How Agrifirm reduced its time to hire by 21%

The Netherlands are leading when it comes to agricultural knowledge. With approximately 3.400 employees Agrifirm is one of the main players in the field of innovative solutions for farmers and gardeners. The largest sector handles the production of compound feed for cattle, poultry and pigs. Not the first thing IT consultants think of when searching for a job. According to Gert Jan Nagel, Recruitment Manager at Agrifirm, they should: Agrifirm certainly has a lot to offer in the field of technology. We spoke to Gert Jan about the recruitment challenges Agrifirm faces and how VONQ helps him to overcome them.

We do not offer jobs, but careers

17.0000 farmers and gardeners are affiliated with Agrifirm and, because it is a cooperation, are the true owners of the enterprise. With one common goal: Increasing their profits. As Gert Jan passionately explains: “Everything you see on your plate during dinner starts somewhere and 90% of those times it’s on a farm where a passionate farmer is contributing to meet the world’s food challenge. Something that really matters and that makes working for Agrifirm very rewarding”. Gert Jan explains enthusiastic people, with their roots in the agricultural sector, work at Agrifirm and that it is a great company where the CEO’s door is always open. “At Agrifirm we do not offer jobs, but careers. We highly value personal development and support this with our own Agrifirm academy.”

Time to hire and cost of hire reduced by 21% and 12%

Gert Jan believes Agrifirm has a strong employer brand within the agricultural sector. He sees that candidates who have affinity with the sector are eager to work at the company. When searching for talent outside of the sector Gert Jan noticed it is a lot harder to attract the right candidates. Gert Jan explains: “The average IT professional doesn’t know we are engaged in challenging SAP projects, but thinks we only produce compound feed. This is something we have to tell our target audience. As recruitment manager I’m not only concerned about telling the right story, but also about using the right online channels. I’ve involved VONQ to help with that last part. An excellent and trustworthy partner that helps me recruit effectively.” Before working with VONQ Gert Jan predominantly used the company websites of Agrifirm and Agriholland. Gert Jan goes on: “This method really was ‘post and pray’. Reaching the ideal candidate happens a lot more targeted now. Together with VONQ I determine which specific media channels are the best fit for specific audiences. After all, reaching an IT professional requires something completely different than reaching an account manager. By improving our targeting we have reduced our time to hire by 21% and our cost per hire by 12%.

Streamlined distribution

VONQ’s Job Marketing Platform helps Gert Jan streamline the distribution of his vacancies and by integrating it into the ATS of Connexys a large amount of efficiency is gained. “I don’t have the resources to approach all online recruitment channels individually, negotiate pricing, send them all the vacancies and remove them from all from the channels again. We have approximately 80 vacancies annually, we fill in 60 of those by our own recruitment efforts. You can imagine this saves me a lot of time per vacancy. From the moment our vacancy text is ready, it takes me half an hour to select the right online recruitment channels and order my campaign. VONQ handles all distribution. Without the Job Marketing Platform this would simply cost me 4 times as much time.” Campaign-optimisation, when the vacancy is posted online, is something Gert Jan appreciates a lot: He explains: “ You are proactively triggered. Questions like: Your vacancy has been advertised for two weeks, how is the quality of your applicants? Maybe we have to do something about the vacancy headline? Actively thinking with me is of true value to me.”

Smart measurement of the recruitment effort

Gert Jan goes on: “I can see which candidates have been interviewed, but also which candidates I have rejected. This integration doesn’t only provide me with insights into the expected clicks and reactions, but also in the quality of the recruitment channels that are utilized. I can already see that we are improving and that’s a great first step.” Gert Jan believes it doesn’t stop with this integration and that the recruitment world really needs to make more strides improving its efficiency. “Integrations with tools catering to other processes, like applying and onboarding, have to contribute to making this a reality. Technology will make the recruitment process more efficient and measureable. This is what you want as a recruitment manager and what the market is asking for.”

Marieke Rodenrijs
Campaign Manager at VONQ