More Jobs than People? Labor Shortage Ideas for Agriculture Retailers
06 Jun 2022
The number of jobs that need doing and the number of people to do them often don’t match up. It is affecting many industries and agriculture is definitely on that impacted list. What else can you do besides a help-wanted post? Consider enhancing your technology, increasing the knowledge and abilities of your current staff, and partnering with schools.
Fully Utilize the Technology You Have
Finding people may not be the only solution. You might also consider a labor alternative in the form of technology enhancements your current staff and customers will appreciate. By better managing your data and increasing the communication from staff to staff as well as staff to grower you can increase your efficiencies, even if you don’t have more people on the payroll. A business-wide integrated system makes real-time connections between your front office, back office, sales, warehouse, applicators, and growers. Technology can complement the staff already on the job.
If you already have a tech solution, are you using it fully? Workflows need to be analyzed routinely. Figure out what a digital component would look like and how it would save the entire team time. For example, things like scale tickets should not have double-entry processes and that require paper reconciliations. Payment transactions could be made from a grower portal or taken by a salesperson on the go. Streamline applicator communication and digital mapping information and maybe you don’t need to hire one more applicator after all. Think of the time that could be saved and better used in the field. Work with your tech solution provider and see what other features they offer that you should be taking advantage of. It’s very likely that you already have access to features but are not using them fully which may lighten the load for your current staff.
Keeping and Developing the Quality Staff You Have
When an employee walks out the door, consider the costs that walked out along with him or her. There is, of course, the expense to hire someone again but also the potential loss in customer retainment when they feel the pain of your short-staff situation as it impacts their farm, the money you spent double staffing a position as they were just learning, and much more. If you can retain the quality staff you already have, you win. Encourage learning and development, ask for and listen to suggestions from the people doing the job all day, and develop the staff you have. Read more about No Cost Ways to Train Your Staff.
Partnering with Schools
Partnerships with local community colleges or technical schools can help agriculture retailers facing difficulties filling open positions with quality candidates. By working with schools, you can grow your own workforce. Create a pipeline of quality applicants that understand your industry and are prepared to work on day one with your software. Read more about Partnering with Colleges to Grow Your Workforce to help you fill positions.
Current Agvance users interested in seeing how they can fully utilize the technology available to streamline business are encouraged to contact their Agvance salesperson. If you are not currently using Agvance, fill out the form below to request a demo.