Survey Reveals Best Ag Retail HR Practices

Trends in recruitment, compensation, and retention were identified in a survey of nearly 50 agribusiness organizations. Maybe one of those was your own dealership, but even if not, the results will be quite useful, especially in today’s nervous economic situation.

The survey was conducted by and released in the 2008 Agribusiness HR Report.

“This report provides market knowledge and data of best human resource practices in the agriculture industry,” says Melinda Mullenix, human resource services manager for, the leading human resource provider for the agriculture industry. “It identifies trends that agribusiness employers should consider when developing strategic human resource plans.”

Information for a variety of U.S. industry sectors is contained within the report, including agriculture chemical/seed, animal health and nutrition, swine production and genetics, commodity, and cooperative organizations, as well as meat processing, rural finance, equipment, cattle production, and technology groups.

Mullenix says that responses varied from sector to sector, but there were some common trends evident among all participating companies, such as:

  • Employee referral programs and networks are the number one way to recruit employees. Online job boards were ranked as the second best method for attracting applicants.
  • More than 80 percent of the participating employers compensate individuals beyond base pay. In addition, more than 45 percent of responding companies have budgeted for a salary increase of 3.1 percent to 4 percent.
  • Fifteen percent of participating employers identified their employee turnover rate to be between 8.1 percent and 10 percent. The attrition rate was more than 20.1 percent for 26 percent of participants. This is an increase of 4 percent compared to the 2007 report.

Mullenix says that there could be a correlation between turnover rates and employee satisfaction surveys. Less than half of the companies surveyed measure employee satisfaction. While this number (43.5 percent) increased slightly from the 2007 report, Mullenix says the number should be higher.

“Employers in our industry need to do a better job of being proactive and asking their employees for information about what makes their business successful,” she says. “Employee satisfaction surveys can assist management with feedback as to whether their employees truly understand their organization’s business goals and their individual performance goals.”

Both the US and Canadian versions of the 2008 Agribusiness HR Report are available for purchase. To purchase the report or learn more about it, contact at 800-929-8975 or e-mail

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