expectations against workplace bullying and harassment. It also supports diversity and the maintenance of an inclusive work environment, free from discrimination.
  • Board Policy and Senior Management Diversity Policy – Articulates our commitment to considering diversity when recruiting, developing and appointing our senior management team and Board members.
  • Management Policy Statement – Defines diversity for Pan American Silver and sets out our position and expectations and position on diversity and inclusion.

Programs and Initiatives

  • Site-level training programs – Provide necessary skills and development opportunities to meet site-specific current and future needs.
  • Leadership Development Program – Focuses on the personal and professional development of current and future leaders.
  • Inclusion and Diversity Program – Fosters an inclusive work environment through a focus on gender, national culture, and generational diversity.
  • Site-level union agreements – Improve safety standards and working conditions at our operations by working with union leaders.


  • The Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs has functional oversight of human resources in the organization.
  • Corporate Inclusion and Diversity Advisory Committee and site-level sub-committees oversee inclusion and diversity initiatives.
  • Country and site-level personnel provide human resources support. 

Our Performance

The mining sector is among the highest-paid in each of the countries where we operate. We invest in our workforce, offering meaningful employment and fair compensation. We recognize that we must provide competitive compensation and benefits programs to attract and retain skilled and motivated employees. We regularly benchmark compensation to ensure we are paying in line with market trends. In setting our compensation packages, we also consider the standard of living and quality of life of our workers. We want to ensure our lowest-paid employees receive at least a livable wage – a wage enabling a worker to maintain a safe, decent standard of living and quality of life within the community. The actual amount varies by location, but our compensation far exceeds the legal minimum wage in each location.

In 2017, we calculated the livable wage for each of our work sites and compared this to our pay scales. Our wages exceed a livable wage in all but one country regional office location, which is being assessed. We plan to conduct another assessment in 2019.

Tracking turnover is one way we review our market competitiveness, assess the effectiveness of our hiring practices, and evaluate our performance as an employer. Being a lean, decentralized company and utilizing contract workers only during peak demands, means we can better maintain our workforce during downturns.

Our turnover rate in 2018 was approximately nine percent. As a mining company, our turnover rates are site-specific, responding to local labour market competition and industry changes at each location. At the operations level, competitive environments for skilled labour and new opportunities at new mines are generally responsible for voluntary turnover. 

At the senior management level, our turnover is below five percent. We focus on building a culture of openness and respect, and shared values around safety, sustainability, and achievement. We believe that these shared values and common commitment to Pan American Silver’s objectives are responsible for the low turnover amongst the senior management team. 

Potential Risks and Impacts

  • Competition for talent and skills shortages
  • Labour disruptions and work stoppages
  • Low productivity and efficiency

Related SDGs

Training and Development

To retain a skilled workforce, we invest in the development of our employees. Each operation develops training programs and schedules based on the needs and skill requirements of that mine.   

Leadership and management training is also a key component of our people development strategy. Through our Leadership Development Program (LDP), we have identified 250 leaders and managers from diverse backgrounds who are in positions to influence business outcomes. We believe these employees will drive Pan American Silver’s future success. Our LDP is designed to develop future leaders by deepening their understanding of the mining industry and our business, enhancing their management skills and leadership capabilities, and reinforcing both Pan American Silver’s core leadership values and its corporate values. To date, we have trained 150 leaders. Approximately 30 employees complete this program successfully each year. 

Fostering an Inclusive Work Environment 

Awareness and promotion of diversity can foster an inclusive work environment where individuals are treated fairly and with respect and given equal opportunity to develop and advance. Our focus is on three key aspects of diversity – gender, national culture, and generational.

In 2017, we established an Inclusion and Diversity Advisory Committee to help us build a more inclusive work environment. In 2018, we established inclusion and diversity sub-committees at each mine site that will be responsible for developing annual site-specific inclusion and diversity targets. 

Percentage of Employees by Nationality

Management’s Policy Statement

We strive to achieve an inclusive work environment where all are treated fairly and respectfully, have equal access to resources and opportunities, are free from harassment, and can contribute to the success of the organization.

We embrace the diversity of our workforce and the communities where we operate. For Pan American Silver, diversity includes gender, ethnicity, age, race, religion, disability, cultural, socio-economic background, nationality, sexual orientation, language, educational background, and expertise.

We encourage participation and promote inclusion and diversity through our policies and practices, by providing opportunities to work with our Company as employees, contractors or suppliers, or through participation in our numerous social programs.

Diversity Snapshot

Native language Spanish99%
Native language English0.6%
Home country in Latin America98.5%
Employees & Contractors
Over 5011%
Under 3023%

Gender Diversity 

Women are underrepresented across the mining industry, particularly in technical and trades roles. Only six percent of our workforce are women – the majority of whom are in professional, administrative, and support roles. We are focused on developing female talent and attracting highly qualified female candidates by:

  • Supporting external programs that seek to inspire women to enter and stay in science- and mining-related careers. 
  • Increasing the number of women participating in our Leadership Development Program.
  • Setting gender percentage targets: our goal is to reach 10 percent female employees at Pan American Silver by 2020. 

Cultural Diversity

We have mines in different countries. Whenever possible, we hire our workers and management from our host communities and countries as a means of contributing to local economic development. In addition, managers who speak the local language and understand the local culture help translate corporate values into site practices in a way that is appropriate for that site and the local norms. In 2018, 99 percent of our employees were nationals of the countries where the mine is located.

Although 99 percent of our employees have Spanish as their native language, to be inclusive and communicate more effectively, our standard practice is to conduct meetings in both Spanish and English, and use simultaneous translators so all participants can comprehend, participate, and contribute. Cross culture awareness is also a component of our LDP.

Local Employees By Country (1)

Senior Management (2)96%100%92%73%95%
Total Workforce99.9%99.8%99.5%99.3%99.7%

(1) Permanent employees who are either born or who have the legal right to reside indefinitely in the same geographic market as the operation.

(2) Senior management includes directors, managers, and employees in superintendent-level or equivalent positions.

Generational Diversity

To enable all employees to contribute fully, it is important that management and employees understand the needs and expectations of employees in different stages of life. This is of particular importance as the older generation of miners approaches retirement; it is imperative to transfer their knowledge to younger generations.


We work to avoid discrimination not only in our workplace, but also against our community members and service providers. No incidents of discrimination were reported through the whistleblower hotline or through human resource channels in 2018.

Labour Relations

At each of our sites, a percentage of our employees and contractors are unionized. We have agreements with our various unions and place significant emphasis on maintaining positive relationships with the unions and unionized employees. In 2018, none of our operations experienced strikes or lockouts exceeding one week’s duration.

Next steps

  • Roll out initiatives to further our inclusion and diversity objectives.
  • Integrate employees from Tahoe Resources into our management teams and culture.

Click here to see our GRI data tables with additional data for: 

GRI 102-8 Information on employees and other workers
GRI 401-1 New employee hires and employee turnover