This past April, I had the pleasure of attending the “Advancing Women Conference: Life Skills for Leadership, Women in Ag Conference” in Calgary, Alberta. Almost 600 delegates attended from all over Canada and the US and included producers, ranchers, small business owners, corporate agribusiness representatives and association representatives among many others! To say I left this event inspired is an understatement! With a speaker line-up that included the very talented and engaging Debbie Travis and Alanna Koch, the Deputy Minister, Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture, delegates were given the opportunity to hear from female leaders both within agriculture and from other industries.
There were some common themes and messages that came from many of the speakers which resonated specifically with me. As a woman working in the agriculture industry that comes from a different background, I was very intrigued to hear the messages and stories of the various career paths of these very powerful and diverse women. I think the biggest message from all the speakers was “authenticity”. All speakers stated that they have seen women try to be something they are not in order to fit in or be successful. The best way to be successful is to be a success as yourself. Woman bring a different perspective and skill-set to many work scenarios and the key to success is embracing and utilizing these assets!
Some very interesting points were brought up by Alanna Koch, who I found particularly inspiring. Her talk was focused on how to be an effective leader/manager:
Memorial Day has come and gone for another year, yet remembering and honoring those who have served in our country’s armed forces should not be a single day event. Traditionally, this U.S. holiday has been a day to remember those who have died while serving the country, however it also provides the perfect reminder to honor service members and veterans still here.
One way we can do this is to help military men and women transfer back into their civilian life after deployments and/or service. As agricultural employers we have a great solution to assist — job opportunities!
Our preconceived notions often stereotype service member experience into things such as mechanical or other skilled trade expertise. While many do have these critical areas of expertise, this talent pipeline brings so much more to the table. Did you know, the military has over 7,000 job positions across more than 100+ functional areas and 81% of these jobs have a direct civilian equivalent?1
There are also many transferrable skills gained by serving in the military that service members often struggle to articulate. Here are just a few skills that we as agricultural employers want within our organizations that many veterans possess thanks to their service1:
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 AgCareers.com 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. www.agcareers.com ) 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:
Many HR professionals, especially those with 200 or less employees, struggle to convince their management and/or ownership the value of investing and participating in compensation surveys. Why? The answer is typically is “it’s too expensive…or, not worth it”. However, below are a few questions that should be posed to management and/or ownership:
Here are 5 reasons ALL employers should participate in credible Compensation Surveys:
Proven industry specific compensation/salary surveys can be an excellent tool if incorporated into the annual business planning process. For over 8 years, AgCareers.com has provided its Compensation Benchmark Review (CBR) to the agriculture industry. The CBR has grown to include over 200 industry roles with 125+ participating employers. To learn more about AgCareers.com’s CBR, click here.
The decision to issue raises can be a grueling process for company leaders and owners. This is the first in a series of compensation related posts. I’d like to share a few important considerations based on my experience around making decisions around giving raises. Given David Letterman is retiring; I thought I would share in true “Letterman” style:
A resume is supposed to sell a job candidate to the employer, but how do you get top talent to want to apply to your position? When thinking of job descriptions think of it as selling a product. You are trying to sell your company culture, position, and benefits to multiple qualified individuals, and more importantly trying to get them to think your company is better than others OR their current company. Think about when you attend a career fair. Those questions asked by job seekers are the questions you should be answering in your job descriptions! Many people use their internal job descriptions for online job postings, but with some minor tweaks your jobs will stand out above the rest!
Top 10 best practices of Online Job Descriptions
Hopefully these tips will help you in your recruitment strategies and make your online job descriptions the voice of your company culture and brand. Remember, anything that makes your employer brand stand out should always be included! Don’t forget to check out our Online Job Description Checklist!
Welcome to the AgCareers.com employer blog, Talent Harvest. As the leading online job board for the agriculture, food and biotechnology industries, we hope to use this blog to provide you with information and resources that help you harvest top ag talent for careers within your organization.
In 2014, the AgCareers.com site hosted more than 64,700 career opportunities in North America. In addition to our job board, AgCareers.com offers a wide array of products and services for employers in the ag industry to help make the recruiting process simple and the recruiter more educated. The experienced staff at AgCareers.com, as well as our guest bloggers, plan to use this blog to share some of that knowledge with our readers and help you identify the resources available on AgCareers.com. Visit the Products and Resources tabs above to preview some of the products and services we offer. If you’re looking to hire top talent right away, click our Post a Job quick link to post your job today!