PigCareers.com: staying small and making a difference. By Sophi Fairman

The last few years have been interesting.  Fluctuations with pricing in the industry, the pandemic, and now labour shortages.  I know it’s not just in the swine industry; it’s across the board and to be brutally honest, it’s a little bit terrifying for me.

For those who don’t know who I am, I’m Sophi Fairman *handshake* and for the last 15 years, I’ve been working with PigCareers.com.  We’re the ONLY swine specific job posting website online. We’re one of the few businesses under the Swineweb.com umbrella of companies.   And in those 15 years, we’ve made some pretty cool connections and housed thousands of jobs in the swine industry.  We’re proud to say that we’ve been a major connection for employers and prospective job seekers looking to enter or advance within the industry. For the lack of a better saying, we’ve put “butts” in seats (you can roll your eyes here, but I love a good dad joke!)

We’ve been able to continue to grow consistently, year over year, despite the unforeseeable challenges the last few years have brought us.  And realistically, with the labour shortage we’re looking at now, this should be our time to shine! But that’s where things get tricky.

Back to the future

When the business first started out in 2007, web-based recruiting wasn’t all that popular. Classified ads were still one of the most common ways to find a job. Web based recruiting was just getting under way, especially for the agriculture industry.  We used to be able to say “it’s the way of the future”.  Well, the future is here! Web based recruiting IS the way.  It’s your 24/7 all access resource for ANYONE to find a job whenever they want and on whatever device they choose to use. Computer, tablet, cellphone – morning, noon and night.  And with that, comes choices on where to look for jobs and there are SO many options.  Frankly, if I were a job seeker, it would be a little intimidating.  Where do you even start?

Why use PigCareers.com

There is a lot of competition out there. From individual company websites career pages to other job post housing sites; the majority of which are a on a much larger scale than PigCareers.com.  Some people might look at that and think that we haven’t been successful but I’m proud to say that we’ve stayed small because we’ve stayed true to our name and this is where we’ve been able to capitalize. We didn’t veer off and start posting jobs in dairy or equine as a means to try to grow the business.  PigCareers.com only posts jobs in the SWINE industry.  Our job seekers are specifically looking for careers in pork and we’ve been able to use this to our advantage.  Large scale websites do obviously work.  They house EVERYTHING.  You can type in a keyword and it brings up every job under the sun with that word if it’s within the body of the job ad.   But with that, also brings an onslaught of potential applications from people who are not necessarily qualified or experienced for the job.

Because we’ve been able to stay niche, users come to PigCareers.com for one purpose, to look for pig careers.  We house it all.  Entry level jobs, administrative, marketing, management, sales, student jobs and our biggest category; production.  It’s all in one easy to use location.  And while I can’t guarantee that we don’t occasionally see applications for positions from people not necessarily qualified, more often than not their experience is still swine related.

Another positive for us staying small, is that we’re able to stay customer service driven.  More and more these days, companies are looking towards getting things done faster.  Because the faster it gets done, the sooner you can move onto the next thing.  And while I do understand that you can’t build a business working at a snail’s pace, there is something to be said about making a connection and building a rapport with your clients and users. Staying smaller scale has allowed us the opportunity to build connections and take the time to chat with our clients to find out what it is that they need.  We work together to figure out how we can best utilize our resources for your benefit.

Spring forward

As we look into the next few months of 2023, PigCareers.com is looking to make a few changes.  While staying ‘boutique’ is most certainly a strength for us, it also means we must work a lot harder to say relevant amongst the larger businesses we compete against.  We’re constantly looking for ways to keep our clients, and users, interested in working with us and using our site to find careers in the industry.  Adding a section on our website with HR specific commentaries is one of the many ideas we’ve been entertaining; filled with tips, tricks and so much more.  And while I can’t share all of our ideas, as some may not develop into anything more than just that, I can’t wait to share our progress as we move further into the year!

Long story short, nothing can guarantee results. But I can guarantee that staying stagnant in recruitment efforts will not garner much success.  Our world is ever-changing so thinking outside the box while staying market specific could be just what your business needs.

If you’re interested in sharing tips, tricks or HR specific thoughts in a commentary, please connect with me via email at sophi.fairman@pigcareers.com.