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Agrimarketing : July 2009
17 AgCareers Advertorial:14 AgCareers Advertorial 7/15/09 1:52 PM Page 17 WHYACAREERINAGRICULTURE? The Scoop on Recruiting WHY AGRICULTURE? Why do youwork in the agriculture industry?What does the agriculture industry have that sets it apart from other industries? The answer to these questions can be a powerful recruitment tool for your organization and the industry overall. “Agriculture is an authentic industry. People are genuine and theywant towork together tomake a positive difference,” says Erika Brandt,Marketing and CommunicationsManager for AgCareers.com. “Those of us thatwork in the industry knowthat, butwe need to share thatmessagewith job seekers.” Brandt said thismessage can help build the pipeline of talent for the agriculture industry, especially if it is coming fromcurrent employers. A2001 study conducted atNew Mexico StateUniversity by graduate student,MalissiaWildman, andAssociate Professor, RobertM. Torres, showed that professionals in agriculture have a strong influence on an agriculture student’s choice ofmajor. The study showed that profession- als in agriculture fieldswere identified most frequently as “very influential” in selecting an agriculturemajor compared to extension professionals, vocationalAg teachers, high school science teachers, high school counselors, high school principals, or other high school teachers. CREATING A CONNECTION JimWelch, Speaker/Consultant on business growth and President/ Founder of TheGrowth Leader Inc., said agriculture professionals need to use their influence to appeal to job seekers on an emotional level. “The agriculture industry has the opportunity to go beyond a transactional relationshipwith its employees and connect on an emotional level,”Welch said. “That connection willmake a big difference for recruitment and the general perception of careers in agriculture.” The “transactional” relationship is when an employeeworks for a com- pany and the only real connection is compensation exchanged forwork. Welch points out that there is no emotional connectionwith the employer brand and therefore no employee loyalty in this type of relationship. He said employers should person- alize their company brand and the agriculture industry to create an emotional connectionwith job seekers. Welch suggests using the following reasons to help establish a connection. • Agriculture is a growth industry that combines technologywith the need to provide food for people to live and grow. • Agriculture helps provide healthy andwell-balanced food choices. • Agriculture feeds theworld’s growing population. • Agriculture helps create and nurture relationships. People become closerwhen they eat together. UTILIZING THE CONNECTION Once you have established an emotional connection, you need to link it to a highermission. If job seekers see that the agriculture industry has a social consciousness ofworld hunger, and that theirwork in the industry canmake a difference, then theymay bemore likely to join agriculture instead of another industry. While it’s important to highlight what the agriculture industry is, it’s also a good idea to includewhat it is not. Job seekers need to knowthat the industry is not just production positions. Yes, agriculture feeds the world, but the industry utilizes many different professions to complete that task. Job seekers need to knowthat the industry employs research scientists, sales professionals, communications personnel, information technology specialists, etc. This informationmay be useful in attracting individuals outside of the industrywho have skills that can be appliedwithin agriculture—especiallywhen you consider the U.S. unemployment rate increased to 9.4%inMay. 7th Annual US Ag HR Roundtable August 3 - 5, 2009 Champaign, IL, USA This conference is an excellent opportunity to join a network of professionals interested in addressing recruitment and retention of talented employees within agriculture, food, processing, natural resources and biotechnology. Hosted by: “This is our time to stand out as an industry by continuing to offer quality positions to attract job seekers,” says Eric Spell, President ofAgCareers.com. AM SAVE THE DATE! Presented by: Register today at www.AgCareers.com! July/August 2009 s Agri Marketing 17
Career Supplement Canada