We are gearing up for the industry’s premier North American event for HR and educational professionals which will be held August 7-9, 2018 in Tulsa, Oklahoma! Hosted by AgCareers.com and Oklahoma State Universities College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, the Ag & Food HR Roundtable will provide relevant content examining recruitment and retention specifically within the ag and food industry. The opportunity for HR and educational professionals to network at the same conference is unique and rewarding!
In preparation for this year’s event we asked repeat attendees to share their thoughts on the Ag & Food HR Roundtable. Paula Beecher is the Director of the Bookhart Student Services Center for the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences at Clemson University and Kevin O’Conner serves as the Recruiting Coordinator for AgReliant Genetics. Both have attended the event in the past and will also be on site in Tulsa.
What was your favorite part of last year’s Roundtable?
Paula: My favorite part of the Roundtable last year was hearing from the speaker who co-wrote the book Marching off the Map (Andrew McPeak). I loved this session and have used this book and his ideas throughout the year!
At AgCareers.com we recognize that as agriculture itself has diversified, so has its workforce. In response, we conducted a survey to capture employer’s efforts to address diversity within their organizations. The results of the Workplace Diversity Survey-2018 U.S. Edition shares details on the current state of workplace diversity in agriculture.
While the survey results contain a wealth of valuable information and insight, there were a few key findings that really stood out.
● Females are represented as diverse talent at 83% of organizations.
● 67% of organizations reported more than one race is represented by their employees.
Even if you have a wanderlust personality traveling for work can be draining. Flying in a suit, toting a laptop and cramming for an upcoming meeting isn’t near as fun as road trips with friends or the redeye to Las Vegas. However, for a lot of us work travel is part of the gig. While I can’t guarantee you a hotel room away from the elevator or on time flights, I can offer a few tips to make your next business travel experience more bearable.
We hear a lot about women in ag. There’s everything from Facebook groups, conferences, t-shirts and television shows promoting this demographic. Even the U.S. Bureau of Labor has weighed in on the subject, reporting that women are substantially underrepresented in the agriculture industry.
A 2015 survey conducted by AgCareers.com reinforced the Bureau’s findings, as well as uncovered additional perceptions and realities as they apply to women in agribusiness. 79% of women in ag surveyed felt there was gender inequality in agribusiness. Half of women surveyed said they had experienced blunt sexism or discrimination based on their gender in the workplace. These responses make it clear that employers have a lot of work to do to ensure women are represented and valued in the workplace.
An encouraging data point from the survey was that 80% of both men and women felt that the attitude toward women in agribusiness had changed for the better in the past decade. Add to this the fact that several colleges of agriculture are seeing the scales tip in their student demographics, enrolling more females than males in their undergraduate programs.
Whether it’s heavy traffic on your drive to work, down time in an airport or the train ride home, a commute can be draining. Reportedly the average travel time to work in the United States is 25 minutes. Apply this to a five-day work week driving back and forth, that’s over four hours spent in your car. Factor in long flights and airport delays and you spend a considerable amount of time each month just trying to get somewhere so you can do your job!
The good news is this doesn’t have to be wasted time or a miserable experience! Here are some tips on how to commute like a boss.
• Utilize the time to learn something new. Search for podcasts that interest you and can benefit your professionally. I’ve already put together a list of my favorites here. Have a book you haven’t had the time to read yet? Download the audiobook version and start listening!
It’s becoming more difficult than ever to interact with others without someone diverting their attention to their phone to scroll through social media. Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram or another site, generations across the board are increasingly engaged on at least one social media platform. However, social media has long outgrown its roots as a place to connect with high school classmates and post pictures of grandchildren. Increasingly users are relying on social media to job search. Job seekers can gain a lot of insight about company culture from the organizations social media presence, and understanding how different generations are using social media during the job search process can help companies leverage their posts and platforms in a meaningful way.
Regardless of what generation is interacting with your organization via social media the key is authenticity in representing your company and its culture. Don’t try to be something you’re not to attract a certain audience.
Impressed. Surprised. Encouraged. Reflecting on last week’s event, these are the three words that quickly come to mind. The 2017 Ag & Food HR Roundtable was the first for me to attend and it did not disappoint!
Throughout my professional career I have been a part of organizing and executing several large-scale events and am aware of the in-depth planning that is required to successfully host an event with as many participants and speakers as the Roundtable has. The Roundtable went off without a hitch which is a testament to the competency of the organizing committee and AgCareers.com staff. Meals were substantial and caffeine was readily available! Attendees were welcomed with a gift bag full of goodies including the conference proceedings booklet that contained not only the schedule but also valuable conference information and speaker biographies.