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Managing Talent: Want qualified candidates for your farm job? Here are the dos and don’ts.

Bonnie Johnson, Marketing Associate

August 23, 2023

2 Min Read
Job search button on keyboard
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Your job posting gives a first impression of your farm organization to a large pool of candidates. The wording and language used in that posting sets the tone for the hiring process and future employment. That’s why it’s so important to create a well-crafted job posting. It can help you attract the right candidate and ultimately make a hire that is ideal for you, as well as the new employee.

At our recent AgCareers.com Roundtable, Rachael Powell, HR & compensation solutions manager, shared red flag language to avoid in job postings, compensation communications and recruitment. There are several necessities in every job posting, and here we’ll emphasize the job title, description, and pay recommendations. Below, you’ll find suggested do’s and don’ts for your next job posting based on AgCareers.com data, research, and experience.

Job title

Do ensure the title reflects the level of the role. Do not inflate the job title to make it more appealing, especially for hard to fill roles. 

Do make the job title clearly express the role, matching the job description. Don’t create a disconnect where the title doesn’t actually reflect what the person will be doing.

Do use gender-neutral titles, like herdsperson, repair technician, and sales representative. Do not use gendered titles like herdsman, repairman, or salesman.

Job description

When describing the role, don’t use overly technical words, acronyms, or jargon that only someone inside your business would know. Do create a high-level overview of the role and a general summary of the nature of the position. Don’t list all tasks associated with the role; instead, include broad critical areas of responsibility.

Do use inclusive language in your job description. Do not use words or phrases that may deter a particular group of people. Like the job title, be mindful of gender coding in the description. Do review the text in your descriptions for biases based on age, experience, culture, race, orientation, and disabilities. 

Do not feature a list of too many requirements. Revisit your job requirements—what is actually mandatory? Do specify the difference between what is preferred versus what is required.

Salary

Do fill out the salary field. Job postings on AgCareers.com with a completed salary field receive twice the traffic as jobs without the salary field. Specific compensation numbers or a range in the salary field create the best time-saving filter for both the candidate and employer. Do put in a particular salary if available or a range if necessary. Do not have a wide range ($20,000 to $80,000/year); that may leave candidates confused. 

If you cannot put a specific number in the salary field, AgCareers.com data shows that “competitive” and “negotiable” are good alternatives. We do not recommend “based on experience.”

To find out more and create your next job posting, visit www.agcareers.com/employers.

The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or Farm Progress.       

About the Author(s)

Bonnie Johnson

Marketing Associate, Agcareers.com

As Marketing Associate at AgCareers.com, Bonnie Johnson works on both internal and external communications, email marketing, company branding and market research projects. Bonnie was raised on a farm in Northeast Iowa and received her undergraduate degree from the University of Northern Iowa and her Masters from Iowa State University. Bonnie has been with AgCareers.com since 2010.  AgCareers.com is a leading online career site and human resource service provider for the agriculture, food, natural resources and biotech industries.

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