Did you hire a jerk? Or at least someone who is not who they seemed to be? If you are feeling regrets about a recent hire, it’s easy to place blame on the new hire, believing that they changed, or have a bad attitude. Ultimately though, there are often steps that could have been implemented in the hiring process that could have predicted behavior, or prevented a potentially misaligned hire.
While in the screening process there are a few things that could be done to ensure a better fit with the hires role and the company dynamics. Consider using Predictive Index testing to determine your potential future hire’s strengths prior to committing to them. Work with a consultant to communicate what exact attributes you’re looking for to ensure a good match. Even Strengths Finder would be an affordable option to identify areas that are lacking or over developed for the role.
Recruitment in agriculture can be difficult. With a reported four vacancies awaiting each new graduate in this industry, recruitment brand and reputation has never been more important. The eastern Canadian provinces are facing their own set of challenges: low populations, bilingualism needs, and market limitations all affect the job market in Eastern Canada. As an employer, here’s a few option to consider as part of your recruitment strategy.
Bilingualism – Both Ontario and the Maritime Provinces have an increased number of bilingual opportunities because of their spatial relation to Quebec. If your vacancy requires a second language, go ahead and state the bilingual need right in the job title. If the candidate pool is limited, it is much easier to train other skills and experiences then it is to develop language skills.
Retention – With recruitment being such a challenge in eastern Canada, your best bet is to always retain the experienced talent that you already have. Use perks and professional development opportunities to keep your current employees motivated and engaged. Ask yourself what you love about working for your company. If you can’t easily answer that, then chances are other employees can’t either. Don’t risk losing them for a bit more flexibility or slightly more salary. Consider the AgCareers.com Compensation Benchmark Review to establish what salary range is fair for each role your company employs in each sector and province.
Agriculture has a higher need than any other industry for seasonal and temporary workers. These roles tend to last for 4-6 months and can be incredibly difficult to fill –usually the openings are for general laborers and are on-farm with long hours during the growing season.
Let’s take a look at some of the key factors to keep in mind when hiring seasonal or temporary staff.
You may naturally assume that this new hire won’t be around for long so you don’t have to spend too much time on training and safety, but the exact opposite is true. Even if they have prior farm experience, the hire doesn’t know you, your operation, your machinery, or the unique hazards that as an owner you probably don’t even think about anymore. Pair that with a new hire that is eager to please and just get the job done, and it could be a recipe for an on-farm accident. Don’t assume that they know everything. Take one day to do a walk around. Talk about confined space, talk about the chemicals you use on your operation, and even which animals may act unexpectedly or which loader has a hydraulic leak to be careful when the bucket is lifted. This kind of walk around also creates the right open dialogue that will continue through this employees’ term. No question is silly and you would rather be approachable and informative than have an accident on your farm.
Jim McCallagh has been working in the ag-industry since for over 35 years, and is currently the Vice-President of National Sales and Marketing at Sevita International, based out of Inkerman, Ontario.
I recently spoke with Jim about his experience using AgCareers.com for their job posting advertising.
Could you tell me a bit about Sevita International and PROSeeds as a company?
Sevita International is a leader in the seed export industry, who recently combined with PROSeeds as a domestic brand for seed sales. PROSeeds sells both GMO and non-GMO soybeans. The non-GMO soybeans are grown under contract to be delivered back to PROSeeds. At that point the seed is cleaned, packaged, and exported under Sevita International.
How do you expect Sevita’s hiring needs to change in the coming years?
We’re always looking for new people, both within PROSeeds as agronomists or sales reps and other support people. We’re also looking for people with an ag-industrial type background that has experience in seed cleaning plants, or export cleaning plants. Our expectations under PROSeeds is to continue to grow and place 2 more agronomists within the next few years.
What’s your impression of the resumes that come to you through AgCareers.com?
We end up with quite a few that are a very good match of the qualifications, then there is a second set where the match is close but not 100 percent, and then there are sometimes a few where the match isn’t really there. Although, I’d say that in terms of percentage — over 60% of the resumes that we get are a good match.
This year sees AgCareers.com celebrating its 18th anniversary – we’re practically ancient as far as web-based companies go! That’s almost 20 years of taking feedback from our clients and developing tools and resources that our industry needs. While our job board is the core of our business, and my personal focus, it really is just the beginning of what we do.
AgCareers.com is a practically a gold mine of free resources you may not know we have, so I thought I’d point a few out.
Most of our posting packages include access to our online resume database, although the majority of our clients never take advantage of this second venue to find the candidate they’re looking for. There are thousands of resumes that have been recently uploaded by our job seeking users that are open to being approached with other opportunities. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to find talent, ask your Account Manager if you have access.
Sounds boring, but if there is a recruitment based subject you need to more about, we’ve probably written about it in the past. Subjects from Motivating Total Rewards, and Revealing Interview Questions, to how to write an effective job description to target the talent you’re after; if you’re interested in a topic, there is a pretty good chance we have covered it one of our previous newsletter articles.