Organizations often use LinkedIn, Indeed.com, Facebook, recruiters, and other platforms to source new talent. These methods serve a purpose, but none of these options offer prospective employees a chance to see, learn, and experience your business or culture.
Eighty-one percent of organizations with 10 or more employees surveyed in the 2022 State of Agriculture Report identified the talent shortage as the greatest negative impact on their business. Not only are you competing against other firms for new business, but you are also directly competing for workers.
Regardless of your business type, industry, or specialty, one way to differentiate your talent pipeline is to engage with the next generation of talent: high school and college students and graduates.
The GreenSeam Talent Development, Retention, and Attraction Committee, which includes business and education leaders from across the region, have been hard at work to connect high schools, colleges, and universities to industry and employers looking for talent. Nick Schiltz, committee member and Agricultural Instructor and Program Coordinator at Riverland Community College suggests, “The goal of any business is to promote their company and job positions in front of students. If it is in-person or through any virtual program, the goal is to get in front of students and share what they do.”
Businesses may get in front of students in a variety of ways. This may include company tours, job shadowing, mentorship, speaking to classes, student organizations, and more. Once you get your ‘foot in the door’ you can then share more about your opportunities available. This can be part-time and time-flexible jobs, internships, or careers upon graduation.
One of the goals of the GreenSeam Talent Committee is to help connect employers to talent related resources, networks, and events by developing a calendar of events. These can include career expo/fair opportunities in our region. There may be volunteer opportunities for ag related events; and education/industry partnership opportunities.
Recruiting strategies can be tailored to target non-traditional ag students. Ag-related career pathway resources can be made available to parents. Encourage the expansion of local educational institution learning facilities and local program offerings. Businesses could have access to survey data related to internships.
The calendar of events is a new addition and resource to educational and business leaders. Ashley Leivermann, Chair of the GreenSeam Talent Committee and Chief Human Resources Officer at Crystal Valley Cooperative states, “There is an abundance of opportunities for companies to get involved and when time, money, and resources are limited, convenience is key for me. I love being able to see what is going on in the surrounding areas and ways I can get in front of potential candidates not only to fill crucial roles at Crystal Valley, but to promote agriculture for all of us.”
Nick Schiltz agrees, “the calendar allows Minnesota agriculture, food, and natural resources (AFNR) programs to know what events, conferences, opportunities, and even what companies have available for prospective students and future employees.”
Engaging the next generation of workers at the high school and collegiate level takes time, energy, and patience. Working with students should be considered a supplemental approach to your recruiting strategy with short-term and long-term goals and objectives. Short-term, students may be looking for an immediate job opportunity while the long-term approach includes skill development, industry education, and future job opportunities.
Check out the GreenSeam Talent Calendar at greenseam.org/talentevents/ to learn more about engagement opportunities across the region. Michalia Cyphers supports these initiatives and may be contacted for opportunities, questions, and more at firstname.lastname@example.org