Ready or not, we are just a few short weeks away from college recruitment season being in full swing! Tightening job seeker markets necessitate that employers be creative in their approach. Here are three ideas for engaging with talent that are low-cost, yet provide big rewards!
1. Connect with Student Organizations. Identify the student organizations on local campuses that best fit your company’s industry sector. Looking to add to your sales team? Bring pizza to the colleges next NAMA (National Agri-Marketing Association) Student Chapter meeting and host a Q&A with club members. Maybe you’d rather spend time engaging with students who aren’t affiliated by professional interest. If that is the case, reach out to the Student Council, College Ambassadors or MANRRS chapter. If you’re not sure what clubs are hosted by the college or how to connect with them, reach out to the college’s career services office for some guidance and introductions. On that note…
2. Invite Career Services Staff and Faculty for a Tour. These individuals can be your most enthusiastic ambassadors. Students rely heavily on the advice from their campus mentors, so ensure you’re front of mind with these influencers. Inviting campus staff and faculty to tour your company’s location and engaging with them in an interactive way will let them experience first hand the environment workers experience.
3. Participate in the Careers in Agriculture Virtual Career Fair. Virtual career fairs allow you to connect with new and experienced talent who are actively looking for new opportunities. Another perk of a virtual fair is that you don’t have to spend time or money being away from your desk! AgCareers.com is hosting the Careers in Agriculture virtual fair on Thursday, September 5, from 11 am – 3 pm EST. But employer registration closes Aug. 28, so don’t wait: get signed up today!
In 2018 AgCareers.com conducted our initial U.S. Workplace Diversity Survey to better understand how the agriculture industry measured up in attracting and retaining employees of diversity. The survey results contained a wealth of valuable information an insight and demonstrated that even though we’ve outgrown stereotypes about the demographics of our workforce, there is certainly room for improvement as the agriculture industry strives to foster diverse workplaces.
Encouraging responses from the survey included over half of respondents indicating that their recruitment strategies are aimed at increasing the diversity represented in their organization. The number one reason organizations said they are intentional about recruiting diverse candidates, was to build an environment of different perspectives and experiences. One employer commented, “…we are finding the more diverse our workforce, the better the business decisions and results.”
“Internship” is a word that gets thrown around-a lot. But a true internship program is more than coffee fetching and running errands! It’s an opportunity for your organization to build a future talent pipeline by giving students a work experience ripe with learning opportunities.
Too often the internship program is a repeat of what has always been done and it seems stale. While there is a lot of ground to cover when evaluating the strengths and weaknesses or your program, here are three signs that it needs a refresh.
At AgCareers.com we recognize that as agriculture itself has diversified, so has its workforce. In response, we conducted the Workplace Diversity Survey to capture employer’s efforts to address diversity within their organizations. While there’s a lot of talk about workplace diversity, we wanted data to back up the statement that the agriculture industry generally embraces and supports diversity in the workplace.
A key takeaway was that no longer is there a typical employee in agriculture; rather we’ve outgrown stereotypes about the demographics of our industry
Eighty-two organizations across a variety of agriculture sectors in 28 states participated in the survey. The survey asked respondents about the diverse talent represented within their organizations and the results (illustrated in Figure 1) are encouraging. In fact, 83% of respondents included females. This was followed by 67% of respondents reporting that more than one race is represented by their employees. Twenty-five percent of organizations report their employees are representative of all seven demographics listed.
Career fair season is just around the corner- can you believe it? There’s a contagious energy prevalent on college campuses and it’s encouraging to meet students who are eager to connect with your organization. However, there’s also an exhaustion that accompanies career fair season. Brought on by miles traveled and answering the question, “so, what are you hiring for” too many times to count.
Whether you have the energy of the first fair of the season, or the exhaustion of the 10th, it’s critical to put your best foot forward. To help your organization shine this fall we’ve compiled a list of 8 things employers shouldn’t do at career fairs.
1. Set up after the fair has started or tear down before it’s over. I get it. You’re in a college town and maybe you took advantage of the cheap drinks when you got into town the night before. There is no excuse for showing up late though! Also, be cognizant of the fair end time when planning travel arrangements. If a student finds your booth empty, it’s not a great impression.
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!