good employees leaveVoluntary turnover is the number one factor influencing workforce planning needs according to the most recent HR Review report. Industry employers cited voluntary turnover as most significant at 74.26%, well above things like retirements (38.61%) and recruitment difficulties (48.51%). It has always been a best practice to focus on retaining you’re A player employees, but it sounds like our industry human resource leaders are emphasizing the challenges they face there. Let’s dive into three common reasons good employees make the decision to leave their employer, along with potential safeguards to hopefully reduce departures.


1. Sanctioned incompetence.

When we keep someone who is unproductive and underperforming on a high performing team, we are rewarding (paying) for mediocre. Our A players can quickly become frustrated by the lack of results and dead weight, and they’ll begin looking elsewhere. Safeguard against this scenario by ensuring performance metrics are clearly outlined and measured, regardless of the role. This simple (but often surprisingly overlooked) action can serve to place accountability on the manager and team member, so performance and team dynamics can be addressed before good employees get fed up and leave.

Published on August 16th, 2018

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hr languageAre you talking in your own private HR language at work? Do only you and your immediate coworkers, or closest associates understand the linguistics? Candidates sometimes feel they are trying to decipher a foreign language when reading a job posting/description or interviewing with a potential employer. Here are some tips to keep in mind when writing and speaking to candidates without using too much HR language.


HR Lingo

Recruiters and hiring managers should carefully avoid HR-speak when communicating with candidates and new hires.  ATS, EEOC, ESOP, AAP, ERG, EVP… human resource acronyms that not all candidates know off the top of their head.  In addition, familiar terms discussed in HR, such as onboarding, company culture, performance assessments, and at-will employment might be just as alien to the general candidate.

Published on August 9th, 2018

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interview feedbackInterviewing candidates for an open role is no easy task. Rejecting a candidate that you have interviewed is even more challenging and something most employers dread. Sending a post-interview rejection email is necessary, but have you ever had a candidate respond wanting feedback from their interview? This can be a tricky situation and some employers are left unsure of how to respond next. When giving interview feedback, not only do you risk upsetting the candidate but you can put your company at a legal risk as well. There are ways to give feedback and keep your reputation without hurting feelings or putting your company at any risk.


Start with the positive!

Just because the candidate was not right for a certain position does not mean they won’t be right for another position elsewhere. Starting off with the positive attributes from the interview will ease the candidates mind when you move on to more constructive and helpful criticisms. Even though they were rejected for the position, being positive boosts the candidate experience with your company.

Published on July 24th, 2018

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barbie job hoppingBarbie® was integral to my childhood playtime, creating my own imaginary world, picturing myself as a veterinarian, or even a rock star someday. After all, Barbie said I could be anything! I didn’t foresee my adult work life actually intersecting with one of America’s most iconic toys, especially during an out-of-the-blue conversation with my 8-year-old child about job hopping.


Mom, did you know Barbie has had 130 careers in her lifetime? AND, she’s only 58 years old!” That’s a new job every six months!” – my 8-year-old


“Barbie is a job hopper, my dear.” – my response


That’s some deep thinking by a child that already recognizes the concept of a career change in elementary school! The stats might be even higher, as the official Barbie media website indicates she’s had more than 150 careers on her resume. Born in 1959, that’s more than two new careers per year. Plus, Barbie wasn’t just changing jobs, she was going from an equestrian to an executive, a beekeeper to a bakery chef!

Published on July 19th, 2018

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the office hr managementIt’s no secret to those close to me that The Office is my favorite television show. My husband and I have probably Netflix’ed the entire series at least 10 times. I’m constantly quoting lines and relating my life experiences to something that happened on the show. Though I have learned much about HR since joining nearly five years ago, I must say that I also often see parallels between my industry colleagues’ work and the humorous and often outrageous scenarios played out on the hit NBC sitcom. Here are lessons The Office has taught me about HR and management that I think are relevant and valuable to anyone working in this field.


1. How NOT to Behave in the Office or Workplace.


This probably goes without saying, even if you haven’t seen The Office. Between spending weeks planning pranks to pull, creating playlists for your office crush, constant parties, and pointless meetings, not a lot of work is actually done on this show. Are your employees really working behind their computers? But more than that, unethical and inappropriate happenings that would make any HR professional spill their chili are the norm in Scranton, PA.


2. Show Your Staff They are Appreciated.


Aside from his unacceptable comments to and about women in the workplace (which would certainly never fly on a sitcom today) and his treatment of Toby, Michael Scott has to be commended for his treatment of his staff. He holds an award ceremony for them, he participates in great initiatives like “Take Your Kids to Work” Day, he sponsors a (albeit ridiculous) charity 5K for his employees to run in, he gives the entire staff the Friday off before Jim and Pam’s wedding, and don’t get me started about all the goodbyes he gives his staff in “Goodbye Michael.” I could go on. Take cues from the golden Michael Scott moments, after he gets all his fake firing and “that’s what she said’s” out of the way: he goes the distance for his staff.

Published on June 28th, 2018

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hr roundtableWe are gearing up for the industry’s premier North American event for HR and educational professionals which will be held August 7-9, 2018 in Tulsa, Oklahoma! Hosted by and Oklahoma State Universities College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, the Ag & Food HR Roundtable will provide relevant content examining recruitment and retention specifically within the ag and food industry. The opportunity for HR and educational professionals to network at the same conference is unique and rewarding!


In preparation for this year’s event we asked repeat attendees to share their thoughts on the Ag & Food HR Roundtable. Paula Beecher is the Director of the Bookhart Student Services Center for the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences at Clemson University and Kevin O’Conner serves as the Recruiting Coordinator for AgReliant Genetics. Both have attended the event in the past and will also be on site in Tulsa.


What was your favorite part of last year’s Roundtable?

Paula: My favorite part of the Roundtable last year was hearing from the speaker who co-wrote the book Marching off the Map (Andrew McPeak). I loved this session and have used this book and his ideas throughout the year!

Published on June 19th, 2018

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diversity in agricultureAt we recognize that as agriculture itself has diversified, so has its workforce. In response, we conducted a survey to capture employer’s efforts to address diversity within their organizations. The results of the Workplace Diversity Survey-2018 U.S. Edition shares details on the current state of workplace diversity in agriculture.


While the survey results contain a wealth of valuable information and insight, there were a few key findings that really stood out.


● Females are represented as diverse talent at 83% of organizations.


● 67% of organizations reported more than one race is represented by their employees.

Published on June 14th, 2018

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Kate Summer InternKate Boeckenstedt joins the office in Ames, Iowa this summer as our Marketing Intern. Kate just completed her junior year at Iowa State University as an Agricultural Education major with the Communications option. Last summer, Kate worked as a Crop Scout for AgVantage FS in Alburnett, Iowa.


What will you be doing this summer with


I’ll be in charge of the student success kit we’re working on as well as the Internship Benchmark Survey. Organizing some pages on our website as well as a few special marketing projects will be some other things I’m working on this summer.


What do you enjoy about working with


I like the flexibility and getting to know the indoor work environment. I like the opportunity to grow and share my ideas. The research side and blogging has been new to me. I never thought I’d be a blogger.


What advice would you give to employers using for the first time?


I think the resume database is a useful tool. Sometimes personally looking for the right candidate can serve as an advantage.

Published on May 29th, 2018

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exit interviewAn employee will leave a company for a wide number of reasons, but what are those reasons? Is there a rumor that employees leave your company for the competitor down the street for more money, when in fact they just feel underappreciated? How will you know the difference if you don’t ask, and more importantly, how will you fix what you don’t know? The answer: conduct an exit interview


The only way to ensure good talent doesn’t leave is to actively fix the issues that are causing employees to walk out the door. It is easy to blame employee turnover on speculation, such as they didn’t seem to get along well with others, or they didn’t seem to really like their position. The real issue could be the employee had little to no training and didn’t understand the essentials of their position. Once the real reasons of turnover have been determined, management and human resources should work together to ensure issues are remediated. What’s the point in learning about a problem if it isn’t fixed? Taking the time to sit with employees and discuss their employment experience can be fruitful for both the manager and employee. The list below describes just some of the reasons exit interviews are so important.


1. What does your company do well? Good data about your company walks out the door once the employee leaves. Maybe there is a manager that excels at developing employees or the flexible scheduling is what most employees love about your company. These are good tidbits you might already have wind of but, having concrete data that shows employees love them is important to have. Good data also walks out the door once the employee leaves.


2. Last chance to make a good impression. While there are occasions that an employee may leave due to no fault of the company, if an employee is disgruntled, the exit interview may be the last opportunity to hear out and smooth out any issues. A dissatisfied employee may have no issue telling their neighborhood about ABC Company’s crass managers, for example. In turn, bad publicity may deter others from applying for open positions, thus prolonging any recruiting pains.

Published on May 22nd, 2018

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recruiting a to zWe thought we’d have a little fun and explain recruiting from A to Z. Let us know what other things you associate with each of these letters when it comes to recruiting!


A. – You didn’t really think I’d start anywhere else, did you? Neither should you!


B. Benefits – Beyond the norm, what are some unique benefits you offer and can share?


C. Compensation – Make sure your comp is in line. Use our Compensation Benchmark Review™.


Published on May 9th, 2018

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