Quick Guide to Success in Horticulture Recruiting

Due to the specialized nature of the industry, horticulture recruiting is no easy task. Since the ideal candidates possess a unique blend of business acumen and scientific knowledge, they are difficult to find. When you add the complexity of a job like technical sales for agriculture equipment, things get even more challenging. horticulture recruiting

Due to the startup nature of the controlled environment agriculture (CEA) industry, finding the right candidates is essential for building a solid foundation and establishing long-term stability. As the AG Funder News website explains, “Special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs), so popular in 2021, have experienced large to total investment losses in early-stage businesses; the same has been true for private [CEA] company investors” in recent years.

As seen in any other industry, human capital is the real difference between success and failure in the horticulture industry. At top CEA recruiters, M&F Talent has had the opportunity to observe the hiring climate – while taking note of successful hiring methodologies along the way. With a decade doing horticulture recruiting, we know the key traits to look for when building employee teams – and the importance of brand positioning for hiring companies. 

This blog explores effective strategies for identifying and attracting top horticulture talent. By avoiding common hiring mistakes and building your employer brand, it’s possible to build a thriving team that ensures long-term success – no matter how volatile the market. 

What to Look for in Horticulture Candidates

There are certain elements that M&F Talent looks for in candidates when doing horticulture recruiting. 

Well-Rounded Technical Acumen

Depending on the role in question, it’s important to look for candidates who understand the complex CEA systems involved in modern cultivation. For instance, comprehending climate control systems requires a deep knowledge of how temperature, humidity, and other factors interact within a greenhouse environment. 

This broader understanding extends beyond individual components like cultivations substrates to more intricate systems like heating elements, which demand a blend of horticultural and engineering expertise. Such complexity highlights the need for candidates who can navigate and optimize these interconnected systems to ensure efficient and productive horticultural operations.

Work Durations

While there are important considerations to be made with important hard skills involved with horticulture jobs, you also need to consider a candidate’s work history. As recruiters, we tend to keep an eye out for candidates with solid work durations. horticulture recruiting

When a candidate takes the term to learn a role and progress within an organization, it generally means they are dedicated team members who will stand by their employers. While there are always exceptions to the rule, “job hopping” is generally something we try to avoid when recruiting horticulture and agriculture talent. 


While hard skills and work durations are important, however, these traits aren’t everything. When we speak to new candidates, the recruiters at M&F Talent pay careful attention to their attitude. 

More than anything, we enjoy working with people who are passionate about the horticulture industry. Especially when it comes to sales jobs, those people who love the industry are the ones who will find the most success. If you love what you do, it shows. When it comes to developing a sales pipeline, passionate candidates are the most active in building a network with online platforms, tradeshows, etc. 

How to Market Your Organization to Horticulture Candidates

To attract top horticulture talent, your company must implement targeted strategies that showcase its strengths and opportunities. This means not only making sure relevant candidates can easily find information on your business, but also convincing them your organization is a good place to work. horticulture recruiting

Consider Your Employer Brand

Building a strong employer brand is critical for successful horticulture recruiting. Companies with a solid reputation and presence in the marketplace draw candidates not just because they are hiring – but because they have an employer brand that is visible, exciting, and respected.

An effective employer brand makes top talent eager to explore job opportunities. For example, horticultural product manufacturer Grodan does a great job of distinguishing itself in the CEA space. The company provides stability in a volatile market and gets good employee reviews on websites like Indeed and Glassdoor. Since the best candidates are interested in reputable organizations, your employer brand is essential for building a high-performing team – especially when hiring for the C-suite. 

Have a Strong Market Presence

Having a strong market presence is critical for attracting top talent in the horticulture space. As TechTarget explains, “Recruitment marketing is the combination of strategies and tools used by an organization to engage and entice job candidates in the pre-applicant phase of recruiting. It aims to promote the value of working for the organization and establish a corporate culture or brand to attract candidates.” By showcasing open jobs on your company website and industry-specific channels, you open the door to inbound applicants. 

When top talent seeks you out, it creates a much more effective and productive hiring environment than sifting through countless unqualified resumes from general job postings. To illustrate, vertical farming company Bright Farms has a detailed and well-organized job board on its website – something that is sure to pull candidates in when job searching or considering a career change. An aggressive recruitment marketing strategy such as this helps enhance the overall hiring process. horticulture recruiting


While knowing what to look for in qualified candidates and building a strong employer brand are both extremely important, you also need to consider the common pitfalls of horticulture recruiting. At M&F Talent, we’ve many hiring parties solely focus on a candidate’s resume, instead of thinking critically about how an applicant might fit in their larger organization. 

While horticulture and CEA companies might be hesitant to hire someone missing a specific qualification, they sometimes glaze over the fact that the best candidates can be easily trained and taught. Conversely, a good work ethic is not something you can train in a new hire – it’s something they are born with. In the end, evaluating the whole person – including their soft skills, adaptability, and cultural fit – ensures a more comprehensive assessment of their viability as a team member. 

Horticulture Recruiting with M&F Talent!

Ready to elevate your horticulture team with top-tier talent? Contact M&F Talent today to start building a winning team in the agriculture and food production industries!