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.
AgCareers.com recently gathered a group of agribusiness HR leaders in Indianapolis, Indiana to discuss current challenges in talent acquisition. A nice mix of companies were represented, and the organizations varied in size, which contributed to well-rounded conversation (JBS United, Equipment Technologies, Tom Farms, Dow AgroSciences, Total Seed Production, Inc., Elanco, and Beck’s Hybrids). Despite the difference in size of company and the nature of their businesses, the group seemed to echo similar challenges.
Talent Attraction emerged as a key discussion theme, as we began exploring challenges as a group. The group indicated four areas of importance to focus on when examining talent attraction strategies.
AFA asks questions. We genuinely value curiosity and learning. Our current question is this:
Let me explain. Almost a year ago AFA launched the Leader Fellowship™ experience which partners a young person and a coach. Part of the relationship is geared toward direct mentoring and part of the relationship is geared toward direct coaching. These are very different skills, and as we have developed, we have had to think through models that serve both needs.
Mentoring tends to be directionally-based: “Do this.” It is position-led and can look a lot like good supervision. It is performance oriented, and the mentor tends to be viewed as a role model. It sounds like “Try these things to solve your problem.”
AgCareers.com is anxiously awaiting and preparing for the 2017 Ag & Food HR Roundtable in Kansas City, Missouri! This year’s event takes place from August 1-3 and, as always, is chock-full of exciting sessions with a broad range of topics. Not sure if you’d like to attend? Longtime Roundtable attendee Tina Dorner with CHS, Inc. may persuade you with her answers to these questions regarding the 2017 Roundtable:
What keeps you returning to the Roundtable each year?
Each year the roundtable topics are current and relevant to the agriculture industry. It’s an opportunity for me to learn from the presenters and to network with other HR and educational professionals in agriculture.
Whomp whomp whomp. Do you ever just feel like you hear that in your head when you approach the desk of a particular employee? A Debbie Downer can come in many different forms: the complainer, the constantly depressed, the sluggish and unmotivated, or the unhopeful. All of the above can be quite draining and detrimental and take a toll on workplace morale. Here are a few tips on how to engage and call that negativity to attention:
Don’t Ignore Them. Typically, office downers might have something on their mind they probably want to share but are instead letting their body language, expressions, and maybe not-so-subtle words speak for themselves. Ignoring this behavior and brushing it off only adds tension. Talk to them about what’s up. Confront it rather than letting it build and cause rifts.
Using video in recruitment is quickly becoming a core component of talent acquisition. To gain a competitive advantage, many companies are adapting their traditional recruitment strategies and processes to incorporate the use of video in candidate sourcing, selection, and beyond.
Employer Brand – Videos help employers stand out by bringing more recognition and innovation to their brand. On company career sites, videos can be used to showcase information about the company and the careers offered, such as “a day in the life” videos for certain key roles. Videos reveal a genuine look at an organization’s culture and what it’s like to work there, connecting the recruiter to the right candidates more effectively.
If you’ve been a manager for any length of time, chances are you’ve had to face situations that call for disciplinary action. Unfortunately, there’s no step by step playbook for what to do when unhealthy behavior starts to surface, as people are unique individuals, and every situation seems to have its own complexities. There are however, a few important considerations to keep in mind as you navigate. When it comes to making a decision as to whether the actions of the employee warrant warning or fire, the severity of the offense matters. Immediate termination would be appropriate if the employee has acted in an unethical manner. Examples of this would include things like stealing money, falsifying reports, abusing an expense account, etc. Other situations aren’t so black and white. Things like under performance, negative attitudes/behavior, or not following certain safety protocols can describe almost anyone when they’re having a bad day. It’s the repeated offenses that tend to start the downward spiral, which means it’s really important to address concerns before they build up.
Guest Blog Post by Bill Stumph, Chief Financial Officer for Ag Alumni Seed and a 2016 graduate of the MS-MBA in Food and Agribusiness Management from Purdue University
Successful employees are searching for improvement. They are putting in extra effort and time to make a difference for the company and for themselves. Those employees can make an even better impact on your company if they are given great tools to work with.
Providing the employees hungry for growth with the tools they need to be more effective means that they make your business more effective. I should know. I recently completed a program offered by Purdue University’s Center for Food and Agricultural Business called the MS-MBA in Food and Agribusiness Management. The program is a collaboration between Purdue University’s College of Agriculture and Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. The rigor of a master’s in agricultural economics is paired with the diversity of study in the MBA.
Enrolling in the program was one of the best decisions I have made, personally and professionally.
Talent acquisition is generally one of the first areas of an organization that a perspective employee will meet, and an area that will have an ever-lasting impact on the organization. After all, a company is only as good as its employees, right? Assessing the talent acquisition function is a process that may take time, but the outcome is sure to provide a clear picture of the state of affairs and determine the likelihood that the function and organization will succeed.
A highly effective talent acquisition function starts with a well-planned talent acquisition strategy that is aligned with the overall strategic mission and vision of the organization. In addition, a sound talent acquisition strategy will thoughtfully lay out how the function will help the company achieve its overall mission. While for some companies the exercise of creating a talent acquisition strategy can seem arduous, especially during the day-to-day operations of most HR functions, it is sure to pay off in the end.