Special Guest Blogger: Rachel Kagay, Leadership Development Manager, FFA Enrichment Center
In my experiences growing up on a farm, and in my line of work, I have interacted with a wide variety of people. Since an early age, I have always believed you can identify quickly upon meeting someone whether or not he or she grew up on a farm, have worked on a farm, or possess the ‘farm kid’ mentality. These students and young professionals possess recognizable talents and abilities that allow them to stand out from their peers. Without further ado (and in no particular order) here are the top 10 qualities kids that grew up on a farm bring to the workplace.
1. Work Ethic
‘Farm kids’ are instilled with the value of hard work, and a great work ethic. They are resourceful and willing to stay until the job gets done, and done right. Often, this work ethic translates into a willingness to “get dirty” when necessary, and complete the work even when conditions aren’t ideal. Knowing the value of hard work also means that you can count on farm kids to have the determination to see a task through to completion, often without close supervision necessary.
Employers and co-workers often recognize their ‘farm kid’ colleagues are reliable and dependable. Responsibility is extended to ‘farm kids’ at an early age. Growing up, the rule in my home was “you eat after the animals eat”; my sister and I knew that we were accountable for having our chores completed before we sat down to the dinner table. In the workplace, these colleagues can be expected to accept take full ownership for their projects and work to get the job done right.
Performance rewards go a long way in building a positive relationship between employer and employee. Over 70% of ag companies have a structured performance system in place, according to AgCareers.com. This data recently released by AgCareers.com, in the annual Agribusiness HR Review, a survey that benchmarks human resource practices and trends among agricultural companies. Undoubtedly, agriculture identifies with the opportunity to support growth and achievement within the industry while creating value for the workforce that supports it.
Over 90% indicated staff performance was linked to rewards ensuring that employees must meet establish goals and objectives to be rewarded. In addition to staff performance, companies also used company performance, individual performance as basis for performance rewards. Additionally, team performance (42.17%) and business unit performance (33.73%) were also noteworthy factors, a new trend for companies aiming to support the efforts of collective groups of employees working toward a common goal.
You’ve probably not heard this directly from candidates, but some say YOU STINK (at communicating with them)! Communication failures are one of the most frequently cited frustrations candidates share about employers.
Start clear communication with your very first introduction to the job seeker: your job posting.
Creating the right language for your job postings will save your organization time because you won’t need to sort through lists of unqualified candidates. It will also save job seekers’ time that may be wasted applying if they don’t meet your criteria.
If you’ve ever worked for a large company, you’ve most likely received a copy of their employee handbook – that handy little booklet filled with all the answers to the questions about the company you never asked in your interview, and a bunch of other info you quickly glanced over, too. But why do so many business use these documents – surely you could have just asked your boss if you ever wanted to know this stuff, right? Wrong.
The purpose behind the employee handbook is to provide information to employees in a way that becomes almost indisputable should company policies be challenged. Not only does it outline the business’ workplace and employment policies, it also creates standards around employee expectations and behaviors. While an employee handbook is not required to be provided to employees by an employer under the law, they can help protect employers and employees from legal challenges and other issues that can be common in many areas of employment.
What do you do on a day-to-day basis in your role with AgCareers.com?
It’s different on a day-to-day basis. I do a lot of strategic planning, project work, event planning, writing, and leading the marketing team.
What do you enjoy about working with AgCareers.com?
I definitely love the organization’s mission to help people find jobs in agriculture. And I love that my job does have so much variety. It’s very cliché as well, but I like the people that I work with.
What advice would you give to employers using AgCareers.com for the first time?
I would tell them that while the job board is our largest asset, really explore the other services and offerings that we have like the educational material that we publish, and to take advantage of the networking opportunities that our events provide.
Now that we are in the first few days of 2016, the AgCareers.com team is rolling our sleeves up for another busy and productive year! I’m very proud of our team at AgCareers.com and the passion/dedication that each member exhibits towards helping our business be successful year after year. I should also take time and thank our business partners at Farms.com and especially the VL Interactive Team. We rely heavily on their expertise in technology development, but also strategic areas such as Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Site Content positioning and marketing. Below is a list of exciting projects and plans that will keep us busy at AgCareers.com in 2016:
• Advisory Board: Last August, we formed an Advisory Board at AgCareers.com, consisting of 13 members beyond our staff. This advisory board has been established for 2 main purposes: 1.) To join us in closely monitoring e-Recruitment trends and 2.) For our team to bounce ideas for new products and services as we plan ahead for our future. The advisory board will be meeting Jan 12-13 in Saint Louis.
• New Projects for 2016: Elite Talent This new community should be released near the end of Q1 or early Q2. Below explains how the respective employer and talent member groups will be served via this new exciting service.