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5 key trends in the ag workforce

Getty/peterschreiber.media Desk with keyboard, mouse, and "JOBS"
Ag employers must stay in touch with the latest HR trends to recruit and retain top talent

AgCareers.com annually surveys agriculture and food organizations to uncover the latest in human resource trends. With all of the workplace and life disruptions over the last few years, it’s important to update and review data to ensure that organizations are improving hiring and people management efforts to remain competitive.

Following are five key findings from the newly released 2022-2023 U.S. Agriculture & Food HR Review:

Retention is recruitment

Retention practices are a top priority for companies. When asked what their recruitment focus was for the upcoming year, the largest segment indicated that retention strategies were at the top of their list. The most popular retention practices were regular pay increases, followed by flexible work schedules.

Employee retention can also come through keeping employees productive and challenged. Employers did this by offering bonuses to keep employees motivated.

Two-thirds of employers offer flexible work schedules

Across the board, more employers are using flexible work arrangements and more employees expect them.  While a flexible work arrangement isn’t always possible for every role, if utilized in the correct way, flexibility can be a great way to retain and motivate staff.

Employers commonly offer flexible schedules, with more than half (53%) reporting they most frequently offer a hybrid schedule, while 44% offered flexibility in schedule.

Hourly roles remain the most difficult to fill

Like previous years, hourly/production/labor intensive roles remained the most difficult to fill by type and level. The main reason for recruiting difficulty was lack of applicants. Companies reported they most commonly look to new graduates to fill production-related roles corresponding to those roles most difficult to fill.

Companies make a large push to do more graduate recruitment

Within the next 12 months, 68% of companies plan to do more graduate recruitment. Competition for talent once again has prompted companies to pursue recent graduates as well as expected business growth. To attract soon-to-be graduates, college and university recruiting is a top choice for employers, followed by a formal internship program.

Spotlight on positive salary increases

Looking back at the previous twelve months, 96% of companies noted salaries had increased. Increase amounts were above 2022 salary budgets. There is a noticeable jump in those expecting that all employees will receive an increase in the next twelve months.

Agcareers.com likelihood of salary increases graph

Find out more about compensation, hiring, talent management and related trends specific to agriculture by downloading a free copy of the full 2022-2023 AgCareers.com U.S. Agriculture & Food HR Review report here. Topics covered include salary reviews, employee attrition, workforce trends, development, flexible staffing, bonus and incentive schemes, and recruitment practices.

The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or Farm Progress. 

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