2011 HR TRENDS REPORT from AgCareers.com
Mary Barefoot, HR Services, AgCareers.com

Encouraging news for employees, the 2011 Agribusiness HR Reviews found that 95.4% of U.S. and 91% of Canadian companies experienced an increase in salaries during the last 12 months. 68.3% of U.S. and 45% of Canadian companies awarding increases, increased salaries by 2.1-3%. In addition, 80%+ of responding companies from both countries have budgeted for a salary increase of 2.1% to 4% for the next financial year.

Another interesting trend pulled from the report similar for both nations is the varying incentive schemes that agribusiness employers offer. More than 93% of the employers that participated compensate individuals beyond base pay. 42% reported awarding a bonus to 91%-100% of employees in the past year in the U.S. and 55% reported awarding a bonus to 91%-100 of employees in Canada.

Currently the unemployment rate is 9.1% in the U.S. and 7.1% in Canada. The HR Review’s findings were that ag and food companies remained able to recruit suitably skilled employees roughly 70% of the time or better for all categories of positions in both the U.S. and Canada. Despite the number of unemployed person, sales roles were the most difficult to recruit for followed by technical positions.

When ag and food companies were asked about their growth in the next 2 years, 46.5% of participants expected their workforce to increase in size and 51.2% expected it to stay the same. 64% of Canadian companies expected their workforce to increase in size, and 32% expected it to stay the same. Almost 65.1% of U.S. companies plan to do more college and university recruiting in the next 1-5 years, up 10% from 2010. 55% of Canadian companies plan to do more college and university recruiting in the next 1-5 years, this trend was also up roughly 10% from 2010 numbers.

The 2011 report shows that employee referral programs and networks continue to rank at the top of the list to recruit employees. This trend is followed by company websites and job boards like AgCareers.com for both the U.S. and Canada. Company websites that have a career section are becoming a great source for applicants to apply to jobs. 92% of U.S. and 90% of Canadian companies were revamping their website as part of their branding strategy. Although, companies may find it difficult to identify the source of website traffic as jobseekers are often times driven to these sites after learning about career opportunities via avenues such as online job boards, referrals, and social media outlets. This also supports the need to manage a positive company brand and to make job opportunities as visible as possible. Roughly 60% of U.S.HR Review respondents are implementing an employer branding strategy, 45% of Canadian.

Though employee satisfaction is often a question asked in exit interviews, only 35% of U.S. agribusiness companies reported measuring employee satisfaction in the 2011 survey. This number is down almost 25% from last year. 59% of Canadian companies were measuring employee satisfaction according the 2011 results, up from 46% reported in 2010. Previous editions of the HR Review have reported employee satisfaction measurement as high as 60% for both the US and Canada. It’s important for companies to stay in tune with their employees to address any contributing factors to dissatisfaction. Companies could assume that because of the dim job outlook, turnover is nonissue. However, a recent Globoforce Workforce Mood Tracker report stated that 38% of employees are actively looking for a new job and 39% of workers don’t feel appreciated at work. Even with uncertain current economic conditions employees are still willing to leave their current positions to seek more rewarding opportunities. In order to retain top talent and maintain engaged and satisfied employees companies must keep their finger on the workforce pulse.

AgCareers.com is an industry leader and information gatherer to the agribusiness industry. To get this HR best practices data for your organization, the 2011 AgCareers.com AGRIBUSINESS HR REPORT™, both US and Canadian versions, are available for download at no charge.

For more information contact AgCareers.com by phone: 800.929.8975 or e-mail: compensation@agcareers.com

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