Recruitment and Retention of Agri-Food Talent is a Critical Issue in Minnesota

May 24, 2021

In late April, AgriGrowth invited agri-food employers to share their talent and workforce challenges with RealTime Talent through a brief survey.  In response, twenty-one Minnesota-based companies shared their workforce needs, revealing common challenges.  Nearly two-thirds (61%) of those who ranked their most pressing workforce challenges said that not having enough applicants to fill open positions was the #1 issue they faced.  

Other key issues that were raised as important, though not often as a #1 challenge, were candidates lacking necessary hard skills and the intensity of local non-agriculture competition for talent.  Similarly, 61% of all participants in the survey indicated either employee acquisition or employee retention as a top challenge for their company, with 90% of respondents to the survey indicating either or both recruitment or retention as a top-three issue for their talent pipeline planning.

Specific occupations that were flagged as the most challenging to recruit included Mechanics, Service Technicians, Transportation Workers, Operators, and Production Workers. Many employers also expressed moderate recruitment challenges for Marketing, Management, Information Technology, and Customer Service positions.

With such consensus around both the occupations of greatest need and the principal challenges faced, there is a prime opportunity for agri-food employers in Minnesota to build collaborative solutions to their talent pipeline challenges.

-Erin Olson, Director of Strategic Research, RealTime Talent

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