Agri and Food market has changed - 20 years of recruitment experience


For 20 years I am doing recruitment for companies from the agriculture and food sectors. From the point of view of an external

(sometimes internal) consultant I can see how much that market has changed. First of all - technology. Most of the important

businesses would it be in farming, animal husbandry, dairy, machinery, gardening are technology driven. The company owners are

familiar with modern know-how, they have access to the tools and techniques almost immediately after they appear in professional

magazines. The second change I can observe is the manpower evolution and awareness. Employees know exactly what they want,

they know what are the employment market trends, remuneration packages, motivational systems, they know who is who, they have a

much more complex and conscious approach to their job and to their training, career development and they expect serious approach

from their employers. Third change is that the employment market started to be more and more competitive. No matter your brand, no

matter who you are, and how long your company operates on the market. You are agile, you develop, you adapt to the market

changes or you are not the employer valuable candidates want to join. Resulting from this there is another important change. The

quality of the top management counts, internal and external communication counts, human relations within the company counts,

motivational systems counts. Everything counts. If you are aware of this you can compete on such a markets like Poland, Czech

Republic, Hungary, Baltics or Ukraine. If not you are out of the market very fast. Why? Because otherwise the people you need to

achieve your goals will not come working with you. And never mind how long you will search for them, and no matter what you will say

about your company to the market. The market will verify this within seconds. But, there is always a but, market is in difficulties, we

have to cut costs - some would say. We have to count every penny spent on administration on HR, on people training and

development. Wrong. People may bring their own pencils to work, may be, but they will not stay long with you if you don’t help them

to achieve their own goals, if you don’t treat them with respect, if you don’t give them the certitude that they are under good hands of a

competent and confident captain and that their ship is on the right way to it’s destination. And these goals are far often linked to the

investment on the competent manpower, on managerial skills development, on upgrade of the technical and branch know-how, on

interpersonal skills. Because they have to deal with clients, farmers, owners of their own businesses and those clients learn all the

time, develop by themselves and expect from the companies they choose to co-operate with a more and more professional and

holistic approach. So if you want to stay in Eastern Europe, and you want your organisation to breathe, you have to give to your

people oxygen in the form of knowledge and possibility for growth and constant development, like you need to give clean water and

proper nutrition to plants and appropriate feed to the animals on the farm.

Grzegorz Krowicki

HR and Management Consultant with over 20 years of experience, career coach, and a certified Feldenkrais method practitioner and