Written by Matt Johnson, agritech recruitment specialist, Jonathan Lee Recruitment

Like many industries where improving sustainability is concerned, agriculture is undergoing a huge transformation. Technology and innovation are revolutionising the agricultural landscape like never before, developing new ways to feed an increasing population while tackling the impacts of climate change.

The sector is growing rapidly, supported by millions of pounds in investment from the Government, including grant opportunities which are driving innovation and growth on an unprecedented scale.

It has led to the creation of a range of exciting new career paths outside of the more traditional agricultural roles which have dominated the industry for many years.

Agritech relies on more specialist and technical expertise across areas such as AI and automation, precision farming, smart irrigation, design, software and data science.

As is often the case with a new and fast-growing industry though, the challenge is finding appropriately skilled staff in the numbers needed. There are not enough new graduates or trainees coming through the education system to fill all the roles, and it can be difficult to know where to target recruitment campaigns when jobs are particularly specialist or nuanced.

This is where partnering with specialist agritech recruiters can make all the difference. When an industry is relatively new, or roles are niche, recruitment has to be a lot more strategic if it is to succeed in finding the right people and attracting them to your business.

As experts in the engineering, manufacturing and technical sectors for over four decades, agritech was a natural progression for us. We opened a new office in Telford’s Agri-EPI Centre so we could be closer to the flourishing agritech enterprises who need our help in solving their recruitment challenges.

Our specialist technical expertise is enabling us to support agritech businesses in finding new hires across automation and controls, electrification and fuel cell development, electronics and embedded, research and development, design, software, data science and more.

Maximising your chances of recruitment success

Adopting a more strategic approach to recruitment can help maximise your chances of success, especially when demand is high but skilled workers are in short supply.

Tailored recruitment strategies

Attracting top talent starts with taking the time to understand your company ethos, mission and values and building this into your recruitment strategy. It means effectively communicating your business as a good place to work and taking the time to identify, plan and prepare for your recruitment needs.

Researching the market

Before you start recruiting, it’s important to research your sector and identify where the skills you need might be found. This could be another industry where skills are similar and transferrable, or a particular location, where certain technologies are clustered – we all know, for example, that Shropshire is a real hub for agritech innovation.

Going beyond skills and qualifications

Recruiting based on desired values and behaviours, rather than specific qualifications, and being prepared to add any training needed, can help you find candidates who share your passion. Recruiting on competencies opens up the potential to attract a much wider variety of candidates with the right attributes.

Standing out from the competition

Maximising your chances of success also means ensuring you are positioning your business as a welcoming and attractive place to work. This will involve researching salaries available in similar roles and also understanding other benefits people look for in a new career, such as flexible working, location, wellbeing, inclusive environment, pension and maternity benefits.

Adopting flexible solutions

It might be that the best solution lies in temporary recruitment, whether that’s short-term contracts, or even hiring freelance consultants for specific phases of the project. This can make it easier to access the specialised expertise you need without the expectation of having to make any long-term commitments, particularly when you’re recruiting for a grant-funded project.

Unlocking your talent pool

As a recruitment business partner, we use a variety of methods, including our decades of experience and network of contacts across technical, engineering and manufacturing sectors, to find suitable candidates. We will actively engage with your potential new hires using targeted measures such as reaching out to our own database, referrals, targeted advertising, professional networking sites and appropriate social media platforms.

To find out more about how Jonathan Lee Recruitment can support agritech businesses, visit www.jonlee.co.uk, or contact agritech recruitment specialist, Matt Johnson, on 01952 987033, or email matt.johnson@jonlee.co.uk.