Agribusiness professionals gathered in Tulare, California on January 15, 2019 to join a discussion in their top talent acquisition challenges. Not surprisingly, the topic of regulatory hours jumped to the top as a high interest among the group. Multiple HR professionals shared that this issue has been a challenge for them. Together, they shared ideas on three main subgroups within this topic:
Agricultural Industry Concerns about Regulatory Hours
1. Overtime Payment
2. Making it about the whole company
3. Being proactive for change
Employers shared that some had lost previous employees due to overtime payment, or rather the lack thereof. Employees had grown to expect being paid overtime, and when they did not end up working the extra hours to receive payment they left to go elsewhere. One company stated that they have paid their overtime early to stay ahead of the curve and guarantee the pay for their employees. It was a shared feeling that most employees might not be aware of the entire package they receive from their work, including overtime pay and standard wages. A recommendation that stood out was to educate employees by using a chart to show the entire breakdown of the net pay and benefits each employee receives.
This idea may require a little bit more work on HR’s part, but wouldn’t the retention and satisfaction of the employees be worth it? Why not save yourself the work down the road, minimizing the need to hire and train additional employees when unnecessary. Bring in upper management to get them not only on board, but involved in working around the new legislation. Help them to understand why changes need to be made. Brainstorm ideas for how your company can become more efficient without compromising the product or service you offer. Perhaps this means offering the option for split hours, multiple shifts, or flexible hours for your employees. Whatever the case, it is a job seeker’s market with the low unemployment rate, and employers that offer more flexibility for candidates tend to set themselves apart.
Being proactive for change doesn’t have to stop at your company. It was also recommended in the discussion to employ lobbyists and join the local Farm Bureau. Attend the meetings, learn and let your voice be heard. We are all united in the agriculture industry and together we are strong, no matter what legislation comes our way now or in the future.
Consider posting your role on AgCareers.com. View available job posting packages.