Wages in Agribusiness Are Higher, but There Is a Lack of Qualified Professionals in Brazil

“…we need professionals that are willing, who seek specific training for this market and who are available to move from a large urban center to cities in the countryside…”

André Ceruzi is the CEO and founder of AGROSearch, a company specialized in recruiting professionals for agribusiness in Latin America.

Ceruzi has a specialization in agribusiness and socio-environmental management from the Getúlio Vargas Foundation.

André Ceruzi, CEO and founder of AGROSearch

AgriBrasilis – Is working in agribusiness a matter of affinity or remuneration?

André Ceruzi – Working in agribusiness means understanding the mission of this chain and that we have a global responsibility related to food safety. This leads us to continually evolve and develop technologies to meet the growing demands.

More and more qualified professionals are required by Brazilian agribusiness. As demand is still greater than supply, remuneration is higher when compared to other markets. Much more than affinity, we need professionals that are willing, who seek specific training for this market and who are available to move from a large urban center to cities in the countryside.

AgriBrasilis – Does agribusiness pay more than other markets?

André Ceruzi – Absolutely. There is a high demand for operational positions, such as mechanics and machine operators, including specialized technicians, specialists, and managers.

The demand is for professionals with experience and knowledge, who can add efficiency, quality, and help in management. Unfortunately, the supply of these professionals is less than the demand. We will experience this scenario for a few more years until business colleges and companies that offer courses and specializations settle in the market and manage to train more professionals.

There is also a challenge in relation to the profile of professionals in the market. Currently, agribusiness still restricts the adaptation of professionals from other markets, such as consumer goods, for example, making the integration of these professionals more time-consuming. Agribusiness jargon hinders the speed of adaptation, for example.

AgriBrasilis – What are the skills most desired by agribusiness?

André Ceruzi – The most sought-after professionals have technical training, but have also developed skills in people management, management of indicators and development of strategic plans for agriculture. Technical professionals with skills in sales and business development are also valued.

AgriBrasilis – How can a professional update himself and stand out in the sector?

André Ceruzi – Through specialization courses, trainee processes and mainly through the mentoring and help of a more experienced professional.

Knowing the agribusiness market and its nuances is fundamental. If the professional comes from another market or business chain, he needs to immerse himself in the agribusiness world to increase his chances of adherence.

We also evaluate the length of time professionals stay in their jobs, avoiding those who stay less than three years in their last jobs. It is worth remembering that the sales and evaluation cycles of some agribusiness sectors are longer. In less than two years it is very difficult to assess the performance of some professionals.

AgriBrasilis – What is the relationship between demand and supply for professionals? Is there a balance between job vacancies and qualified professionals?

André Ceruzi – There is no balance between demand and supply of professionals and university training centers end up training very technical professionals, leaving management and business skills in the background. As a result, professionals take longer to graduate, and this creates an imbalance between supply and demand. To give you an idea, the average we have today, among the more than 40,000 candidates we interview, is three job vacancies for each qualified professional.

AgriBrasilis – What are the mistakes most committed by employers during hiring procedures?

André Ceruzi – Everyone wants ready-made professionals, so the companies end up spending up to three times more because they don’t have a training process or a professional qualification program. In this way, employee turnover is high, and retention is not focused on growth performance, but on dependence on that professional, making labor expensive and more difficult to retain.

The lack of planning also results in hiring errors when companies hire only to keep up with market demand and do not prepare to receive professionals who require training or quick adaptation to the business.

The HR area was in the background for a long time and now we need to have a more critical look at it.

AgriBrasilis – What tools do companies use to increase the motivation and retention of talent in companies?

André Ceruzi – The good old Individual Development Plan is a very useful tool in these cases, in addition to a good, consolidated compensation and benefits plan.



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