Recruiting with purpose helps tech talent grow
Strategy, messaging and a new microsite creates fertile ground for John Deere to attract technologists.
Farming has gone high-tech, and for good reason. A growing planet needs smarter food production to yield more crops, use less chemicals and help our world grow better in general. As the leader in AgTech, John Deere sought to draw top-tier technologists away from Silicon Valley mainstays with a recruitment brand that could speak to their tech culture and show how they are breaking new ground, literally.
Turning John Deere into a tech company
Deere is well-known for bringing agriculture into its modern state, but they’re plowing into the future as well—with autonomous driving that could rival any Tesla, as well as machine vision and sensor fusion systems powered by the latest in AI. Deere is bringing all of this to the field; we had to bring it to the fore.
Traina created the Tech@Deere brand, along with a recruitment strategy, messaging framework and a dynamic digital experience to support the grand opening of Deere’s new tech office in Austin. The end result is a comprehensive recruitment platform in which the company’s ethos is well-defined from the very start.
Many think recruitment begins and ends with the right resumes coming in and final offers being accepted, but the benefits go far deeper. Creating a recruitment brand allows you to engage with applicants in a relatable, personal way, and make a lasting impression on the people who will carry your company through its future. This sets a foundation not just for a fruitful career, but for a clear sense of meaning in the work—a reason to believe in being there and staying there.
This makes strong ideology and compelling messaging key to good recruitment. In today’s purpose-driven job market, if a new hire signs on for salary and perks but has to search to find meaning in the work they do, it won’t be long before that search for meaning will include other companies. But when someone is attracted from the start with a clear understanding of how the company makes a difference, and how they and the work they do fits within that difference, it builds an authentic sense of belonging and believing.
Before any technologist could feel they belong at Deere, they’d have to understand the company’s approach to innovation and get a sense of their vibrant tech culture. The Deere tech hub spans three major entities—John Deere Intelligent Solutions Group (ISG), Blue River Technologies, and Bear Flag Robotics—this meant bringing together stakeholders from across the organization to identify and articulate the mindset that would form their identity.
“That’s why you’re Deere”
Through a process of interviews and exploration exercises, we uncovered the commonalities of the tech divisions: a deep-seated purpose to sustain our planet, to get hands-on with tech and make real things that make a real difference. The Deere teams were collaborative, iterative and earnestly sought to help improve the lives of farmers, because doing so also helped the global populations who rely on their harvests. The reaches of their work were clear: their end users are not just farmers, but humanity.
This was their reason to believe, and became the core idea behind what “being Deere” is all about. The ideology and messaging of Tech@Deere centers on offering a different sort of career for a different kind of technologist: one who wants to make tech today that hits the ground tomorrow, and who enjoys real collaboration, especially if it means hopping in the cab of a tractor. This is what Deere technologists were doing behind the scenes every day, and we made it what a prospective applicant could expect from day one.
Dynamic opportunities, front and center
We brought the Tech@Deere brand to life with a new digital experience that purposefully defied what audiences might expect of a company founded in 1847. Traina created a custom, experiential microsite that gives potential employees the opportunity to “choose their own adventure” in a career at Deere.
You can at Deere
From the start, viewers are presented with a dynamic header with bold messaging that emphasizes the endless opportunities at Deere. Animated type also conveys the company’s iterative process—a place where reinvention is the norm.
Choose your path
The site is a portal into the entire Deere tech ecosystem, allowing candidates to explore the distinct cultures the brand offers through one unified platform. Whether candidates sought the global reach of John Deere or one of its leaner, more startup-style subsidiary brands, we created a seamless way for users to explore across the company.
Show don’t tell
From their fully autonomous tractor to an AI-driven herbicide applicator, Deere is not just claiming tech progression, it’s actively testing and running it in the fields. The site provided an innovation showcase for the company’s industry-leading technologies, making the future of Ag Tech a possible future for applicants.
Fertile ground for the future
The microsite for Tech@Deere was completed well in time to support the company’s grand opening of its Austin tech hub, which coincided with SXSW 2022 and marked their entrance as a tech presence in the city. This online tool will continue to support Deere’s tech hiring on an even bigger stage when John Deere’s CEO delivers the keynote address at CES 2023.
Development of Tech@Deere is the first step in a number of strides the company will make this year, as they have debuted their autonomous tractor for commercial markets and are now looking to fill thousands of tech positions across the globe. Now with a tech-forward presence and compelling recruitment story, we can be assured that the future of food production is getting the talent we all can count on.