We are welcoming a new generation into the workplace, Generation Z. Born after 1998, they are also sometimes referred to as Centennials or iGeneration. Gen Z’ers are your new high school graduates and upcoming college students that will be looking for internships and finding their first job in the next few years.
What can we expect to experience with this new generation of employees?
This is the first completely digitized generation that has always been connected to the internet and as expected, they are proficient in technology. Youth making up Generation Z are diverse and are predicted to be independent thinkers and doers.
Goldman Sachs provides a good look at this new employee pool in their video- “Gen Z Matters More than Millennials.” Generation Z tends to be more financially conservative, associate money with success and is very aware of the financial consequences of their decisions.
Grit – of the business buzzwords, it ranks supreme. It exemplifies qualities that make the difference when it comes to getting the job done, no matter what.
How do we find employees that have grit, that will push through difficult times and not lose focus or passion for the tasks that lay ahead? The go-to answer has been to ask behavioral questions regarding grit. The better solution is to recruit candidates where the experiences on their CV can be taken at face value to be synonymous with the coveted quality. Key among these: international development work.
There is no doubt that each region faces some difficulties when it comes to recruitment in the agriculture industry. Whether it be from local and state legislation, market limitations, cost of living and much more, the Western US faces some hurdles in recruiting for talent. We hope that AgCareers.com can be of assistance when facing these hurdles.
So you have found that perfect candidate for your role, you offer them the position and they turn it down…only to find out that they simply cannot afford to relocate and that the cost of living in the West is much higher. This has been an issue for many employers in the West. It can be very frustrating and at times, you may feel as though this is simply out of your control. But there are some ways that you may be better able to attract them. Be sure you are selling the area and let them know why they should move: good schools, safe communities, various activities, etc. In terms of cost, be sure you are offering the candidate a competitive salary that reflects the cost of living for your region. You may want to consider AgCareers.com’s Compensation Benchmark Review to assist in what a competitive salary looks like for each of the roles that are specific to your region.
A blog about hiring introverts – written by an introvert! Hi, I’m Kristine, and I’m an introvert (Myers-Briggs even told me so). I like to travel, attend agricultural trade events, and even meet people in small doses, but forced/arranged networking is a little more challenging for me (especially when done late into the evenings in loud areas when I would rather be huddled up in my hotel room decompressing). I like working in my office on projects and communicating via social media with the AgCareers.com community, but I fear for my life a little bit every time my phone rings (or I must spend time mentally preparing before I pick up the phone and call someone). I love, engage in, and feel more energized by deep discussion, but small talk makes me feel like I’m shriveling up.
Now after I’ve shared all of this, you are probably thinking there are certain career areas I may not be suited for (i.e. sales, customer service). Fair enough. But what I know (and Albert Einstein and Abraham Lincoln knew, and Mark Zuckerberg, Steven Spielberg, and Warren Buffett know) is that introverts come with a lot of inherent skills related directly back to their personality.
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.
As the Millennials now enter their mid-20’s and 30’s, it’s time we begin to shift some focus towards the new generation that is just beginning to graduate college and enter the workforce – Generation Z, those that were born between 1995-2010. As I began to prepare this blog I suddenly realized that my wife Sharon and I have three of this generation in our household (two sons and a daughter); well, one now a freshman in college. So here’s my disclaimer – I’m preparing this based on my experiences not only with my own children but also observations of all their friends and a bit of research.
Generation Z could also be called the world’s first “Digital Natives” – meaning these human beings cannot recall a time without technology and particularly social media, of which no doubt has had a huge impact on their world view and has shaped how they accomplish key life tasks! Twitter is the avenue my 19-year-old son used to find his roommate at VTU. While many Gen Z’ers have a Facebook account and occasionally stalk others, they much prefer Twitter and even more so Snapchat. It’s taken me a while to understand Snapchat and I don’t even have an account. I find it interesting that I will catch my kids taking a Snapchat (nonchalantly) with me in the pic with them; sometimes while I’m driving. It took me a while to realize that is their way of sharing with their friends that they are with mom or dad. Z’ers are very intrigued with short communication and pics that represent their activity or events for the day…and they love emojis!
Social Media has become a necessary evil. According to our the 2015-2016 Agribusiness HR Review, 74% of companies used or planned to use social media to recruit ag talent, but how? We have a growing love-hate relationship with it and deciding whether or not it is or isn’t appropriate to use for work is a constant debate in board rooms. When it comes to recruitment, having the time, resources, and knowing the best ways to utilize social media is key. If you don’t have a website, starting with one is key to your social media presence and recruiting online. This will allow you to have a centralized location that your social media account(s) will link back, to share more about your company culture. To streamline your social media efforts here are 5 ways to use social media to recruit ag talent!
1. Either creating your own following on Facebook or utilizing the AgCareers.com Facebook page which has already established a following with agriculture job seekers is a great way to post your job openings and connect with job seekers, passive and active. Facebook also allows others to share posts to their own following, or send it to a friend. This is a great way to capitalize on Facebook followers. AgCareers.com also offers a consulting service to help your company build its social media presence.
“That is what learning is. You suddenly understand something you’ve understood all your life, but in a new way.”
– Doris Lessing
Here is a statement that hopefully we can all relate to, the importance of learning even when you think you are a “master” of the trait. Recruiting methods have evolved and it is important to learn from your peers and to keep up with the changes to best attract the candidates you are searching for. We have compiled a list of some of the best advice recruiters have received.
1. The importance of a good job description
Many do not realize the true importance of a well-written job description. Don’t just give the job seekers the basics. Make sure you are appealing to the A+ candidates and use this as an opportunity to brand the company. Set yourself apart and ask yourself, “Would this job description make me want to apply to this position and/or leave the current job I am at?”
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.
Internships are highly stressed on college campuses to students. Across the country faculty, career services and administration all promote that an internship will open the door to future career opportunities, will give the student an applied experience in the field, and help them grow their professional network. But what’s in it for the employer? Why should you and/or your company invest your time, energy, and dollars into an internship program?
The obvious #1 reason to have an intern – succession planning! Look around your company. How many of your employees will reach retirement age in the next 5 years? According to the 2015/2016 AgCareers.com Agribusiness HR Review, over 50% of employers in agriculture report, 1-5% of their workforce will be retiring. Depending on the size of your company that could be one person or five people or it could be 50 or more. Do you have people who are the slightest bit trained to do the jobs that those soon-to-be retirees are currently doing? Interns are the beginning step to identifying those replacements. If you provide a successful experience for your intern(s) you’ll reap the added benefit of developing employer brand ambassadors for your company on their campuses. That will pay dividends for years to helping your recruitment efforts as your workforce continues to age and consider retirement.