COVID-19 and its impact on talent management in agribusiness

It’s been a year since the coronavirus spread and impacted every aspect of our lives. Over the past 12 months, everyone has gone through major personal and professional changes while navigating the pandemic. For many, simply maintaining the status quo has been an accomplishment.

This is the first of a two-part series on the effect of COVID-19 on recruiting and retaining your company’s employees. In this article, we’ll highlight areas of talent management that have not only been impacted in the past year, but are likely to remain modified in the future. In the next article, we’ll discuss key strategies your team can incorporate into your talent management process to turn these changes into an effective opportunity.

In a recent survey conducted by Paycor, business leaders were optimistic about the future, but the suddenness and volatility of the moment is causing anxiety. Nearly 70% said COVID-19 had impacted team morale and nearly 40% said it had negatively impacted productivity.

We are all adapting to a new reality of work, and even in good times, change can be difficult. Take a closer look, however, and you’ll find hidden opportunities to better define your business, tell a more compelling story to candidates, build a talent pipeline, and address some of the underlying challenges of workforce planning. that everyone in your industry ignores.

Looking forward to

As we look to 2021 with a positive outlook, we should be aware that while the impact of the pandemic on our health may lessen throughout the year, the demands on how we manage our talent may remain very different from how you approached this aspect of your business pre-COVID-19.

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It’s more than working remotely and creating virtual meetings and events. It’s about improving how your organization will identify, attract and develop the talent that will grow your business despite the new challenges ahead.

What principles should you apply and what pitfalls should you avoid when improving your talent management processes? How can you create experiences that will not only work in our current environment, but remain effective in the future?

Communication. The only positive in this process is that the fundamentals of talent search have not changed. On the contrary, one element of successful recruitment has become even more essential than ever: COMMUNICATION. Organizations that communicate most effectively, persuasively and with purpose will attract top talent. Creating a culture and process focused on building your relationships and informing candidates is more critical than ever. It’s the best way to keep your candidates engaged and ease the anxieties caused by our changing landscape.

Industrial experience. Although the “skills gap” is not a problem unique to the agricultural industry, it seems to hit our industry the hardest. As we begin to look to the future, the underlying realities of the impact of our changing work environment on the already growing skills gap between where the talent pool capabilities are and where we have them. need become clear. Human resources managers estimate that 54% of all employees will need development to remain effective in their role over the next two years. This challenge, combined with the challenging demographics of our aging workforce, will force every organization to rethink its overall strategy for not just who it hires, but also how it develops them.

Schools and universities are doing their best to fill these gaps, but this does not solve the much larger problem of the lack of agricultural graduates to fill vacancies, regardless of their skills. Of course, that doesn’t mean there aren’t talented graduates out there. But attracting these highly skilled young people, assuming you can find them, will require an updated and effective approach in a post-pandemic environment. The demand for talent with these skills will be higher than ever before.

DIY – Build or buy your talent. No matter how much you invest in marketing and talent management processes, it still won’t be enough to attract a slate of highly qualified candidates. To win the war for talent, most companies will need to create a learning environment that will allow you to not only train your new hires, but also retain them long enough to develop your talent and succession strategy from within.

It’s no secret that training is a win-win for everyone. What may surprise you is how much employees appreciate the opportunity to participate. SAP conducted a recent survey of its customers and industry partners where they found that 94% of employees would stay with a company longer if it invested in their career development. The same survey revealed that, for applicants, education is a more compelling factor in joining an organization than starting salary!

Employee experience. The pandemic has definitely changed things for all of us. It has helped every organization, every leader and every employee think about their real needs, question their goals, define what is important, how and where you do your job.

This experience also taught us that we don’t need many things we thought were necessities (beyond, perhaps, paper products?) to be truly happy. Employers can also take this same approach to talent management. Define the ways your company has a positive impact and you have the makings of your employer brand. One that can be used to build and grow your talent pool.

The only way out is commitment

We are all cautiously optimistic about the future. Despite positive trends, there is still a lot of anxiety when it comes to how to meet today’s challenges. Your customers, employees, suppliers, partners and future employees are watching. How your organization approaches challenges and opportunities in 2021 will establish your reputation for years to come. There’s no better time to reestablish yourself as an industry leader through increased engagement with your team.


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