combatting the wage gapAccording to The Global Gender Gap Report 2016 by the World Economic Forum, there remains a wide gap between women and men in economic participation and opportunity. When we look at the overall Global Gender Gap Index, Canada was ranked #35, while the United States was only #45. The U.S. ranking dropped due to the decrease in economic participation and opportunity score, with a sizeable gap in estimated earned income.


The Global Gender Gap Report notes the positive effect of increasing gender parity on economic growth – “Making full use of women’s capabilities paves the way to optimizing a nation’s human capital potential.” (p. 27)


In the Gender Roles and Equality in Agribusiness Survey, women were asked if they felt they would be given more advancement opportunities if they were male. The majority, 72% felt they would be. So, are women content where they are at or do they want to pursue advancement?

Published on February 14th, 2017

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Listing salaryNo one likes to waste time. Time is precious. Whether you are recruiting talent for an opening within your company or you are the talent looking to make a career move, the more information you can gather about an applicant or a job opening, the more efficient you can be in accomplishing your goal. This is why it is more important than ever to include at least a range for the Salary field on a job posting. It boils down to attracting the right talent for the right role.


Why Listing Salary is Important

Put yourself in the place of today’s candidate. The resources available to search for a new job can be overwhelming, and companies don’t always follow the same rules about job titles and responsibilities.  You see a role that seems to be a solid fit for your skill set, only to go through the whole apply process and find out that the level of the role wasn’t at all what you perceived. Does this sound familiar? Let’s face it: your current salary and expectations are always a factor as you consider a change. Many companies choose not to share any information around salary on the job posting, but that is a crucial piece of information for top talent. Even including just a broad range depending on experience would be helpful to a job seeker. That way, a recruiter doesn’t waste time with overqualified candidates, and the job seeker doesn’t waste time applying to something that isn’t a match for his/her salary expectations.

Published on October 18th, 2016

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overtime compensation“We are going to need you to work late/extra time.” “We need to you meet this deadline no matter what.” “We are short staffed; can you come in on your day off?”


Overtime Compensation


In a factory/production setting, it may be pulling an extra shift for a co-worker or it could be you need that extra income by making overtime hours exceeding your normal work week.


The requirements can vary state to state, but typically overtime is calculated for non-exempt employees as time and one-half per hour as we all know. This would be defined as an employee working more than 40 hours in one work week, for the hours worked over 40 – the employer would pay the employee for those hours at a rate of time and one-half.


If an employer is paying overtime and the workload or final product of the employee is not being completed in a timely manner, or to employer’s standards – the issues within the workforce need to be identified. Employee hours worked vs. end product/sales results must be correlated accordingly.

Published on April 18th, 2016

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women and flexibility in the workplaceGuest Blogger: Shannon Latham, Vice President of Latham Hi-Tech Seeds 


Women are changing the ag landscape. They’re bringing new ideas to the workplace, whether their place of work is the home office or the board room. While women have varying needs and priorities depending on their stage of life, “flexibility” seems to be the one job perk that transcends the ages (as seen to the l from the left “Gender Roles & Equality in Agribusiness” survey).


Flexibility was certainly key when I was a developing young professional. I was working full time at an advertising agency while pursuing my MBA in the evening. Honestly, I was overwhelmed. I was a newlywed, who had recently purchased her first home and started a new job. I felt additional stress when I was traveling for work or needed to help pitch new clients. I also was stressing about the amount of homework that needed to be done each week.


Thankfully, my boss was a great mentor. He had empathy and offered a solution by giving me permission to flex my work hours. That way I could finish my homework before coming into the office, so once I got to the office my attention wasn’t divided. I was able to focus 100% on my client work, and as a result, my billable hours actually went up! My productivity increased when I was working (writing) from home without any interruptions. I felt good about what I was accomplishing. When a person feels good about what she’s doing, she does a better job!

Published on March 9th, 2016

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Performance rewards go a long way in building a positive relationship between employer and employee.  Over  70% of ag companies have a structured performance system in place, according to  This data recently released by, in the annual Agribusiness HR Review, a survey that benchmarks human resource practices and trends among agricultural companies.  Undoubtedly, agriculture identifies with the opportunity to support growth and achievement within the industry while creating value for the workforce that supports it.


On What Factors are Performance Rewards Based?


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Over 90% indicated staff performance was linked to rewards ensuring that employees must meet establish goals and objectives to be rewarded.  In addition to staff performance, companies also used company performance, individual performance as basis for performance rewards. Additionally, team performance (42.17%) and business unit performance (33.73%) were also noteworthy factors, a new trend for companies aiming to support the efforts of collective groups of employees working toward a common goal.

Published on January 22nd, 2016

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Rewarding Employees Over the HOlidaysThe Christmas and New Year’s Holidays can be a great time for employers to sow seeds for spring harvest. Consider this – employee referrals consistently rank in the top 3 as effective sources of recruiting talent (might include link here to our HR Review). Senior Leadership within organizations should keep this in mind as Q4 comes to an end and do all they can to help their top talent end the calendar year motivated and in a positive frame of mind. Give your top talent something to talk about over the Holidays – especially if the organization plans to recruit new talent in the coming months. Below are a few ideas for business leaders to consider in exceeding staffs’ expectations:

Published on November 27th, 2015

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weighing employee benefits and perks in agribusinessIt’s probably safe to say that traditional employee benefits such as retirement plans, healthcare/insurance, and vacation/holiday time have evolved to “expectations” – meaning that all prospective employees today expect standard benefit offerings. If you are an employer and you have competitive standard benefits, chances are you are always on the lookout for potential employee “perks” that could enhance your employer brand and employee loyalty. Below are some popular employee perks that are receiving high marks by talent today.

Published on November 18th, 2015

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CBR logo_final’s Compensation Benchmark Review is the leading online Agribusiness salary survey in North America. It is a closed-loop, web-based, agriculture-specific survey offering a wide array of positions with bank grade security. The survey allows the employer to run customized reports and view up-to-date market data.
The CBR can offer a business many things, here are just a few:
1. Preparation for the competition
In today’s job market, better benefits and higher compensation are the top approaches to competing with other employers for talent.1 Thus, providing employers the knowledge to help you compete in the industry.

Published on June 16th, 2015

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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 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. ) 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:


2014-2015 U.S. Agribusiness HR Review

2014-2015 Canadian Agribusiness HR Review

Published on May 22nd, 2015

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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:

  • Would you guess at the sales revenue from your top 20 clients?
  • Do you want to pay $40,000 more than needed for your new VP of Research?
  • Are you aware of the compensation range variances between 1 region of the country vs another for the same position?


Here are 5 reasons ALL employers should participate in credible Compensation Surveys:

  1. Aiding in paying employees competitively: According to research by Fredrick Herzberg (American psychologist who became one of the most influential names in business management and is most famous for introducing job enrichment and the Motivator-Hygiene theory) compensation can be more of a de-motivator than motivator. In other words, if staff know or feel they are underpaid, morale and productivity will suffer. Reputable compensation surveys can bring much needed objectivity to decisions regarding pay.
  2. Market conditions will change: All industry sectors have ups and downs. During a time when a particular sector is thriving, employers should have current knowledge of going pay rates for critical roles.
  3. Be a “good steward” in the HR Community: Participating in a 3rd party compensation survey encourages other “like” employers to do the same. This collaboration results in a much more accurate picture for everyone involved.
  4. Build confidence and loyalty among staff: Many employers use compensation survey data to demonstrate that annual homework/research has been done and shares that information one-on-0ne with staff during annual reviews.
  5. On average, total costs of workforce equates to nearly 70% of operating costs: Ask yourself and other members of management and ownership this question – “can you really afford to guess at your largest expense item – what and how to pay your employees?”


Proven industry specific compensation/salary surveys can be an excellent tool if incorporated into the annual business planning process. For over 8 years, 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’s CBR, click here.

Published on May 20th, 2015

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