2010 HR Trends

By Mary Barefoot, HR Services Consultant, AgCareers.com

As the economy begins to slowly rebound from a dramatic close in 2009, employees and employers alike are beginning to see evidence of a bounce back to business as usual. Jobs are slowly becoming available, freezes are being lifted, and budgets are being reinstated, as we all move forward hoping for continued economic improvement.

These small and steady gains were made apparent in the recent release of AgCareers.com’s annual HR trending report. The recent release was AgCareers.com’s fourth edition AGRIBUSINESS HR REVIEW for both the U.S. and Canada. This report provides benchmarks on a range of human resources practices, trends, and developments relevant to participating agribusinesses over the last twelve months. Forty-six participants in the U.S. and thirty participants in Canada completed the survey.

One such example of progress was noticeable as companies reported getting back on track with routine practices such as annual salary increases. Based on the survey data, increases were projected to be similar to those amounts projected last year in 2009, 2.1-3% in both the U.S. and Canada. However, it is evident that larger budgets will become available as the number of employee receiving those increases has significantly increased from 2009. Relative to this, participants were asked if salaries were likely to increase in the next 12 months for the following “Yes, all staff,” “Yes, some staff,” and “No.” The 2010 report shows that 67% of companies in Canada and 61% in the U.S. reported “Yes, all staff” would be receiving increases in the upcoming 12 months. In 2009 those percentages were roughly half for the “Yes, all staff” response, 37% in Canada and 36% in the U.S.

Companies were also more optimistic about their future growth; when asked if the size of their workforce was likely to change in the next two years, a majority responded “Increase.” Actual stats for the “Increase” category for 2010 were 57% in Canada and 61% the U.S., up from 45% reported for both countries in 2009. Also, most companies indicated the increase in workforce was a result of “Growth Strategy” in both the U.S. and Canada. This comes as good news for both employees and employers alike, more jobs will be available in the future and companies will be able to restore lost head count and/or increase beyond their original employee counts through hiring.

Another observation from the collected data was the variety in company strategies to motivate employees in order to keep them productive and challenged by their role. Companies in both the U.S. and Canada indicated approaches outside of monetary incentive, like remuneration and bonus. Many companies reported using remuneration and bonus, but in addition to training and development, succession planning, and promotion. As many companies have restructured and been restricted by budget, this has forced companies to look at ways to engage employees outside of typical compensation.

For more information about the fourth edition AGRIBUSINESS HR REVIEW for both the U.S. and Canada, or to purchase a copy of the report, please contact compensation@agcareers.com. The information contained within this article is proprietary, confidential, and remains the property of AgCareers.com. Report was compiled using data to the best of the knowledge, information and belief after due inquiry.


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