These days are hard on hiring managers.
If you are a hiring manager, you’ve probably been struggling with historically low unemployment rates, combined with the need to find just the right candidate when the supply of workers is almost non-existent. Recruiting can be an extremely stressful and time-consuming process.
You need more than one solution. You may need a whole new strategy that focuses on improving retention amongst your existing workforce, as well as improving your process to land some of the best professionals in agriculture.
Read on for our key tips to improve retention and turn your agriculture business into a recruiting powerhouse.
First Thing’s First: Employee Retention
Why do great employees leave? Many employers are wondering if employee loyalty even exists anymore. We’re happy to report that employee loyalty is alive and well. But many employers haven’t yet come around to the idea that loyalty is a two-way street.
In fact, of the many workers who were part of the Great Resignation, most of them left because they were the only ones demonstrating loyalty. Workers had simply grown tired of working for companies with questionable leadership — who ignored their needs, refused to adequately adjust wages, and who took advantage of their ongoing effort and goodwill.
While over the past 20 years, stagnant wage growth has been an increasing factor in employee dissatisfaction. But one of the top drivers to the great recession is their employer’s toxic internal climate or culture.
Another top factor in employee dissatisfaction is a lack of opportunities for growth and development. We’ve often said that an employee will take a job because they need a job, but they will keep that job if it has a future that aligns with their career objectives.
The fact is, most of the reasons employees leave may be preventable. What is your business doing to develop employees? How are you meeting your employees halfway with employer loyalty?
Step Two: Attracting And Recruiting Great Employees
We’ll often suggest that our clients take a step away from your place of business and look at it from the outside in, just like a prospective candidate would. What do you see? If you have taken steps to improve your retention, then it could be time to employ your newfound knowledge on the new hire side.
Most traditional hiring processes can be so focused on the screening process that the needs of the candidate can be overlooked. But just as you need to be sold on the candidate, they need to be sold on the opportunity as well.
This is even more true when a prospect is currently employed. Convincing them to leave their current role for the unknown can be a tall order. Employers are taking extraordinary steps to make their jobs attractive enough to risk leaving their current role for the promise of something better.
We call this creating the Value Proposition.
The Value Proposition
Creating a value proposition can actually be very easy. All you need to do is identify the reasons employees would leave their current job (see “retention” above) and create a measurable improvement on those conditions in your own company.
For example, employers who can demonstrate their supervisors are better mentors and advisors can lean heavily on a great onboarding procedure. Your company excels at getting new hires the training, the resources, and the support they need to really make the most of their new position. And that is a big selling point.
Candidates will be much more likely to take an educated risk with a new company, provided they can make a calculation on the value of the opportunity and whether that outweighs the cost of staying with their current employer.
Take the table below, for example:
This table is a simple way to calculate how a candidate may consider their new opportunity. Many will add the anticipated pros value of a new position and then subtract the cons or problems associated with making the change.
Clarity And Communication Of The Value Proposition
Job seekers are making a simple calculation. In seeking other opportunities, candidates are looking to improve their situation by a margin large enough to overcome any unknowns about the change—also known as a risk premium. Risk premiums are naturally higher for opportunities such as commission-oriented jobs or remote locations.
But as an employer, you are capable of raising your value proposition by selling what the job seekers are looking for. You can do this by creating clarity about the new opportunity—the pros as well as the cons. The more “unknowns” you can answer for the candidate, the easier you’re making their decision to join your organization.
A clear and well-communicated value proposition can, in many cases, save on the amount of “risk premium” in compensation an employer must pay to get the good prospect. Rather than going straight for the money, one of the top strategies to attract talent is to eliminate as many “unknowns” as possible and expand what the prospect’s future might look like.
Employer Cheat-Sheet For Recruiting And Retention
It is strikingly convenient that the solutions for both retention and recruiting new hires involve virtually identical lists. Simply match your solutions to the Reasons Why Employees Leave:
- Improve supervisor/employee relationships. Consider training in management communications to help make a difference.
- Present a clear and prosperous future. A key selling point for recruiting is to provide a clear picture of growth and development within your company.
- Keep compensation on par with or higher than your competitors.
- Provide opportunities like training or special projects for your employees to demonstrate their capabilities. For those employees who wish to excel, perhaps those can be a good path to a promotion.
- Recognize employees. Certain behavioral styles respond better than others, but almost all will appreciate the fact that they’ve been recognized for their contributions.
- Improve working conditions. Take an anonymous poll from your team. Chances are, they have some great ideas you can use to improve working conditions. You’d be amazed at how far even small improvements can go!
- A positive attitude can go a long way. Often, cynical senior leadership can poison a workplace. Ensure your senior leadership demonstrates a positive, inspiring environment.
When you improve the value proposition for your existing employees, you’ll have a much easier time recruiting new talent.
Work With Ag 1 Source To Sell Your Value Proposition
Put yourself in their shoes.
Imagine that you are applying to your own company for a key position. Can you list all of the good reasons you should join your company? If you can, then you are well on your way to creating a value proposition that will attract the best talent in agriculture.
But how are you communicating that to job seekers?
At Ag 1 Source, we are your advocate in the market for talent. We pride ourselves on knowing everything there is to know about your company, and your unique value proposition. How can we help you attract the talent you need? Contact Ag 1 today.