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AgFirst supports Associations in all areas of human resources management, providing a range of services or simply offering advice and guidance. Our expertise and experience span the employment cycle continuum, from recruitment to retirement.

Talent Acquisition

AgFirst assists Associations with recruitment efforts by posting job openings on a Districtwide recruitment website and providing consulting for the development of recruitment strategies and plans. AgFirst can provide specialized assistance for Associations recruiting for key positions, such as developing salary negotiation recommendations and administering or providing information about personality and behavioral assessments.

Talent Management

Employee Development

AgFirst’s employee development programs are focused on cultivating staff members who are engaged in their jobs and the success of the company and identifying and preparing current and future leaders. The AgFirst Leadership Academy provides the framework for employee development programs for all levels, from individual contributors to those leading multiple departments. The Leadership Academy includes hundreds of computer-based, on-demand learning modules designed to allow employees to gain essential skills at their own pace; multiple instructor-led, one-day programs; and three multi-day leadership development programs:

  • Essentials of Leadership: Provides critical skills, insights and action planning needed to effectively lead, guide and influence important organizational initiatives.
  • Leading with Impact: Building on the principles of Essentials of Leadership, provides managers the tools to influence others, think strategically and collaborate to achieve business results.
  • Advanced Leadership Program: An executive leadership program custom designed in conjunction with the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina.
Talent Management Platform Access

The AgFirst District uses the Cornerstone OnDemand platform, a unified talent management solution internally branded as Career Café, to drive and manage its ongoing learning, performance and succession planning initiatives. Cornerstone’s industry leading, easy-to-use tools feature automation capabilities, flexibility for configuration, and robust reporting capability. More than 3,600 employees, directors and outside participants use the platform to participate in training and manage their ongoing career development. As system administrators, AgFirst provides assistance and guidance for specific Association tasks, such as assigning training for employees, tracking course attendance and configuring annual performance review and succession planning systems.

Learning Management

The Cornerstone learning platform is a comprehensive solution for helping automate and manage the training function for each participating organization, enabling them to:

  • Deliver e-learning experiences.
  • Administer Instructor-Led Training (ILT).
  • Offer learning content on mobile devices.
  • Create and deliver virtual classroom sessions.
  • Manage functional content in a social and collaborative environment.
Performance Management

Cornerstone’s Performance Management tools allow managers to benchmark employee performance and align employee activities with organizational strategy, enabling organizations to:

  • Customize and automate their performance review processes.
  • Develop, manage and track meaningful goals.
  • Provide continuous feedback channels.
  • Identify employee competencies and skill gaps using 180- and 360-degree feedback.
  • Develop checklists to assess and monitor skills in real time.
Succession Planning

Cornerstone’s Succession Planning tools are used to identify skill gaps and build bench strength within an organization. Organizations can:

  • Comprehensively review existing talent within the organization.
  • Identify high-potential employees, depicted on a nine-box grid.
  • Generate and manage a dynamic succession plan for any position.
  • Maintain employee biographies, resumes and career preferences.
  • Create and manage Individual Development Plans (IDP).
  • Identify critical skills and competencies to pinpoint gaps.

Custom Instructional Design Services

AgFirst can develop customized e-learning, instructor-led or blended content to fit the specific needs of Associations. AgFirst maintains a toolbox of the most respected e-learning tools in the industry, including Storyline and the Adobe Creative Suite. These can be delivered through a variety of platforms, including mobile devices.

Employee Relations and HR Policy Guidance

In addition to a variety of useful templates, including employee improvement plans and documentation recommendations, AgFirst provides information and guidance about employee relations, employment law and performance-related issues and challenges. In addition, on-site training is available on a variety of employment law topics, including diversity and inclusion, harassment, effective performance management, etc. AgFirst’s Human Resources Handbook, containing employment-related policies and guidance, is provided as a template to Associations for their use as desired. A legal scan and review of the handbook is conducted annually, with updates provided to the Associations. Information sharing includes District HR leader teleconference calls where employment and labor law compliance and collaboration are discussed. AgFirst also provides a model Human Capital Plan, including diversity and inclusion strategies, for Associations to use as needed or as appropriate.

Compensation Administration

AgFirst provides compensation consultation to Associations on general salary administration issues and questions. Services include job evaluations and grade placements, executive compensation analysis, and compensation training for staff, management and directors. AgFirst also conducts an annual District salary study of Association benchmark jobs, publishes an annual compensation trends newsletter and produces Total Rewards statements for Association employees.

Human Resources – Information Systems

AgFirst HR provides support and assistance for all technical aspects of Human Resources administrative services including:

  • Functional and technical support for the Oracle HCM, DocuPhase imaging and Hyperion Workforce budgeting systems.
  • Processing of benefits eligibility file fees to benefits vendors and third-party administrators.
  • Creation and support for standard dashboard reports for use by HR representatives.
  • Deployment and maintenance of communication materials on the Oracle HCM employee dashboard.

Farm Credit Benefits Alliance® (FCBA®) Administration

FCBA® offers a wide variety of benefits in three main areas: health and welfare, retirement plans and other general support. AgFirst HR functions as a service center for FCBA®, administering the benefit plans and payroll for more than 3,200 employees in the AgFirst and the Farm Credit Bank of Texas Districts. AgFirst manages the FCBA® active employee benefits, including annual enrollment and AgFirst District FMLA consultation, retiree medical plans, director benefits, and compliance with all plan documents and reporting requirements. The AgFirst payroll team is responsible for ensuring three main areas of the FCBA® payroll process: the accuracy of paychecks, proper deduction accounting and appropriate tax withholding.