Most companies claim that hiring staff is one of the most important processes leading to future success of a business and yet surprisingly many employers simply post a job on a job board and hope for the best. Such a “strategy” frequently disappoints, resulting in underwhelming candidates and ultimately poor outcomes.
Here are four tips guaranteed to improve the quality of the people you hire.
Know the market that you are recruiting in
In many sectors of agriculture these days, demand for certain skills is often greater than supply. If for example, you wish to hire an agronomist or an animal nutritionist, an advertisement on a job board may not attract any candidates let alone suitably qualified ones. If skills that you are seeking to attract are in short supply, and/or if the position is located in a regional or remote area, developing a recruitment strategy will be well worth the effort. Ask yourself: Do I have the network to identify and attract people with required skills and experience? Do I (or my team) have sufficient time to undertake such a search? Depending on your answer, it may be that outsourcing the process is worth considering.
Don’t Ignore Passive Jobseekers
Quite often the best performers are happily employed and don’t respond to advertising. These so-called “passive” candidates can represent up to three or four times those who are actively seeking alternative employment. But the majority of these non-active potential candidates will consider a new role if approached in the right way. If you don’t have a way of identifying and attracting such candidates you could be ignoring 80% of prospective candidates for your vacancy. In evaluating appropriate providers, satisfy yourself that they have the appropriate network to attract passive candidates. Observe other roles they are filling or have previously filled to determine if your vacancy is within the sector they recruit for.
The Importance of Reference Checks
Don’t underestimate the importance of a properly conducted referee check. When candidates nominate referees ensure that where possible they have previously supervised the candidate. Request that the candidate provide referees covering the most relevant roles to the one being recruited. If a candidate has spent a significant number of years with a particular company, it is reasonable to expect a referee associated with that time.
Interviewing and On-Boarding are windows into your company’s culture
Remember that superior candidates often have alternative choices. They are often evaluating you and your company at the same time you are evaluating them. Don’t disappoint them with a protracted or indecisive hiring process with poor communication.
We never recommend excessive haste when hiring new staff, but we always recommend timely interviews and follow-up so that candidates know they are being actively managed. And hiring managers must understand that it is a highly competitive market for talent in all agricultural sectors.
Once you have selected and hired a candidate, make sure that there is a planned on-boarding process. Poor or unplanned on-boarding is more common than you may think and is a true reflection of your culture and your company’s real attitude towards employees.
For a more detailed article on On-Boarding, and other articles download a free copy of our “Agribusiness Trends and Salary Report 2019”.