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Keep farm job candidates responsive throughout the hiring process

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4 ways to communicate and engage with potential farm employees.

Keeping candidates responsive and engaged throughout the hiring process is essential to avoid candidate drop-off, low offer acceptance, and high turnover. Your candidate’s experience can be a make or break component of recruitment. How do you treat the job seeker throughout the hiring cycle? It’s all about making time for communication. AgCareers.com surveyed agricultural job seekers; here are four ways to maintain candidate engagement to secure top-notch talent:

  1. No Bait and Switch: It all starts with the description in your job posting. The job description must match the actual job. Yes, you’re marketing the company and the job, but be realistic. Does your job posting accurately reflect what the position actually entails, or are you overselling? Don’t waste your time fluffing up the position. Ask supervisors and even employees in a similar position to review the job description. If your job advertisement is a lot of fluff that doesn’t reflect the true job, you’ll lose candidates along the way.
  2. Acknowledgement:  Candidates report the most discouraging aspect of the application process was a lack of response from employers. Let the candidate know you received their application materials. Confirm receipts of their application by sending an acknowledgement or use the reply receipt, or automatic function available with many online job boards.
  3. Set Expectations:  When can the candidate expect to hear from you—what’s your organization’s typical response time? What are the next steps in the process? When will you make the hiring decision, and what’s the expected start date? Let the candidate know what to expect, then most importantly, meet or exceed those expectations! Communicate expectations in the job advertisement, acknowledgement, and interview.
  4. Time is Money:  Take time to thoroughly review the candidate’s materials, showing your dedication to the process and the candidate. Beyond the obvious benefits to the employer, check references so candidates know you are serious and not just looking for a body to fill the seat. Continue to communicate with the candidate throughout, and finally, take the time to ensure the job offer is competitive, complete and professional. Rushing through the hiring process often leads to disappointment for both the employer and new employee.
For additional ways to improve your candidate experience and ensure candidates stay responsive, check out the AgCareers.com Candidate Experience Survey Analysis under Market Research at www.AgCareers.som or contact agcareers@agcareers.com.
The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or Farm Progress. 
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