The fresh produce and floral industry can turn its talent crisis into a talent opportunity by focusing strategically on its people practices, and Center for Growing Talent (CGT) has just unveiled a new assessment tool called HRvest that it says will help with the first steps. The management tool, developed in partnership with the HR transformation team at PwC, is now available from CGT as part of its mission to provide industry-specific solutions to attract, develop and retain talent.
The HRvest assessment is the first step in helping companies transform their HR capabilities to become a talent magnets, CGT spokespersons report, making it easier to get, engage and keep the talent they need to improve their bottom line. HRvest can guide companies to identify the gaps and opportunities in their HR programs and practices, then build action plans to increase retention and achieve competitive talent advantages.
“Our industry is facing a massive talent challenge, worse than many other industries because we have the added problem that top young talent doesn’t know about our industry unless they grew up with us,” said CGT Board of Directors Chair Marty Craner of President, B&C Fresh Sales. “For our companies to become talent magnets, first we have to make talent a strategic priority.”
Center for Growing Talent Executive Director Margi Prueitt explained the business ROI to companies. “When you approach HR strategically, your company becomes a more attractive place to work, and your employees are more engaged and more likely to stay with you. With that talent advantage, you can better drive your business forward.” said Prueitt.
More broadly, Produce Marketing Association CEO Cathy Burns considers strategic human resources to be an industry imperative.
“As younger workers enter the marketplace with a special passion to make a meaningful difference in the world, the produce and floral communities are primed for an infusion of fresh talent,” Burns said. “To keep pace, we need to be prepared for a diverse set of skills that can be delivered by a wide range of people, from those without degrees to those with Ph.Ds. HRvest will provide industry with much-needed HR analysis to retain our best and brightest talent, and ultimately grow a healthier world.”
HRvest is the boldest offering to date from Center for Growing Talent, says Prueitt. According to her, CGT is already known for its Career Pathways programs to attract top university talent to careers in the industry, and for its leadership development offerings that span the career continuum, from young professionals to senior executives and women.
“Big corporations pay tens of thousands of dollars for this kind of strategic management evaluation,” said board chair Craner. “The Center for Growing Talent Board of Directors decided to invest in developing this first ever, industry-specific tool so that our entire industry can benefit from it.”
The cost for PwC to develop HRvest was funded by CGT’s Industry Talent Fund, allowing CGT in turn to make the tool available to industry companies at no additional cost to them. The Industry Talent Fund is funded by visionary industry leaders who want to give back to their industry and to support the industry’s future.
“You can thank your peers who contribute to Center for Growing Talent, and in fact, join them,” said CGT’s Prueitt.
How HRvest works
For more information and to enroll your company to take the HRvest assessment, visit www.centerforgrowingtalent.org/resources/retain and click on the HRvest link.
An online assessment takes about 20 minutes to complete and is totally confidential. For best results, CGT recommends that two persons from each company complete this portion – both the most senior HR executive, and the CEO or another senior executive – said Prueitt.
After taking the assessment, those company representatives will receive a report that benchmarks their company’s HR maturity against an aggregate of comparable industry companies. Management can then use that information to enhance the company’s HR programs and practices to become a talent magnet; additional tools are available through CGT’s website to assist with that transformation.
“HRVest is unique in both the design of the assessment and its application,” said PwC People Analytics Practice Managing Director Jeffrey Jolton, who works with organizations to assess their HR maturation and strategy. “Its maturity assessment is built around where the industry wants to go in terms of creating HR functions that can attract, develop and retain talent for its future. The focus is not just on where one's own company is in its HR journey, but also how that relates to how the industry as a whole can move forward.”
HRvest is part of CGT’s Retain ecosystem
Craner explained that HRvest grew out of board conversations about how CGT should bring to life the “Retain” component of its mission. “To get companies to focus on defining and communicating their employee value proposition to attract and retain talent, first they have to take their ‘people planning’ as seriously as they take other aspects of their business,” said CGT’s board chair. “We realized that our industry largely approaches HR transactionally – hiring, firing and the like – rather than strategically. The idea for HRvest came from wanting to helping our companies to make the transition.”
HRvest is part of CGT’s new “Retain ecosystem”, notes Prueitt, which also includes articles, tools and other resources about current HR and industry trends. CGT said it is also building an industry HR community, to help facilitate conversations about improving HR capabilities that can move the industry forward.
“Together, these offerings are designed to help companies understand their current people situation, identify how to build or expand their best people practices, and to establish strategic HR policies and practices that support and enhance their business strategies,” said Prueitt. “That’s a win for our companies, for our industry at large, and ultimately for the world we feed.”