Good news: the employment landscape for agricultural employers looks almost nothing like it did this time last year. As the recession ends and businesses are reopening, many employers are finding it difficult to attract and retain the best talent in a post-COVID market. The well-documented challenges specific to agricultural employers have been problematic for years. The numerous challenges and opportunities to find and hire agricultural managers and executives are amplified in the candidate-driven employment market.
With so much upheaval stemming from the pandemic, relationships between candidates and employers are changing drastically. Has your employer brand changed to reflect that?
We’ve developed 10 helpful tips to help agriculture employers develop their brand to attract top talent post-COVID.
Begin with a cohesive message
84% of job seekers say the reputation of an employer is important. Building a cohesive message is the most proactive way to get out in front of your business’s reputation. Presenting a clear view of your culture and your values gives potential candidates a compelling mental vision of themselves working for (and, specifically, enjoying their work at) your company.
We’ve found branding is so important that the top employers are finding success in building their employer brand even when they don’t have any immediate openings. By creating a strong, cohesive brand, even when hiring is on hold, employers are significantly growing their pool of qualified future candidates of agricultural executives and managers.
Build engagement with blogs and social media
Businesses who put time into developing a valuable digital experience around their brand are setting the groundwork for a successful recruiting strategy. Perhaps the most helpful strategy businesses are using is their social media presence and maximizing their brand story on their blog. Businesses make the most significant impact by delivering a cohesive message of their brand and company values in a way that resonates with their audience. Presenting a clear and unified company vision and culture is perhaps one of your most accessible, potent recruiting tools.
Develop your brand where people already are
At AG 1 Source, we are experts at attracting top talent for several agriculture employers. But one of the most effective tips we tell our clients is to spend any time they can to develop their brand where the candidates already are. We have compelling evidence that businesses should do all they can to build their brand on social media sites like Glassdoor and LinkedIn. Here is some impressive food for thought:
- Over 75% of job seekers used LinkedIn to inform their career decision.
- Over 59% of candidates will visit a company’s career page on LinkedIn after hearing about a job opportunity to learn details about your organization.
- 53% of job seekers look for company information on job review websites such as Glassdoor.
All these statistics indicate one of the most effective ways to build your business’s brand is to deliver it right to the people. Candidates who encounter a strong brand presence in their daily feed are much more likely to recall those businesses when it comes time for them to find work.
Create video series around open positions, your clients
Videos are easy to create and distribute. But even more importantly, they’re easy to watch. And when you’re trying to broadcast your brand story, the best way to get it out there is to create a compelling video series of your company and its brand. Even videos lacking production and advanced editing can be incredibly attractive to viewers browsing social media.
With minimal equipment of a smartphone and editing software, you could create a variety of videos about:
- Your company culture and values.
- Job openings.
- Company milestones.
- Safety tips.
- Your thoughts/reflections on industry trends/news.
- Celebrating a star team member.
- The average day of an agronomy salesperson/manager.
- Hot crops and farming tips.
- Potential for wages and career advancement in your business/industry.
The goal is to provide value for people interacting with your brand. The equation is simple, the longer you show up and contribute to your brand’s digital presence with valuable content, the better chance you’ll be attracting the talent you’re after.
Digitize your brand strategy, and put mobile first
70% of employees aged 22 to 60 want to work for digitally mature companies. If you haven’t already started crafting your employer brand strategy, you have the advantage of doing so with a focus on digitizing that message. Specifically for mobile since 55% of job seekers 35-44 years old are digesting content from their mobile devices. And these numbers are only growing year over year. Businesses who are developing their brand in and for the digital era are more able to communicate a strong employee value proposition or the values and benefits your staff enjoys in return for their expertise, loyalty, and hard work.
Focus on candidate experience
78% of job candidates say the overall candidate experience they get is a key indicator of how a company values its people. That means making sure your dealings with candidates are positive and beneficial at every turn. Everything from the initial contact with a candidate to keeping your promises during the interview process. Finally, nurturing candidates with consistent and timely responses can also positively affect your employer brand.
We work to provide open and frequent communication between our clients and job seekers throughout the recruitment and hiring process. This creates not only a positive experience for candidates but also creates a positive image of our client’s brand. Some of our top priorities for candidates are:
- Being transparent about where we’re at in the hiring process.
- Checking in with applicants to get a current read on where they’re at in their career.
- Encouraging candidates to connect with our clients on social media to experience the employer’s culture and brand.
- Be upfront about job requirements and skills tests.
- Provide an accurate timeline for when they can expect feedback.
Improving the candidate experience is more important than ever in this candidate-driven market. By ensuring you’re creating a positive experience for candidates, you can avoid some of the core hiring challenges facing agricultural employers that arise in a candidate-driven market.
Get the whole team involved in elevating your brand
Get the whole company on board. From the CEO, right down through HR, marketing, to your employees. A team with a unified vision for elevating your brand makes a formidable team of s brand advocates who can accomplish great things.
We’ve seen some of our clients get their marketing and HR department working together to create an exciting brand story that sells the company experience. We’ve seen first hand how people make snap assumptions about an employer’s culture and their potential employment experience based on their employment branding. Why not get the whole team working together on creating lasting, positive assumptions about your brand?
Respond to reviews on Glassdoor (good and bad)
According to a Glassdoor survey, 62 percent of candidates in the U.S. agree their perception of a company improves when the employer responds to reviews on Glassdoor. It’s always great to celebrate the positive reviews. Ignoring negative reviews or even responding to bad reviews with canned responses can set the tone that a company dismisses or undervalues the opinions and contributions of its employees. It doesn’t take long to write something thoughtful and to thank the author for their input. Demonstrating that you take all employee matters seriously can go a long way to shift the narrative to the positive.
Develop your long game and plan for future success
Increasingly, students have been rethinking the value of a four-year college degree. Rethinking the college degree is accelerating, especially as more employers, in general, are also beginning to rethink strict requirements for a four-year diploma. What is causing this trend?
More high school graduates are drawn to trade and technical schools and community colleges. Many of them are looking for good agricultural programs with good benefits. A low-cost education with the possibility of paid apprenticeships is creating a brighter future with less debt. What if your company became synonymous with the same bright future these trade programs promise?
By becoming an early advocate for your industry and its future workforce, you could help to ensure the up-and-coming agricultural talent is well-familiar with your brand by the time they’re ready to hit the job market. Further, by investing in scholarships, you could put today’s students directly on the path to become tomorrow’s leaders in your company.
AG 1 Source
Looking for the best talent in the Agricultural industry? At Ag 1 Source, our industry recruiters come directly from the industries for which they recruit and specialize in solving immediate needs while supporting your long-term vision. We empower you to achieve your goals by putting our 18+ years of experience, regional expertise, and national networks to work on your behalf.
Contact us today to learn more.