When it comes to hiring, many agricultural companies take this approach: When a position opens, they hire for that job. Simple, right? However, many of those same companies also report a constant struggle to find the right people when they need them. Companies that do an excellent job of sourcing talent don’t take this type of reactive approach to hiring; they take a proactive approach. If your organization struggles to find talent, it’s time to develop an ongoing strategy which begins with identifying your hiring needs.
Gather Leaders Together
If you want to understand your hiring needs, you’ve got to go to the source. Sit down with members of your leadership team to discuss the company’s talent needs for the coming year. Take cycles into consideration as well as future business initiatives that may require hiring people with new skill sets, and identify any existing skill gaps you have today. It is also wise to determine how many of your baby boomers are likely to retire in each of the next five years.
These initial planning sessions should include “What if” exercises. What if your new product goes viral upon launch? What if you lose your biggest client this year? Consider likely positive and negative scenarios so you can keep pace with demand, without getting too far ahead or too far behind.
Long-term hiring needs should be discussed anytime group leaders are gathered together, and those leaders should have ongoing conversations with their managers in order to stay on top of changes. This ensures that your hiring plan stays aligned with growth projections.
Develop Passive Recruiting Strategies
When you can anticipate your needs, you can ramp up a candidate search quickly. However, it pays to start building a pipeline of passive candidates as soon as you uncover those future needs. Recruiting employed, passive candidates is a long process of building and maintaining relationships, so if you want to strike while the iron is hot, internal recruiters need to make passive techniques a priority.
It is also important to build your employer brand online. Focus on building a “Working With Us” section of the company website that talks about the culture of the organization and hosts current job postings. Get active on social media and promote your employer brand and culture to start exposing passive candidates to your employee experience.
Finally, work on developing an employee referral program. Talented people know other talented people, and referrals often lead to extremely strong hires. Employees won’t put their good reputation on the line with their boss by recommending someone who isn’t likely to succeed.
Develop a Strategic Partnership
Identifying your hiring needs and developing a long-term hiring strategy is easy in theory, but it does take significant time and resources. Fortunately, there is a way to tap into the expertise of professionals who know your market and can not only help you develop an effective strategy, but can also help you overcome common recruiting challenges facing agricultural businesses in today’s job market.