formally reviewing internsHopefully, your interns are getting into the swing of things, learning and exploring the industry. But how are they doing? We’ve all hear that this generation desires constant feedback. Interns continue to tell us they want to hear from employers regularly, sharing positive feedback and constructive criticism. “Let me know how I’m doing!”


We know from our internship research that almost 75% of agricultural companies formally review their interns. Likewise, interns say one of the ways to improve an internship program is by giving performance reviews!

Published on July 18th, 2016

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inside the heads of unemployed candidatesUnemployed candidates are sometimes stereotyped as less desirable than those currently working- but is this always the case? Certainly not! Is your screening process eliminating applicants that are unemployed? If so, you could be missing a candidate that might be qualified or could be a great fit for your organization.


First, you need to look at why they are unemployed. Did they take time off to raise a family or relocate with a spouse? Were they part of a corporate restructuring or a major lay-off? Sometimes even the best employees are caught in situations that are beyond their control.


Are there advantages in hiring an unemployed worker?


No need to give a two-week notice–one of the major benefits is their ability to start immediately. surveyed candidates in the Candidate Motivation & Behavior in the Ag Industry survey, including questions for unemployed respondents about their job search behaviors.

Published on May 19th, 2016

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what interns hateYour interns will be starting soon and you’re likely making final preparations for them. So what should you avoid? has worked with and surveyed students interning in the agricultural industry for years. We’ve developed a list of what interns hate and can quickly create a negative experience for both the intern and your organization.


What Interns Hate


1. Isolation: Students don’t want to be stuck in one office or location for the entire summer. Let them travel and see everything your company has to offer. Interns frequently tell us that visits to other locations or facilities are one of their favorite experiences. “Make sure interns see every side of the company instead of just the area that they are working in,” shared one intern. They also dislike isolation from coworkers and other interns. “More interaction with peers as well as team members,” noted an intern when asked for improvements. Create opportunities for interns to network with upper management and fellow interns. If your company doesn’t have many interns, make an effort to introduce them to interns at other organizations in your area.

Published on April 28th, 2016

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expand your on-campus brand with the Ag & Food Employer GuideCollegiate recruiting is likely an important part of your process to attract prospective applicants; in fact, U.S. agribusinesses report it is second only to employee referrals, and it is in the top five in Canada. But do you really have the resources to make it to all the campuses you want to target? Competition for top talent is fierce (nearly half of agribusinesses plan to increase graduate recruitment in the coming years). Employers also need to account for career progression and succession planning when determining their collegiate recruitment plans. can help you expand your on-campus brand across North America without all of the travel expenses and personnel time.

Published on February 2nd, 2016

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you stink at communicating with candidatesYou’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.

Communicating With Candidates Begins with Your Job Posting


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.

Published on January 19th, 2016

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women in the agricultural presented the webinar, Women in the Agricultural Workplace on Friday, December 11. We were joined by panelists Molly Ball, National FFA Foundation President, and Stephanie Liska, Beck Ag, Inc. CEO.  The discussion was propelled with data from’s new study on Gender Roles & Equality in Agribusiness.
Agriculture has stereotypically been viewed as a male-dominated industry, but we’ve seen tremendous growth in women’s interest in ag, women pursuing career in the industry and enrollment in agricultural collegiate programs.
Eighty-percent of both men and women responding to our survey felt that the attitude toward women in agribusiness had changed for the better in the past decade. However the vast majority of women felt there was gender inequality in agribusiness, while less than half of men agreed. But it was encouraging that both felt there was less gender inequality in agribusiness than in the overall professional world.

Published on December 14th, 2015

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unethical decisions can negatively impact your careerLast Friday presented a webinar for employers, Why do Smart People Make Unethical Decisions? Ethics expert Chuck Gallagher discussed human dynamics when it comes to ethical decisions, the phases of “The Unethical Continuum” and establishing a road map to keep employees’ behavior between the ethical lines.


Gallagher said that our intentions create our behavior, but the culture of an organization should create a system to help keep people between ethical lines. He shared The Ethical Continuum:

Published on October 26th, 2015

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10982404_974579179243063_8843065642246870413_nVictoria Price serves as the Marketing Intern, operating out of the Ames, Iowa office. Victoria is a rising junior from the University of Florida and joined for this summer.


Originally from Florida, Victoria will return back the University of Florida and continue pursuing a degree in Public Relations after she finishes the internship program August 12th.


Q: What do you do on a day-to-day basis?


I work on many different marketing projects that have been assigned to me with different deadlines. I put together the Internship Benchmark Survey and wrote blogs, newsletters, and an employer guide article. I am working with Ashley Collins and Kristine Penning on social media development for One of my main responsibilities has been helping prepare material and corresponding with Ag and Food HR Roundtable attendees to promote the conference.


Q: What do you enjoy about working here?


I enjoy the people and variety of work experience I have encountered. is a very team and family oriented business, where all the coworkers genuinely care about each other. I have really enjoyed getting to know the whole team and feeling so welcomed being a part of it. The variety of projects I have done, have really given me wonderful work experience that I will be able to take with me in the future.

Published on August 3rd, 2015

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What are other agribusinesses doing to recruit and retain talent?  What about salary increases in the industry?  More than 100 agribusiness companies participated in the 2014-2015 Agribusiness HR Review to answer these questions and provide other valuable market knowledge, data and trends.


The survey found that most agribusinesses continue to find employee referrals and networks the most effective means of attracting prospective applicants to their organization.  Referrals were followed by the use of industry specific job boards (i.e. ) and college and university recruitment.  The use of social networks or social media to support recruitment efforts nearly doubled from just last year in the U.S.  More than 50% of agribusinesses in North America are now using social media and social networks for recruitment.  The number could easily be as high as 75% in the coming year, based on the projection of those planning to begin using these outlets.


The majority of companies shared they were able to compete against other employers for talent by primarily offering better benefits.  Companies also indicated they are paying close attention to compensation.  More than half of the survey participants had performed a compensation market study within the last two years; three out of four of those had completed the review within the past twelve months.  Employees within agriculture typically saw salary increases between 2% to 3% in the last year.  In addition, more than 95% of North American ag companies said some or all staff are likely to see increases in the coming year.  Ag employers will need to continue to engage and motivate employees through a variety of ways including compensation, benefits, training and development, promotion, flexibility and beyond to retain high performers.


In an encouraging note, nearly 70% of U.S. ag companies and over 50% of Canadian ag companies expect their workforce to increase in size within the next two years according to the HR Review.


Want to know more about what other ag companies are doing to engage, retain and recruit?  Find out about performance rewards, training programs, salary reviews, retirement trends and more in the full Agribusiness HR Review report available to download free:


2014-2015 U.S. Agribusiness HR Review

2014-2015 Canadian Agribusiness HR Review

Published on May 22nd, 2015

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