Issue #171

 
All-Time Favorite: "Definitive Guide to Recruiting"
 

 
Case Study: the Value of an Experienced Recruiting Firm
 

 
Good News if You're a Recent Graduate (or Soon to be One)
  

 
Current Industry Jobs
All-Time Favorite: "Definitive Guide to Recruiting"
(By Dan Simmons, CPC)
 
I'm pleased that I have now started my 25th year as a recruiter. The last 14 years have been spent helping companies in animal agriculture across the United States build great teams. During my career, I've been an ardent student of recruiting, constantly reading articles concerning the best practices and current issues in employment.
 
I recently re-read one of my favorite articles of all-time, from the May 2009 issue of the Harvard Business Review: "The Definitive Guide to Recruiting in Good Times and Bad" by Boris Groysberg, Nitin Nohria, and Claudio Fernández-Aráoz. I'm highlighting the article in this issue of the Animal Science Monitor because many organizations are having trouble recruiting great talent.
 
My goal here is not just to summarize the HBR article, but to also apply it to today's market. That's because even though the article is six years old, it's still as relevant today as when it was first published.
 
The economy is most certainly better now (good times) than it was in 2009 (bad times). However, companies are still running into problems when it comes to hiring, including finding talented replacements for Baby Boomer retirees. Will they be able to meet their needs?
 
Not likely, according to Fernández-Aráoz of Egon Zehnder and Harvard Business School professors Groysberg and Nohria. Their research, conducted with scores of CEOs, HR executives, and recruiters, found hiring practices to be haphazard at best and inept at worst. Why is that?
 
Most companies treat hiring top-level executives as an emergency. That leaves them with limited options. One study found that nearly a quarter of the time, the executive selected was the only candidate considered. Some specific problems that were cited include the following:
  • Far too few companies conduct reference checks.
  • Far too many companies rely on gut reactions when judging qualifications and cultural fit.
  • Hardly anyone considers whether candidates will be good team players.
  • Shockingly, only half of the top managers recruited by the companies studied were interviewed by anyone in the C-suite.
The result: About a third of promising new hires depart within three years of being recruited.
 
As a remedy, the authors offer their best thinking about state-of-the-art hiring practices for the top levels of the organization. Their recommendations cover the entire hiring cycle in seven steps:
  1. Anticipating the need for new hires
  2. Specifying the job
  3. Developing a pool of candidates
  4. Assessing the candidates
  5. Closing the deal
  6. Integrating the newcomer
  7. Reviewing hire-process effectiveness
Whatever the future brings, firms that follow these practices successfully will have a distinct advantage over their shortsighted competitors.
 
I whole-heartedly encourage you to check out the HBR article in its entirety, which you can do by clicking here.
 
If you'd like to discuss any recruiting challenges that your company is currently facing, I'd love to hear from you. Call me at 888.276.6789 or send an email to dan@consearch.com.
 
 
Case Study: the Value of an Experienced Recruiting Firm
(By Matt Deutsch)
 
Last month in the ASM, we featured Continental Search team member and recruiter Don Hunter, looking back over his career and his tenure with us.
 
During my conversation with him, we discussed a "success story" that illustrates the value an experienced recruiting firm can provide to employers seeking to hire the best talent in the marketplace. While this "success story" (or case study) was cut from last month's feature, we're including it here because it goes hand-in-hand with Dan Simmons's above article discussing "The Definitive Guide to Recruiting in Good Times and Bad."
 
Don and Dan work together on many searches, and that was the case for this particular search, which involved a major feed company.
 
"We had a very good candidate, so I screened the candidate for the job and then sent him to Dan," said Don. "That was the first step."
 
At that point, Dan conducted a second tier of vetting, including an in-depth interview and more extensive screening of his skills and qualifications. Once that was complete, Dan presented the candidate, sending his resume to the company.
 
"When Dan sends a candidate's resume to a client, they're a viable candidate," said Don. "Dan does not present candidates unless they've passed both levels of our screening."
 
Company officials were also of the opinion that the candidate was a viable one and set up an interview for a few days later. Despite the fact that the candidate impressed them during the interview, they eventually called Dan and informed him that they had found their own candidate and were going to hire him instead.
 
"Dan thanked them and wished them well, as he always does in a situation like that," said Don. "But within a month, they called back to say that the person they hired wasn't who he said he was. So they fired him!"
 
Not only that, but they also wanted to talk with Dan's candidate. Specifically, they wanted to set up a second interview, which Dan was able to do. The result? The candidate walked out of the interview with an offer, one that he ultimately accepted.
 
"Everybody was happy," said Don, "especially the company. The guy was a perfect fit. I think this was a validation of our verification and vetting process. We really make sure that a candidate is qualified on all levels before we present them to one of our clients."
 
As this case study illustrates and "The Definitive Guide to Recruiting in Good Times and Bad" also proves, hiring top talent is a critical priority for companies, one that requires an intensive and comprehensive process designed to deliver the right results . . . and the right people.
An experienced recruiting firm can provide those results . . . and those people.
 
If you'd like to discuss any recruiting challenges that your company is currently facing, you can contact Dan at 888.276.6789 or send an email to dan@consearch.com.
 
Good News if You're a Recent Graduate (or Soon to be One)
(By Matt Deutsch)
 
A lot of people talk about creating and sticking to a "five-year plan. "Well, if you're a recent graduate in food and/or agriculture, your five-year plan is looking rather rosy.
 
That was the conclusion of a report and corresponding employment outlook released earlier this year by Purdue University. The report, titled "Employment Opportunities for College Graduates in Food, Agriculture, Renewable Natural Resources & the Environment, United States, 2015-2020," was produced by Purdue's College of Agriculture.
 
This report contains a number of very interesting findings, including perhaps the most important one:
Between this year and 2020, there will be nearly 58,000 average annual openings for graduates with bachelor's or higher degrees in the areas listed in the report. However, only 35,400 new graduates in the United States have a bachelor's degree or higher in agriculture-related fields.
 
That means there will be 22,500 more job openings than graduates able to fill them on an annual basis.
 
But let's dig a little deeper. In exactly which areas will these openings be available? According to the report, the breakdown is as follows:
  • Management and business - 46%
  • Science and Engineering - 27%
  • Food and Biomaterials Production - 15%
  • Education, Communication, and Governmental Services - 12% 
Now let's dig down even deeper than that. Which specific positions within these areas will be readily available? It may not surprise you to know that the most opportunities are projected to be in the STEM areas (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math):
  • Plant scientists
  • Food scientists
  • Sustainable biomaterials specialists
  • Water resources scientists
  • Water resources engineers
  • Precision agricultural specialists
  • Farm animal veterinarians
The report also mentioned the additional following positions in its discussion of greater employment opportunities during the next five years:
  • E-commerce managers
  • Marketing agents
  • Ecosystem managers
  • Agriscience educators
  • Crop advisors
  • Pest control specialists
So which graduates stand to benefit the most from this five-year trend? The report lists three main groups:
  1. Those who are mobile and have work experience
  2. Those with technical and professional skills who are willing to find employment in other states or countries
  3. Those who have completed internships or work experiences related to the jobs for which they apply
As you can see, the opportunities will be available. Are you doing everything you should be doing to take advantage of them?
 
 
If you're a job seeker and have any career-related questions, you can email them to Don Hunter at donhunter@consearch.com.
   
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