The U.S. Agribusiness HR Review survey, conducted by, highlights various strategies utilized in both large and small ag businesses alike to win talent. Employee referrals and networks continue to be the top method of attracting prospective applicants in the U.S. (77%), commonly followed by social media, corporate websites, collegiate recruiting, and the use of industry specific job boards (i.e.  The use of social media continues to increase; the majority of agribusinesses are now using social networks to support recruitment efforts (over 72%).









More than 40% of U.S. ag companies expect their workforce to increase in size within the next two years, citing growth strategy as the source of this anticipated increase.  Nearly half of agribusiness companies plan to do more graduate recruitment in the next 1 to 5 years.  This push for new graduate hiring was largely driven by career progression and succession planning. also learned the top method for U.S. agribusinesses to attract new graduates was through college and university recruiting (62%), followed by formal internship programs (49%). 

Offering better benefits (72%) was the primary strategy used for competing against other employers, followed by higher compensation (52%).  Forty-three percent of survey participants performed a compensation market study within the past year.  Another trend that emerged was the increased use of performance rewards to retain top employees (73%). In the last three years, employee retention was a notable objective but has historically ranked third or fourth among response options.  While more companies are using performance rewards to retain top talent, fewer employers are paying bonuses.  Thirty-five percent of companies indicated that more than 90% of all employees received a bonus in the last financial year.  This was a drop from 2015 when 42% companies estimated that more than 90% of employees received a bonus in the last financial year.  Ag companies appear to be taking a closer look at performance rewards for top performers. 

Eighty-seven percent of companies reported that salaries had increased during the past twelve months.  In addition, the clear majority (95%) of U.S. ag companies said some or all staff are likely to see increases in the coming year. Ag employers will look to continue to engage and motivate employees through a variety of ways including compensation, benefits, training and development, promotion, flexibility and beyond to retain high performers.

You can learn more about what other ag companies are doing to engage, retain and recruit in the full Agribusiness HR Review report. Visit and click on the Market Research tab under Resources to download a free copy.   

Human resource managers and business leaders from more than 90 agricultural companies participated in’s tenth edition U.S. Agribusiness HR Review.  The final analysis and resulting trends represent current HR practices for an estimated 170,000 ag employees across the United States. 


For more information, contact