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Job Change in a Challenging Market

It’s no secret that agriculture has descended from the highs it enjoyed during the commodity price boom. If you’re an individual considering a job change, or a company thinking about taking on new talent, you may be wondering whether the current economic environment makes the answer an automatic “no.”


Our ERC account executives weigh in on whether the economy dictates you stay put and stand pat, or if you should consider making a move to improve your career and build your business.


Q: With ag in an up and down cycle, should I consider a job change?

A: Currently, the timing is great if you are considering a change! Companies are paying top dollar right now for candidates with the background and experience they need to grow, because a down cycle tends to produce a shortage of qualified candidates.


From a hiring perspective, what is the best way to grow a company in a changing cycle? As a company, you want to surround yourself with the most talented ag professionals in the market and build a think-outside-the-box type team. The ag industry has its ups and downs—that’s a given. But if a candidate is thinking now is not the time for a change because of the market, I would have to strongly disagree.


If you would like a better work environment, more compensation, a better quality of life with an equal work/life balance, than call me and let’s visit. It’s what we do—it’s just that simple!


Chris Libis
Partner – Ag Division
[email protected]


Q: What factors should I consider when making a decision to look?

A: Before making a job change, consider this: “Is this opportunity right for me and my family long term? Or is it just a quick fix?” I do believe the grass can be greener if you find the right company, but keep this question in mind: “Will you still be happy 5-10 years down the road?” Taking a little more money might solve some problems today, but are you truly going to be happy if the company has a dead-end path for advancement? Talk to me today and let’s discuss how I can work with my client in your area to help advance your career, while keeping both your short- and long-term goals in mind.


Rob Tiff
Account Executive – Ag Equipment
[email protected]


Q: Why should I keep looking…even when I’m satisfied? 

A: The first question to ask yourself is, “Why not?” Why would a person not always be looking to better themselves and their career? We have found that most people who are willing to make those needed changes throughout their career are able to climb into upper-level roles several years ahead of peers who don’t. I’ve never heard of anyone suffering repercussions for keeping an eye out for positions that could potentially better their livelihood and improve both their family and career.


Things to consider when making a change:


  • Will I be happy making a change? If so, what will it take for me to be happy? Is that offered at my current company if I’m willing to ask for it? (raise, promotion, more time off, etc.)
  • Am I ready for the increased responsibility that I seek? Have I pursued my current role with the diligence needed?
  • Are my expectations of a new position within the scope of my current career path? Are they plausible, and could they happen if I were to find a new company?
  • How soon is too soon to make a change? (Personally, I like to see someone in a role for at least three years—depending on the circumstances, of course—and at least one instance in which you have stayed for five years, if the length of your career has allowed for this.)
  • Am I serious about considering a change, or is this just bad timing or a temporary situation that will pass?
  • Would I relocate, or am I capable of relocating, if the right opportunity presents itself outside of my current geographical region?


Currently, the ag industry is a candidate-driven market for the right skill sets. If a change is what you seek, then your options are pretty much endless—as long as you’re working with the right recruiter and are a bit flexible on some of your search parameters.


One key to remember: Don’t expect all companies to bend over backwards for you, although you may be very marketable based on your talent and some of the shortages in the industry. Companies want to hire someone who brings value to their organization, while also enhancing the candidate’s career. It’s important to know your value as an ag professional, but also to be the individual a client wants to add to their team. Bringing a positive attitude and being a team player will get you far in this industry.


Give me a call if you are interested in hearing about any new opportunities, or if you are looking to build your ag team.


Adam Myers
Account Executive – Ag Division
[email protected]


Q: What are the best ways to increase my odds of finding a new job in this market?

A: The market may seem like it’s trending downward, but there is a definite need for quality employees everywhere! You may have to widen your options for job responsibilities to get your foot in the door with key players in the industry. The ability to wear several hats within a company can be immensely valuable.


For the same reasons, seek out companies that don’t have all their eggs in one basket. For example, if there is a downturn in grain, a diversified company can still play on other strengths such as feed, agronomy, or energy. Ultimately, getting in touch with a well-connected ag consultant is always the best way to stay up on trends in the marketplace.


Sam Knoll
Talent Acquisition Specialist – Ag Division
[email protected]


Q: How can a recruiter make a difference in the ag market?

A: As a client working with a recruiter to fill a need, you partner with a professional to help coach the candidate through the process, sell the opportunity, and ensure we get the right person for the job. Our ERC ag-specialized recruiters can be used as a personal consultant, both for yourself and the candidate.


Candidates can be a little hesitant to make a move in a down market. Using a recruiter to help guide them through the process and answer questions they might not otherwise ask a hiring authority helps ease the stress of the unknown.


As a recruiter, if we are doing our job right, we will not let someone take a position about which they aren’t fully informed, or recommend someone who is experiencing some hesitancy. We are able to have those conversations with the candidate as a consultant, and not as an employee of the client company, who may sell the position to fill the role. In the end, we make the hiring process smooth for both the client and candidate, building their team in the process and helping them reach a decision in which they can be 100% confident.


Wade Adler
Account Executive – Ag Division
[email protected]