Guest Blogger: Ashley Collins, Agriculture Future of America
It’s almost August. Stores are stocking school supplies and commercials advertising back to school are in full swing. For employers, an approaching fall means preparation is underway for college recruitment programs. Today, more than ever before, agricultural employers will need a strategic plan and to utilize their available resources effectively to create success. According to the AgCareers.com 2016/2017 Agribusiness HR Review, when HR professionals were asked about their workforce size predictions for the next two years, 51% (the majority) reported that their workface size would remain the same. Only 45% are predicting an increase, which is a drop of 14% from 2015 when nearly 60% of ag employers predicted their workforce would grow. However, new grads and students looking for internships, need not worry; the annual report also states that 46% of employers remain committed to new graduate recruitment (up 1% over the year before) as part of their strategy for succession planning and to compete for top talent. This also means competition for the top talent on campus is going to be as competitive if not more than it has in the past! Here are a few tips to help employers be successful in college recruitment this fall.
Your employees are your organization’s most valuable assets. Helping them stay healthy keeps your organization healthy—with reduced absenteeism due to illness, and increased productivity due to better health. Promoting workplace wellness and implementing workplace wellness programs is one of best investments you can make as an employer.
According to the Agribusiness HR Review, wellness programs were among the 6th most commonly offered benefits for agribusiness employers. There are many ways that you can support work-life balance in your workplace – even with a limited budget. Start by finding out from your employees what wellness programs would support their work-life balance. Then back up your wellness program with policies, encourage employees to make use of your workplace wellness programs and affirm that tapping into these options will not negatively affect their employment with you.
Amy Gazaway, Career Development Coordinator for Oklahoma State University – College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, has been to so many AgCareers.com Roundtable events that she says she’s lost count. Which is why she wants to let university professionals know what they also stand to gain and how they can develop their careers at the annual Ag & Food HR Roundtable presented by AgCareers.com.
Why have you continued to attend the Roundtable? What is valuable about it for university professionals, specifically?
The AgCareers.com HR Roundtable provides the best opportunity for university professionals to develop relationships with and learn from industry representatives about how to best prepare students for and connect students to industry talent needs. There is no other opportunity that brings together the number of industry organizations specifically in agriculture and food for this purpose.
What do you do on a day-to-day basis in your role with AgCareers.com?
I mostly handle outgoing phone calls in an effort to connect with clients and new clients.
What do you enjoy about working with AgCareers.com?
I’m learning something new every single day. No two days here are ever the same. And I can appreciate that because you might think that talking on the phone every day would be the same thing every day, but I learn about agriculture, about the companies, and I can use that for my next phone call. I’m learning all the time.
We’ve all been there, right? Every other week, there is a card passed around, everyone mumbles the “happy birthday” song, and there is a room of people asking only for a “small” slice of cake. Once the small slice is eaten, everyone jets back to their office. While celebrating office birthdays is a great time to relax with coworkers, they can also become incredibly mundane. Though not every office decides to celebrate birthdays, it is a great way to step away for a few minutes and celebrate. If your office does decide to celebrate birthdays, there are a few things to remember that can make everyone more comfortable and bring the celebration back to birthdays.
One of the most enjoyable parts of my job is the Ag & Food HR Roundtable. From the gathering of ideas and input of our Organizing Committee and then molding that into an agenda that will intrigue and provide solutions to the challenges our audience faces. To the meeting new people and making valuable connections for myself but also among the participants. Each step along the way is rewarding, knowing that this event provides a unique opportunity for human resource and university/college career services professionals within agriculture and food found nowhere else.
It is hard to believe that this will be the Roundtable’s fifteenth year. Yes, I know this ages me, but I’m lucky enough to say I’ve been a part of all but the first one! Plan to join us for a fun celebration of 15 years of success, August 1 – 3 in Kansas City, MO. Our Organizing Committee, yet again, has developed a great agenda and we have plenty of fun networking opportunities – can I say, Boulevard Brewery!!!
There have been a lot of changes in Western Canada over the last 3 years which have impacted recruitment and retention in the agriculture industry! It was not that long ago that there was a labour shortage in the western provinces, due in part to a thriving economy. There were more high-paying jobs than people and people were flocking to Alberta in droves from other provinces.
Fast forward a few years and oh how things have changed! Lower oil prices have halted/slowed oilsands production, putting many out of work, and driving unemployment. Many agriculture employers were initially optimistic that they would have more candidates, which initially did appear to be the case.
However, many employers have been hesitant to hire those from other industries, worried that as soon as the price of oil and gas rises, they will lose those employees and be back to square one. The reality is that there are now more jobseekers in western provinces, but are they the potential employees that agribusinesses want to hire?
This is one of the big challenges, and here are some tips and things to consider when trying to hire in western Canada:
Danielle Tucker joins AgCareers.com this summer as our Marketing Intern in Ames, Iowa. She is currently a student at Iowa State University pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science and a Master’s of Business Administration.
What will you be working on this summer with AgCareers.com?
I will be working on a few large projects including creating an Ag Major Profile section for the website and putting together reports for companies about what their interns experienced. Also, I will be doing some benchmarking analysis on AgCareers.com to see how well we are serving customer needs. I will be writing articles and blogs about multiple areas in the workplace. I look forward to helping with the Ag & Food HR Roundtable as well and experiencing it for the first time!
What are you most excited for about this internship?
I’m excited to gain experience in marketing! I recently headed a new direction in school by pursuing a MBA along with my Animal Science major so this internship will allow me to explore areas within the business industry while still being involved in agriculture.
AgCareers.com celebrates and promotes the active hiring among our clients of military veterans and professionals. The practice of actively recruiting and hiring veterans to work in agriculture has become more popular in recent years, but recent findings show that military veterans do not always feel welcomed into the agricultural industry, leading some employers to wonder how they can make their workplace more military friendly. Here are a few suggestions to create a more military friendly work environment for veteran employees:
Guest Blogger: Becky Wilcox
One of the best things a manager can do is to surround himself or herself with people who make the business better. The employees you hire can make you or break you.
Nobody is good at everything, so in the case of a manager, a good criterion to consider in hiring people is to bring in personnel who compensate for your shortcomings. They can complement your best features in a way that makes both of you more effective.
Technology is often one of the areas where senior staff find themselves lacking. After 15 or 20 years in management, it can be easy to find yourself behind the times on information technology. Yet the business goes right on demanding it, providing profit and growth when the right tech tools are implemented.