Unlike many industries, office views in the agriculture industry can vary quite a bit. Your office may be in the cab of a tractor, out in the open prairie checking on your cattle herd, or in a manufacturing facility.
There are many, however, who still work in a traditional office setting, and if so, there are several things you can do to spice up your office and give it a fun and agricultural flair but still have a functional vibe. If you are like me, your workspace plays a huge role in your productivity so personalizing the space, as well as having an organized one, is an important factor. Here are some fun tips to elevate your “ag style” and stay organized.
If you are like me, it doesn’t take long, and random papers start accumulating on my desk and before you know it you have stacks upon stacks! We all know this is not functional, especially when I start looking for that very specific piece of paper and it is nowhere to be found. Having a filing system is important to keeping your documents in order. Some even suggest using a color-coded filing system and separating it into color-coded categories.
What’s your compensation philosophy? What about your compensation strategy? How are you going to compete with companies for that sought-after talent? Or are you worried about competing at all? We all know that a competitive compensation strategy can help you retain better talent. Taking a look at your current compensation plan and understanding how it stacks up to other organizations can help identify where you are or aren’t effectively competing for talent.
According to the recent 2018 Agribusiness HR Review, 42.59% of Canadian participants compete with other employers by offering higher compensation and 44.05% of US participants noted the same. There are certainly companies doing due diligence to determine their competitiveness within the market. Companies that have recently completed a compensation study may be able to better determine if their pay practices are in line with their compensation strategy. A little over half (53.57%) of participants have conducted a compensation study within the past year in the US and 44.45% of participants in Canada also completed a compensation study within the past year according to the 2018 Agribusiness HR Review. Within that same survey, it was noted that in the US, 95.04% of companies increased salaries during the past 12 months and of those that received an increase, the predominant average increase received by employees during 2017-2018 was 2.6% to 3.0%, (26.19%). This data continues to affirm that companies are increasing wages across the agriculture industry, making it even more important to remain competitive for quality talent.
Jessica Bartow joined the AgCareers.com team earlier this year as our Western US Talent Solutions Specialist. Jessica is based in a home office in California.
What do you do on a day-to-day basis in your role with AgCareers.com?
I help my clients with whatever they need – posting jobs, compensation data, registering for events, etc.
What do you enjoy about working with AgCareers.com?
I love the ag industry and am so thankful for the opportunity to help our industry leaders find and retain talent.
November is the most popular month for filling and completing internship offers in the agricultural industry. If your organization is going to hire the best talent, you better be finalizing your internship offers now!
They say it’s a job seeker’s marketplace, and data collected by AgCareers.com lends this idea to truth. We surveyed agricultural employers about their recruitment and hiring of students for the 2017-2018 Intern & New Grad Hiring and Compensation Report.
Even though the clear majority (73%) of ag organizations told us that intern pay rates were non-negotiable, interns have options – they’re often evaluating multiple internship offers. For those employers that have a bit of flexibility, they said they can negotiate intern pay rates based on some of the following criteria:
I don’t claim to be any sort of expert when it comes to work/life balance. Lord knows that I struggle with this sometimes. Throw in business travel and you have another caveat to what work/life balance means.
A lot of people think that business travel is so glorious. While I’m not complaining and will admit that I’ve gotten to see and go to some pretty amazing places, the norm isn’t quite so glamourous. Travel in, have meetings in a hotel, travel out! It makes missing home and all the things you could/should be doing a bit more top-of-mind.
Again, no expert here, but I have found a few things over my years of travel that have definitely helped with balance.
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.
Benjamin Franklin said, “If a man empties his purse into his head, no one can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.” I know this to be true because my grandmother supported this by instilling in me that education is the one thing someone can never take from you. An HR Certification, will challenge you to learn more about the HR field and reinforce many principles you may already know. Once you’ve completed the certification it will signal to employers and colleagues that you are well versed in HR competencies. Think of it as a good housekeeping seal of approval on your resume!
As a first step to determining if a HR Certification is for you, it is worthwhile to identify where you are in your career path and where you would like to go. With that in mind, identify which certification makes the most sense for you to pursue. It is a good idea to meet with your manager, cover career goals, and your interest in a certification. Your manager may offer support as you purse an HR Certification and there also might be a chance that your company will support your efforts financially as well.
We’ll soon experience the change of seasons and celebrate Thanksgiving. As I write this Christmas is less than two months away! What will your employees tell their families about your company’s paid holidays policy? Will they be bragging about the time they have off or complaining about the ridiculous demands days spent away from family?
It should be no secret that adequate compensated holidays, aside from standard company allotted paid time off, motivates employees by giving them rest and time spent with family. Agricultural companies have a stereotype of being stringent and inflexible. Live animals and production environments often lend to this perception. Do you fall in this category? How does your organization compare to what others in the agricultural industry are offering their employees?
According to the AgCareers.com Agribusiness HR Review in the U.S. most ag employers participating in the survey, provide employees 6 paid holidays. Most companies provide somewhere between 6 and 10, a combined 79.20% of companies. Six paid holidays was the most frequently selected response (20.79%), followed by 10 (19.80%). Although, some companies provide as few as 5 paid holidays and some 11 or more.
I would say that the 401(k) match really doesn’t get enough attention these days. So often it is easy to get stuck on the annual salary, but there is so much more to compensation than just the base salary. While an employer matching program is not required for the employer to provide, many employees and employers alike benefit from the program. Before getting into why a 401(k) match is a good idea, it important to understand what exactly a match rate is.
An employer will match up to a certain percentage of an employee’s contributions to their 401(k). For example, an employer may match 100% of the first 5% that an employee contributes. This means if you contribute 10%, they will match 5% and if you contribute 3%, they will only match 3%. In this case, if you only contributed 3%, you would be leaving 2% on the table. Of course, you’ll have to contribute more, but there goes the free money out the window if you don’t! If your employer offers a 401(k), be sure to research their vesting schedule and matching rate. A vesting schedule will determine the percentage of ownership you as an employee have over said matched funds based off years of employment.
Hiring the best candidates requires a welcoming recruiting environment. Is your process daunting, complicated, lengthy, and frustrating? Or have you implemented a smooth, responsive system?
Recruiting top talent depends heavily on your candidate experience – how the job seeker is treated throughout the hiring cycle. How an applicant perceives they are treated can impact their likelihood to accept the offer, stay on-the-job, and what they communicate to others about your organization. Word-of-mouth is a powerful recruitment tool and candidates WILL tell others!
Even if an applicant doesn’t receive an offer this time, it doesn’t mean that they won’t be the perfect fit for an alternative opening or a different position in the future after further training and/or experience.