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Benchmarking your organization's human resources practices, also known as people management practices, can provide your company a valuable avenue to stay competitive for talent across the agribusiness industry. What does benchmarking human resources mean? You can determine "best practices" within the agribusiness industry and marketplace as a whole to better understand your organization's current people resources alongside competitors and other companies.

Benchmarking and compiling best practices can be as simple as networking with colleagues among the agribusiness industry and within your marketplace. It can also be more formal through confidential survey data. As your organization grows, or potentially merges with another agribusiness corporation, it's important to understand what it takes to remain aggressive in retaining talent.

For example, benchmarking your company's fringe benefits in comparison to your top competitors' could be the difference in attracting a new hire. These fringe benefits could include anything from stock options and cash incentives, to relocation coverage, to an assigned company car. Other compensation and benefits incentives, such as base pay, quarterly or annual bonus, and 401k company match percentages, are important to understand and identify opportunities for improvement in your company pay and benefits packages. Benchmarking tools provide data for you to strategize in order to attract and retain top talent.

Reports across the agribusiness industry related to human resources best practices provide an effective resource for discussions with senior managers. Benchmarking data such as this will allow you to articulate to senior business leaders the validity of having a more comprehensive total compensation package. People drive what is competitive in the marketplace and ensuring your company understands human resources (HR) practices, along with performance management metrics, and processes that have been proven effective, will place your company in a better position to have quality discussions and make decisions to eventually impact people resources. These discussions can lead to reduced turnover and improving your overall staff quality.

The " Agribusiness HR Review" is one resource available to agribusiness professionals that compiles such HR data and trending information. This "Ag HR Review" survey and tool covers
topics such as:

• How the agribusiness industry is measuring employee satisfaction.

• What approach companies take to manage their contingent workforce needs.

• What other companies' most effective source is for reaching prospective applicants for their openings.

This is also a tool to benchmark your employee data regarding base pay, benefits and incentives for employees compared to middle managers compared to senior managers, and much more. The report is recommended not only for use within an HR team, but business leaders find the tool effective to gauge where their employee's compare from a people management perspective to others across the agribusiness industry. For additional information on this more than 35page detailed "Ag HR Review" report contact at

Canadian Ag HR Roundtable
September 24-26, 2007
Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON

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