A significant challenge for many segments of agriculture today is finding qualified employees to fill key positions. The economic downturn and subsequent devaluation of retirement plans served to delay many planned retirements over the last couple of years. But a rising stock market and improving fortunes could lead to a significant loss of people, as well as valuable market knowledge. Syngenta is no stranger to the issue, and has taken a proactive stance on bringing in new talent.
Syngenta’s Developmental Sales Representative program seeks to bring 10 to 15 graduates and take them through a 12- to 18-month experience that immerses them in field projects that include product education and professional mentoring within a Syngenta sales territory. “As we have gotten two to three years into the program, it has proven to be a great recruitment tool,” says Hawkins. “Students who return to school after going through the program will go back and share their stories and generate more interest in it.”