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Outlook: Ag job growth and HR trendsOutlook: Ag job growth and HR trends

64% of U.S. agribusinesses participating in the study expect increase in their workforce over next two years.

Bonnie Johnson

February 20, 2019

2 Min Read

There’s a promising outlook for agricultural jobs in 2019 based on new data from the U.S. AgCareers.com Agribusiness HR Review. Sixty-four percent of U.S. participating agribusinesses expect an increase in their workforce size over the next two years, up 14% over last year’s numbers. Organizations said this increase in their workforce was due to both natural growth and a formal growth strategy. This increased hiring activity alerts employers to the competitive job seeker market ahead.


In this job seekers’ market, it was natural to learn that the largest concern for HR teams was the competition for talent and recruiting difficulties (71%) based on the industry’s job growth. AgCareers.com found that agribusinesses were struggling with a few challenges in agricultural recruitment, primarily candidates lack the required skills to perform the job. Secondly, most open positions are seeing a low number of applications from all sources. This was evident through the numerous methods that organizations utilized to find talent, another area that AgCareers.com tracks on an annual basis.


Keeping talented employees is vital in the competitive market. Agricultural employees reported they were rewarding employees with salary increases. More than 90% of participating companies indicated salaries increased during the last year. Employers also say that staff is likely to receive salary increases in the next 12 months. More than half said all staff would receive increases, while nearly 40% indicated some staff would receive a pay raise.


To keep employees challenged and productive in their roles, 75% of agribusinesses have a bonus system in place. Participants said the main objective for introducing performance rewards was to improve business performance, followed by enhancing individual performance and retaining top employees.

To learn more about the changes uncovered in new graduate recruitment, retention and attraction strategies, download your copy of the full U.S. 2018-2019 AgCareers.com Agribusiness HR Review.  A separate Canadian edition is also available. You may also watch an overview of trends discovered in the HR Review with our complimentary on-demand webinars. Register for free and watch at your convenience:  https://www.agcareers.com/agribusiness-human-resources-review.cfm

 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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