What to look for in your agriculture recruitment partner

There are an estimated 160,000 recruitment and search agencies globally, and new agencies or sole traders are popping up every day with fresh enthusiasm.  This is great for the recruitment industry, pushing the more experienced and larger organisations to work smarter and continue delivering exceptional results for their clients.   

With so many recruitment consultancies vying for your attention, it can be difficult for hiring managers to know who to work with. If you’re looking for an external partner to help grow your Agriculture or Agriculture Technology team, we’ve put a few pointers together to help you separate the wheat from the chaff.

Peer Recommendations

An experienced agency will likely have worked with some of your suppliers, peers or competitors. If you’re well connected, use your network to see if anyone has any recommendations. Whether it’s putting in an email or a call to people you’ve worked with before to validate an agency or posting on LinkedIn to source a partner from your digital network, word of mouth recommendation is, as ever, the most effective way to find a solid partner.

Equally if you’ve already identified a consultant or agency that you’d like to work with, ask them for case studies or reviews from previous clients in your sector.  You could take this a step further and directly message those individuals on LinkedIn to ask about their experience first hand. 

Research

While it might take time out of your day to do additional research into your prospective partner, if you’re looking for a retained search or to build a long-standing relationship with an external party then you’ll want to make sure the agency is on solid ground before engaging them. Although we don’t believe that long-established consultancy necessarily means you’ll get an outstanding service, an agency or consultants with a few year’s in your market does mean they’ll have built up a trusted, well-established network of contacts that they can use as part of your search, or fact-finding. They’re also more likely to understand the nuances of your industry and immediately recognise parallel skills sets when searching for candidates to work on new technologies or innovations.

Industry Knowledge

You want a recruitment partner that can accurately represent you when going to market and the technologies you’re working with. Similarly, you need the confidence that they will understand a candidate’s background, experience and skills to ensure they present you with the most suitable, competent professionals. A simple way to identify this is to start a conversation with them about a news point or a challenge facing the industry right now.  In Agriculture, if you start speaking to them about soil degradation and they go quiet, or developments in soft robotics and they have limited input then you might want to question how invested they are in the sector. You could also check the LinkedIn profile not only of the brand you’re looking to engage but the individual consultant that you’re speaking with.

Large Professional Network

When you use a search consultant or recruitment agency, part of what you’re paying for is access to their network and their industry reputation. You want to ensure the company you are about to partner with has a talent network that matches your requirements. For example they might have thousands of technology professionals in their network, but if none of them have experience in agriculture or a knowledge of this space then those contacts wouldn’t be very useful for you. 


We hope this guide has been useful for your search for your next Agriculture recruitment partner. If you’re hiring at the moment, or planning to hire in 2021 and would like some advice please feel free to reach out to any of our business consultants here at Chaseman.  They will be more than happy to take a moment to offer you some advice.

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Philip Bills

11th October

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