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The challenge

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Attracting and retaining talents

by Birgit Leitner, Employer Brand Manager for ERBER Group

n the media we frequently get to read about the lack of engineers in technical industries, the lack of physicians in hospitals, or the lack of skilled crafts men in your local neighborhood. But how is the situation in the feed industry? Are people lining up to work for the companies doing business there? If yes: Are those the right talents? If no: What can companies do to attract a better fit? Sometimes sales skills and an engaging personality are not enough to convince a customer – especially in the feed industry. People in the field require a profound technical background: animal health and husbandry or related expertise in natural sciences. Knowledge and competence are key to long term customer relationships. Finding that kind of jack of all trades is not easy. Same is true for experts in the area of research and development or product management. Highly qualified and specialized talents are well sought after. And having one under contract does not guarantee that they stay for a long time - the next head hunter or tempting job ad might be just around the corner. So what to do? You will have to ask yourself (and answer it honestly): is my company perceived as an attractive employer? Are we a great place to work? Will highly qualified talents consider working for me at all?

The “product”

In the job market it is just like in product markets: first the product must be spot on, then you can start to promote and sell 56 | March 2016 - Milling and Grain

it. Therefore, find out what your recruiting target groups value and put together tailor made offers. If you are international or global consider differences in cultural and regional preferences. Also, do not forget about the hardware: many applicants have already turned down a monetary interesting proposals after they have been invited to interview in worn offices with Stone Age information- and communication- or production technology. And last but not least: have a look at your company culture! What is special about it? What strength as an employer do you want to foster and communicate? What are the weaknesses that you might want to monitor? Will candidates and new recruits feel comfortable the moment they set foot on your grounds, or will they rather have to fight their way into it? Be aware: hygiene factors like compensation packages and hardware are important to satisfy the basic needs of an employee – but those can be easily copied by any of your competitors on the labor market. A genuine company culture not!

The importance of culture

Research in social sciences shows that especially the younger generations in western cultures with excellent educational background highly value a good and constructive relation with colleagues and supervisors, an appreciative and supportive leadership style, and a working environment that offers professional and personal development opportunities. Applicants would rather work for a company with a culture that is in line with their personal value-set and earn a bit less than the other way round. Therefore, working on your “product”, the vacant

Mar 2016 - Milling and Grain magazine  
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