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Leading Change – Exploring senior recruitment challenges

19th January 2024 – by Hugh Pocock
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Our recent report Leading Change: Exploring senior recruitment challenges across the land-based sector uncovered recruitment difficulties at all levels, but particularly at the top end of the career ladder.

We undertook this extensive research project to expand our understanding of the issues around senior level recruitment and hear the views from others in the know. In particular we wanted to further explore the challenges that businesses experience recruiting for senior roles and what we – as recruitment experts – and the wider industry can do to help.

Through in-depth semi-structured interviews with people from organisations across our sectors, we heard first-hand about the difficulties with recruitment generally, but particularly when searching for the senior leaders of our industry and highlighted a real scarcity of seasoned talent.

Some of this shortage can be attributed to a lack of popularity and interest in land-based careers when those people were making career decisions some 20 years ago – jobs in agriculture, horticulture, and forestry weren't at the top of the career advisor's list!

We know this has changed though and our agricultural colleges and universities have growing and increasingly diverse student populations. It was encouraging too to see diversity as a key theme at the Oxford Farming Conference this year both inside and outside the conference room. Our discussions with industry leaders over the course of the conference reiterated that efforts to increase the diversity and inclusion within our sector is absolutely the right thing to do.

The future looks bright, but it raises important issues for organisations needing leaders now.

Some key findings:

  • Finding the right people is a challenge and competition is high
  • Few organisations are prepared to bring recruits in from other sectors
  • Social media (LinkedIn), organisations' own websites and recruitment consultants are the preferred methods of finding candidates
  • Expert advice, an extensive network and the ability to understand organisation and candidate's needs and motivations are recognised benefits of using recruitment consultants
  • Most senior people would approach a recruitment agency if seeking a new role. Many have experience of being approached/headhunted and welcome this
  • Diversity in the land-based sector is beginning to improve. There are huge opportunities to be gained from a more diverse talent pool
  • Businesses need to plan to fulfil future leadership needs
  • Investing in the recruitment process is an integral part of that

Much of what we learned wasn't a surprise of course – we talk to organisations every day about attracting the best candidates and cultivating talent – but it strengthened our understanding of the depth and breadth of the issues.

Introducing Cultura Connect Exclusive

For those needing to recruit senior people, investing in the recruitment process will ensure the net is spread as wide as possible. Finding the right person with the right combination of experience, skills and knowledge requires an extensive network across the industry, and insider information on the individuals that might be seeking new opportunities.

We have that network and insight, which is why we have launched Cultura Connect Exclusive this month. It's a dedicated section of our business to focus solely on helping organisations find the best senior staff and leaders and for highly skilled and talented individuals to find the best opportunities.

Visit our website or contact us to find out more.

Cultura Connect – Connecting People in Agribusiness

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