There are not many agricultural companies that will dispute how our industry is short on qualified candidates right now. The interesting thing is, this was all very predictable.
By education, I am an economist. The shortage of qualified talent is a simple matter of supply and demand. Both sides of the equation are working against ag employers right now. Here’s how:
Inflation And Its Effect On The Marketplace
As our state and federal leaders push policy to revive the pandemic stricken economy, they have pumped a lot of money into the system. And it’s having the desired reaction – people are spending more. The economy is picking up. Until recently.
The influx of cash is causing some significant inflation in general commodities. Many of the things we all buy every day are increasing in costs and the government statistics just weren’t reporting it. Suddenly we see, in the latest report, a large one-month jump in the CPI (consumer price index). Yes, we do have some inflation!
It’s clear: the purchasing power of consumers has been weakened and it will cost everyone.
What This Means For Executive Search in Ag
What does inflation have to do with the market for Executive Search in Agriculture?
Agricultural talent is in high demand. This is even more true for executive and management-level talent in agriculture. When did this begin?
During the pandemic downturn, many employees who had four-year degrees remained largely employed. So the supply of executive and management-level talent did not really change year over year.
But the demand for highly qualified talent has increased and employers are now scrambling to fill those open jobs.
What This Means For Supply In Ag Talent
The other side of the supply/demand equation is a long-term demographic shortage we started seeing more than 10 years ago. It’s simple, our “boomer” generation is retiring in increasing numbers. They’re set to retire at a ratio of 2:1 compared to new, entry-level workers.
Essentially, our valuable executive and management-level agriculture workforce is retiring in greater numbers than we’re replacing them.
A 2:1 ratio is astonishing, but anyone researching the numbers could see this coming from far off. We’ve seen an incredible shortage of supply in overall workers coming. This is especially true for highly educated agriculture talent.
What This Means For Employers In Ag
For every key, top-level position you have, your pool of qualified talent is half the size it was ten years ago. Where will that pool of talent be ten years from now?
Many employers in agriculture are discovering, the right talent is extremely hard to find. Sourcing and recruiting executive and management-level talent who can fit rigid qualifications for the most experienced roles is near impossible.
Here’s what employers in agriculture can do:
- Make sure your company culture is finely tuned to keep the talent you have engaged
- “Pro-actively” recruit from a talent pool of the fully employed
- Prepare for salary/wage inflation. It has to happen by equation, short supply + high demand = rising prices
We get it, qualified talent in the agriculture industry is harder to find than ever. And it’s only getting harder. We can help secure a reliable supply of the industry’s best executive and management-level talent.
If you need a recruiting partner in the agriculture industry, contact Ag 1 Source today.