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.
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.
Managing remote employees is much more prevalent these days. In fact, regular work-at-home, among the non-self-employed population, has grown by 103% since 2005 (GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com). You can find a lot of data, webinars, and articles circulating around the pros and cons of being a telecommuter and the impact for companies that provide telecommuting options. Achieving the right balance of engagement is a tall order, and there are personalities that are a solid fit for being home-based, while others are not. I personally feel that managing remote employees is one of the hardest parts of my job, and I am continually trying to find ways to enhance the level of connectedness. Here are just a few tips that may help if you are headed on the journey of managing remote employees.
1. Utilize Technology.
Skype video is a great tool to help give communications with your telecommuter a more personal feel. It gives you a chance to still get “face to face” as you interact with them. I like to connect in this manner once a week at a minimum. Instant messenger can help telecommuters feel more connected to their teammates as well. It is the equivalent of stopping by someone’s office to ask a question.
No one likes to waste time. Time is precious. Whether you are recruiting talent for an opening within your company or you are the talent looking to make a career move, the more information you can gather about an applicant or a job opening, the more efficient you can be in accomplishing your goal. This is why it is more important than ever to include at least a range for the Salary field on a job posting. It boils down to attracting the right talent for the right role.
Put yourself in the place of today’s candidate. The resources available to search for a new job can be overwhelming, and companies don’t always follow the same rules about job titles and responsibilities. You see a role that seems to be a solid fit for your skill set, only to go through the whole apply process and find out that the level of the role wasn’t at all what you perceived. Does this sound familiar? Let’s face it: your current salary and expectations are always a factor as you consider a change. Many companies choose not to share any information around salary on the job posting, but that is a crucial piece of information for top talent. Even including just a broad range depending on experience would be helpful to a job seeker. That way, a recruiter doesn’t waste time with overqualified candidates, and the job seeker doesn’t waste time applying to something that isn’t a match for his/her salary expectations.
Correction: This post was written by Bonnie Johnson, AgCareers.com Marketing Associate
Each year AgCareers.com reviews job seeker trends on our site and evaluates the future job outlook in the ag industry. With nearly 2.3 million visits to www.AgCareers.com in 2015, we decided to take a closer look at the candidates searching for careers in agriculture and using our site.
AgCareers.com has qualified job candidate traffic throughout the United States, however, the largest region is the Midwest region or those seeking employment in that region. This is reasonable as applicant location traditionally reflects where the job opportunities reside. The Midwest region had the most applications (41%), followed by the South (27%) and the West (16%).
Similar to the U.S., there is job seeker traffic throughout Canada, however, more than 40% of applications were from candidates in the Central region (Ontario & Quebec). The Central region had the most applications, followed by the Western region. The Western region saw the biggest jump in the past year, going from 22% to 34% of total applications.
Interviewing has evolved, and there are so many ways to streamline your recruitment processes now. If you scan the surveys within the last few years from various sources, it seems that video interviewing practices are now commonplace with high percentages of adoption. Technology like Skype video provides several benefits when it comes to evaluating talent. Here are a few of my favorites.
1. It’s Free – It is easy to see why this is a benefit. When you can screen a distant applicant “in person” through Skype without paying the air fare/mileage, that’s a win! I once used Skype to interview a student for an internship opening. He was working within an exchange program in Brazil at the time. The Skype video tool allowed us to conduct a thorough interview, and we ended up hiring a great intern.
2. It Allows More Inclusion – If you have staff members in remote locations who need to be involved in the interviewing process, you can easily include more for a panel atmosphere. It’s generally easier to get the right people involved through a videoconference vs. in person.
You won’t find very much information on the AgCareers.com website about our Partnership Program. That’s because we don’t promote it like a product offering. In fact, we don’t promote it at all. It is designed as a true Partnership model, where an employer and AgCareers.com partner up to form an effective relationship. We make it a priority to understand recruitment strategy and the measurement of success before we even begin discussing the potential for an employer to participate at the Partnership level.
So what is the Partnership Program exactly? The AgCareers.com Partnership Program is the best way to connect with active and passive candidates within the ag and food industries. The core structure of the program allows employers to take advantage of unlimited job postings and resume database access; prime real estate for those jobs and employer brand; as well as the ability to customize recruitment strategy with additional resources only available to our Partner employers. So how do you know if your company would be a fit for the program? Answering “yes” to some of the following questions could mean that it might be worth exploring becoming an AgCareers.com partnership client:
We recently had the opportunity to attend the Women in Agribusiness conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota. What a great experience to bring together women within the industry for education and exceptional networking. Here are just a few of the main observations that we took away from this enlightening event.
We have recently expanded our sales team here at AgCareers.com, which meant taking a fresh look at our Account Manager job description. We realized the old description did not at all reflect our culture and the passion our team members have……we needed to make time for a revamp, even if it meant delaying the hiring process. This before and after displays where the message becomes more conversational and targeted to engage like-minded talent.
I can say from first-hand experience with the applicants, that the candidate pool was better with the revamped position description. We were attracting more people with passion that were interested in a career vs. just “a job”. People seemed to feel more connected to what we do.
Are you currently utilizing social media to generate potential candidates for your openings? Overall, the ag industry has embraced the use of social media networks as an avenue to support recruitment efforts. According to the Agribusiness HR Review, 59% of agribusiness companies are currently utilizing social networks, which is an increase in usage for recruitment by almost 30% over the previous year. With this rapid growth and adaptation, it seems that most of us are in a stage of trial and error as we navigate the social media waters from an employer standpoint. Here are a few thoughts around the potential pros and cons of recruiting via social media:
1. Expand Your Employer Brand – Social media offers a lot of opportunity to spread the good news about the company and your culture. People with like interests will naturally follow, so when you include a job post, you are marketing your opportunities to people with an interest or connection to your company.