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.
“Overqualified.” This is a term that everyone has heard of, but is it something that HR even considers these days? Unfortunately, no, but maybe it is time to look at so-called overqualified people in a different way. There are many reasons why a person with a lot of experience and/or qualifications might apply for a job that they appear overqualified for:
– Changing careers
– After a lay-off
– After completing a contract position
In these situations, job seekers may be fearful that they are taking a step down in their career path, earning less money, and could be bored with reduced responsibilities. For these reasons, many HR professionals choose to not consider these candidates, expecting turnover. However, many HR professionals are now looking at this differently: either you are qualified, or you are not.
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.
It’s no secret that the relationship between agricultural employers and military professionals and veterans could improve. AgCareers.com is continually working toward that with our Ag Warriors program and committed Ag Warrior employers. We also look forward to holding our first Military Virtual Career Fair on November 9 and invite all employers to attend to converse with and recruit military veterans and professionals. In the meantime, a look at AgCareers.com’s 2016 survey “Veterans and Military Professionals in the Agricultural Workforce” reveals interesting findings that agricultural employers may take into consideration to attract military talent.
Sometimes you want to be the company everyone is talking about, sometimes you don’t, but if you are hoping to build your workforce with the best and brightest – you do! Especially when the venue is college campuses during recruiting season and the chatter is positive! Working a career fair booth and seeing a line of students who want to talk to your company representatives can be a warm and fuzzy moment for anyone who works in recruiting, however, that line doesn’t form overnight. Building a strong campus brand takes time, creativity, some financial investment, and more time. Then there is maintenance, but that is an entirely different post! Here are 5 ideas to help your company begin the process of building an on-campus brand.
Guest Blogger: Megan Karlin, Agriculture Future of America Marketing & Communications Manager
When it comes to whether or not your company should invest in Agriculture Future of America, I definitely have a biased opinion. However, when it comes to making the most of your relationship with us, I have the inside scoop.
For very nearly five years, I’ve immersed myself in listening to and telling AFA’s story. I’ve interviewed partners, participants and anyone else who would give me a few minutes. I’ve seen what works and what does not.
As I said, I’m biased when it comes to the question of financial investment; so, for the remainder of my time with you, let’s assume you do. That’s the first thing I would tell you. When you partner with AFA, you have a stake in the game. You’re committed to pursuing the opportunities I’ve outlined below. The first, of which, is to connect with our students.
We stress the importance of social media in the job search to job seekers all of the time. However, it is just as important a discussion for employers and their use as a tool for recruitment. Yep, that’s right — investing some time on social media can ease the recruitment struggle!
According to the recently released AgCareers.com Agribusiness HR Review, social media recruitment continues to increase. Seventy-two percent of participating organizations utilized social media in 2016. Facebook was the most favored platform among participants.
So how do you get started?
Once you have determined that you need the help of a headhunter to fill a critical role, you may find yourself deliberating how to find the right one. You obviously want the recruiter you select to have an upper hand over your competition in finding the right candidate for your role. So you may wonder what important qualities should a recruiter possess, what reputation they should have, or what questions to ask them.
Trusted peers within your industry can recommend headhunters they have worked with, and you can easily find a list of them by conducting an internet search. Most headhunters have websites that tell about their process for finding and screening talent, but each is unique in some way and their techniques and philosophies on discovering and assessing candidates is most important. Have a conversation with them – by phone, but preferably in person – to learn the following:
Speak in front of a crowd? No problem. Clearly articulate an issue? You got it. Work efficiently as a team? Consider it done.
No matter the task at hand, FFA members have been equipped with the skills necessary to thrive in the workforce. Through hands-on classroom experiences and leadership development conferences, FFA members are provided with opportunities to explore careers in the agriculture industry and interact with other FFA members from across the nation. It doesn’t take long after interacting with FFA members to realize that they are poised and professional. They conduct themselves with respect and confidence, often making them stand out amongst their peers.
If you’re headed to a career fair, you may be thinking that the students you’ll be speaking with are the only ones who have to make an impression. Wrong! The employer needs to make an impression just as much in order to not only get students to stop and talk but also to even be noticed. Need some concrete ideas? Hear it straight from the source. These student friends of AgCareers.com share what they look for at career fairs, whether it be the appearance of a booth or what the employer offers:
“At career fairs, I’m attracted to very specific things. Naturally, I’m going to stop and talk to familiar faces first. If I’ve seen a company on campus before, I’m more likely to visit with them because they’ve demonstrated they’re serious about hiring college students like me. As a marketing communications person, I’m more likely to approach a company that shows my field is already a priority at their company with well-articulated messages. If their display is drab or thrown together I’m not stopping. Also, I know these events are long and exhausting. If I pass a company where people are still on their feet and engaging with job candidates at the end of the day I’m probably going to introduce myself. I want to work with people who are passionate about their job, even when their feet ache and stomachs are growling.”
– Natalina Sents, 2016 Iowa State University graduate