Hire and Retain the Right People
30 Jan 2023
Hiring in the agriculture sector can be challenging, yet jobs need to be filled. You want the best! Some positions deal with the public more than others, but the work of every employee impacts your business and customer experience. To provide a good customer experience, employ the right people. Let’s explore ideas to hire and retain, not just anyone; hire customer service-oriented people.
Who are the “Right People”?
When hiring the right people for your agriculture business, soft skills like customer service should be at the top of your list. Employers want to employ people that try hard, get along with their coworkers, and come to work ready to serve. A strong work ethic and a service attitude can be just as valuable as the list of skills in the job description. If you find the right people, teach the rest.
Finding Customer-Oriented People
So, how do you add these great people to your payroll? Focus on looking for customer service skills. Talk to your current staff about desirable attributes and start a referral system. If you have trouble finding someone with a specific certification, ask employees to refer contacts with an outstanding work ethic and people skills. Bring those people on board with a long-term plan to get the skills while starting at an entry level.
Support career changes! Move people around within your organization and help them grow. Look for opportunities to assist someone to make a big career leap by possibly partnering with a different type of employer that is reducing staff. Read more ideas about hiring and training: More Jobs than People? Labor Shortage Ideas for Agriculture Retailers.
Job interviews in agriculture sometimes consist of a tour and friendly chat. To get the right people in the job, ask the right questions. Customer service-oriented interview questions should not be reserved for jobs with customer service in the title or only for the people that work at the front desk. These skills are needed in every job.
If an applicant left their last few jobs due to their inability to pleasantly interact with customers and coworkers, you might want to steer clear. It is better to find out in the interview. Provide a scenario of typical on-the-job customer interaction and ask the applicant how they would respond. Then, go a step further than the hypothetical and ask for a concrete example of both positive and difficult customer interactions in their past. How did it go? What did they learn from it? Don’t forget to ask the applicant’s previous employers and personal references the same questions.
Train and Empower
Once you’ve hired the best, keeping the right people is critical. Provide the best place to work by utilizing the best resources and equipment. It’s a win for your customers as well as your staff. An enterprise-wide technology solution like Agvance makes accessing records, communicating with other staff, and sharing information with customers a smooth process. Provide ongoing education to help your team feel confident in their role. Internal training, mentoring, creating a culture of sharing ideas, and utilizing free resources are discussed in the article No-Cost Ways to Train Your Staff. When the “right” staff are more confident, it leads to less stress and high job satisfaction. This translates into more smiles from your customers!