An Inside Look at Controlled Environment Agriculture Recruiters
As a career field, controlled environment agriculture (CEA) is quite specialized. Whether you are an engineer who designs indoor cultivation systems or a grower who produces hydroponic crops, you need a broad knowledge base to make it in CEA. Just like CEA professionals, controlled environment agriculture recruiters must have a basic understanding of several technical fields.
To find success in CEA recruiting, you must have the requisite people skills and critical thinking aptitudes of any recruiter, coupled with a more nuanced, technical appreciation of the industry. Even more, controlled environment agriculture recruiters must have a good understanding of different business models and career paths in hydroponics, horticulture, cannabis, ag-tech, and more.
Whether it be working with client companies or candidates, controlled environment agriculture recruiters have tough jobs to do. As the leading staffing agency in the CEA industry, M&F Talent wanted to walk you through some of the key duties of controlled environment agriculture recruiters.
Build Relationships with CEA Clients
Before a recruiter can get to work placing candidates, they must first establish relationships with clients in the CEA space. For M&F Talent, this process involves networking with hydroponic product manufacturers, vertical farming operations, cannabis companies, hemp producers, and many more. To develop relationships with these companies, we attend trade shows and conduct intensive digital marketing. M&F Talent also has a great reputation that leads to word-of-mouth business.
Get Job Descriptions for Open Positions
Once a relationship is established, clients reach out to CEA recruiters with job openings in the horticulture or hydroponics space. For M&F Talent, many of these positions are in sales, engineering, management, and operations. Clients also provide job descriptions that layout the hard skills and soft skills of ideal candidates. Examples of hard skills include familiarity with certain computer programs, while soft skills are more personality-based.
This introductory phase generally involves a few phone calls between recruiters and clients discussing ideal candidates. During this phase, both parties also discuss the best avenues for submitting candidates and setting up interviews.
Post Jobs & Source Candidates
This is the phase where CEA recruiters get to work marketing the open position with their network of growers, engineers, executives, and scientists. Not only does this process involve reaching out to familiar horticulture candidates, but it also includes posting the job on relevant job boards and scouring databases for resumes.
After enough candidate profiles are sourced, the recruiting team will further analyze them for matching hard skills and soft skills. Once they have selected the best profiles, controlled environment agriculture recruiters will then reach out to candidates via phone or email about the specifics of the position.
When recruiters first make contact with candidates, they explain the business model of the hiring party as well as the details of the job in question.
Present Candidates to Controlled Environment Agriculture Clients
At this point in the process, recruiters submit candidate resumes to clients, as well as any other relevant info that might explain their relevance. For example, if M&F Talent is conducting a search for a head grower, our controlled environment agriculture recruiters would highlight a candidate’s experience producing hydroponic leafy greens.
Once submitted, the clients look at the candidate’s backgrounds to assess their applicability for the position in question. Oftentimes, the client company will opt not to speak to several of the candidates, while also requesting phone calls for others. With controlled environment agriculture jobs, clients often pass on candidates who are missing critical technical skills.
Organize Phone Screens & Interviews
Once the client company has made it clear who they would like to speak with, the recruiter works to schedule phone calls and interviews. Because CEA businesses and job searchers can both be extremely busy, organizing the interview process is quite helpful in moving things along quickly.
The most talented recruiters will send calendar invites to both parties that explain the specifics of phone calls, video meetings, or in-person interviews. These invites include critical information such as phone numbers, Zoom links, and physical addresses.
Conduct Offer Negotiation
The final step in the recruiting process is offer negotiation. Please note, it takes both skill and patience to help both clients and candidates negotiate salaries in a way that makes sense. After all, there is nothing more difficult than going through weeks and months of interviewing and screening, only to have things fall apart at the last minute.
Before they put together an offer, the recruiter advises clients on what types of information are of value to the candidate – this info often includes salary, benefits, paid vacation. In a similar fashion, controlled environment agriculture recruiters can help candidates ask for a larger salary as tastefully as possible.
Contact M&F Talent Today!
Mac & Fulton Talent Partners is the most established staffing agency in the CEA industry. If you are interested in a CEA career, or you need help finding top talent, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.