Jen Sorenson, communications director for Iowa Select Farms, says social media and online boards allow for quick feedback on candidate volume and whether or not recruitment messages are working.
Jen Sorenson, communications director for Iowa Select Farms, says social media and online boards allow for quick feedback on candidate volume and whether or not recruitment messages are working.

If there’s one constant challenge ag business leaders face, it’s where to find new talent. With the changing digital landscape, online technologies can aid in this process, making it easier and more efficient to find and hire the right people. The first step entails creating an attractive, engaging online presence; the second step is utilization of online resources to reach prospective employees.

The online face of your business speaks volumes to potential employees, and social media outlets play a key role in building your image, says Kara Yarnot, Meritage Talent Solutions. Separate Facebook and Twitter accounts for your company’s careers can serve as a free and widely accessed base for interested parties.

“Your website’s ease-of-access is critical in welcoming visitors who want more information,” Yarnot says. “Make sure your site is enabled for mobile devices and offers optimized viewing to mobile users.” Most importantly, identify an employee to monitor your website and social media platforms regularly. Negative messages that aren’t addressed quickly and effectively can do extensive damage your brand.

Job Boards Can Help

Once your online brand is established, use job boards to find potential candidates and identify their resumes. Job boards like AgCareers.com and aggregators of these sites like LinkedIn help get information about employment opportunities to employers.

“Social media and online boards also allow for quick feedback on candidate volume and whether or not recruitment messages are working,” said Jen Sorenson, communications director for Iowa Select Farms. “Most boards provide real-time results to recruiters and allow you to make changes to your messages to improve performance.”

Contrasting these promotion methods are people aggregators, where the interested person becomes the primary source. These are the newest, most advanced solutions for locating individuals with interest, and are designed for recruiters as a one-stop shop.

Yarnot says companies like SwoopTalent, and HiringSolved investigate social sites so a recruiter can do a single search to bring back highly detailed information on candidates. Once contact has been made with candidates, be sure to engage with them. Customer relationship management (CRM) tools help employers stay in touch with candidates, even if they aren’t quite ready for a position. This software can set up workflows, connect with recruiters, and categorize potential candidates by skillsets and locations.

Consider Recruitment Platforms

Recruitment marketing platforms, like Phenompeople, Jobsflag or Ziprecruiter offer extended distribution of your jobs and track the location of results. Many of these sites are free to try, with more advanced features for paying customers.

Digital marketing platforms also are a new way to target people interested in your business. If a person visits your website, these companies have the capability to ‘remind’ them of your business as they travel through other internet sites. This is a subtle and effective way to stay top-of-mind with online visitors.

“You have to take the time to do your homework—identify who you are trying to reach and have your messages in places where candidates spend their time,” said Sorenson. “In some areas, the traditional methods of radio and newspaper are still strong; in other areas social media campaigns are highly effective. Don’t be afraid to try new things, and don’t be afraid to walk away from things that aren’t working anymore.”

Another source of online information about your company comes from employee review sites. Glassdoor.com, for example, allows employees to rate their experience working for your company. These sites are becoming primary destinations for job seekers to analyze companies through the experiences of others.

Each phase of the talent acquisition process has multiple solutions. Analyze the available resources and look at where your company needs the most help before trying to tackle a problem. With a burgeoning world of digital services, it’s worth your time to investigate how they might help your business grow more effectively.