Keynoting Vermeer Corporation’s North American Workforce Development Summit

Jason with leaders from Vermeer Corporation

If you’ve been on a walk, drive, or to pretty much any store lately, you’ve probably seen all the HELP WANTED signs. They seem to be in almost every storefront—and even advertised on customer receipts. The workforce shortage facing organizations in industries across the U.S. is urgent, costly, frustrating—and in many situations—appears to have no end in sight. 

At the same time, talented employees of every generation are looking for jobs, careers, and new opportunities but often don’t know where to start, who to contact, or how to stand out as an ideal fit for their desired employer. For all these reasons and more, I LOVE teaching employers exactly what works now to recruit, hire, train, and retain talented employees of every generation in this challenging employment environment.

My keynotes and half-day programs on what works now to recruit, retain, and unlock the potential of each generation of employees have taken me around the world—both virtually and in-person—but I had never before been to Pella, Iowa. Why Pella, Iowa? This is the location of the global headquarters for Vermeer Corporation and the host site for their North American Workforce Development Summit. I was excited to keynote this great event because they had leaders attending from across North America, the event was in a location I’d never been to before, and the Vermeer brand is one I’ve known about since I was a kid in small-town Texas. 

Visiting Pella, Iowa was a wow experience. It is a picturesque town with a unique history and friendly people. A highlight for me (besides the great food and history) was driving up to Vermeer Corporation’s massive national headquarters. It’s an incredible operation at the cutting-edge of manufacturing, technology, and innovation.

Growing up in a farming and ranching area of Texas, I know the Vermeer brand well. They are known for quality, integrity, and as a great employer. The company is over 70 years old and third-generation family-owned! Incredible and inspiring. It was exciting for me to be on-site at their headquarters and to speak to three generations of leaders in one room! The attendees ranged from senior leaders and managers to owners of their dealerships across North America. 

I was thrilled to share exactly what our research shows works best now to:

  • Inspire quality candidates to start your job application. 
    • Hint: Getting people to *start* an application creates an opportunity to motivate them to complete the application—even if it is at a later date. As I say in my keynotes: You can’t hire people who don’t apply!
  • Incorporate custom text messages and personalized video messages throughout the recruiting process. This drives enthusiasm, engagement, and connection with applicants from their first interaction. In particular, we find video is a powerful tool to get candidates excited about a potential job and employer.
  • Onboard employees virtually and in-person (and often both!), so they show up ready to go on their first day of work.
    • This is a BIG, BIG deal because so many employers are struggling with new hires who are no-shows on the first day—known as “ghosting a new job.” When a new hire does not show up for their first day at work it has a ripple effect on the employer because the employer had already allocated resources to hiring, onboarding, and integrated the new hire into their scheduling, yet now they have no new hire.
  • And many more how-to actions specific to retention and talent development strategies for each generation that are low cost or completely free to implement.

There is no doubt that what is happening in today’s workforce is challenging employers of all sizes and all industries, but I believe that hidden within this challenge is a huge opportunity for leaders to demonstrate their culture, mission, and why they provide a great place to work and build a career. In fact, I see this period of time as a moment for great employers to innovate and separate themselves from their competition. 

At the same time, it is clear, based on our research, that there are specific actions that drive employment results now—from recruiting and engagement to innovation and retention—if you know what to do, why, how, and when. It was exciting to share these how-to insights with the leadership at Vermeer! 

I want to give a big thanks to the amazing leadership and events team at Vermeer for hosting such a phenomenal program and in such a lovely town. I can’t believe I’ve been speaking at Vermeer’s events since 2012 (the flyer I’m holding in the photo is from my talk for Vermeer back in 2012)!!! What a journey. 

If you have a desire to solve recruiting and retention challenges facing your organization or industry, invite me to speak. I’d love to share our latest solutions and frontline stories with you and your team! 

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