Skilled Candidate Shortage Pose Greater Challenges for Smaller Ag Businesses

In our recent survey of Australian agribusinesses, we discovered a significant distinction between Large to Enterprise sized businesses and Small to Medium-sized businesses in terms of the difficulty they’re encountering when it comes to attracting skilled candidates in the present landscape. Of the larger companies, 65% of them indicated that they are experiencing a challenging to severe shortage of candidates, whereas for Small to Medium companies, 86% of them were severely affected.

Skilled Candidate Shortage Pose Greater Challenges for Smaller Ag Businesses »

This significant contrast suggests that smaller agricultural enterprises are at a higher risk of experiencing hardship, and the factors contributing to this distinction are elaborated in the following:

  1. Limited Resources: Small businesses often have limited financial resources, compared to larger corporations. They may not be able to offer competitive salaries and benefits packages, which can make it challenging to attract highly skilled and experienced individuals;
  2. Brand Recognition: Established companies usually have better brand recognition and reputation, making them more attractive to potential employees. Skilled workers may prefer to work for well-known companies with a proven track record;
  3. Networking and Outreach: Larger companies have more extensive networks and resources for recruiting talent. They can afford to attend job fairs, utilise recruitment agencies, and invest in online job platforms to reach a broader audience of skilled candidates. Small businesses may not have the same reach, limiting their access to potential hires;
  4. Training and Development: Larger corporations often have dedicated training and development programs to enhance the skills of their employees. Small businesses may not have the resources or capacity to provide such extensive training, which could make them less appealing to skilled individuals seeking opportunities for growth;
  5. Job Stability and Benefits: Skilled workers may prioritise job stability and benefits, such as health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off. Larger companies usually have more comprehensive benefit packages that can be difficult for small businesses to match.
  6. Risk Perception: Small businesses are generally perceived as riskier than well-established corporations. Skilled workers may prefer to work for stable companies with a proven track record, especially if they have financial obligations or families to support.
  7. Competing with Industry Giants: Small businesses often compete with industry giants for the same pool of skilled workers. The lure of working for a renowned company with global recognition can make it challenging for small businesses to attract top talent.

    However, it’s important to note that small businesses can still attract skilled individuals and overcome some of these challenges by highlighting their unique advantages. For instance, they can offer more autonomy, a close-knit working environment, greater potential for growth, and opportunities to make a direct impact on the company’s success. Additionally, some skilled professionals may prefer the dynamic and flexible nature of small businesses, where they can wear multiple hats and contribute to various aspects of the business. Ultimately, the ability to attract skilled people depends on the specific circumstances, industry, location, and the strategies and benefits a small business can offer to potential employees.

If you are interested in the results of this survey, please contact our office at

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Belinda Chung - Agribusiness Recruiting - Agricultural Appointments


The Pro's Guide To Recruiting For Agribusiness Jobs