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6 Places to Recruit Farm Employees

Sara Schafer

December 7, 2020

How could a stellar employee transform your operation? What opportunities are you missing out on just because you don’t have the right people on your team?

To poise your farm for future growth and new levels of success, you need to always be recruiting strong candidates, says Richard Hadden, a leadership consultant at Contented Cow Partners.

“We often start recruiting the moment we have an opening,” he says. “That’s like going to the grocery store when we’re hungry; we’ll buy anything.”

Always Be Looking

“The ‘I just need somebody’ phrase is when we get into trouble,” adds Kathy Peterson, a human resources specialist and founder of PeopleWorks. “Look for people who come in with really awesome work ethic. Then train them on the agricultural aspects.”

As you identify strong candidates, Hadden has an important piece of advice: “If you find someone you need to get working for your organization — get them,” he says. “The probability of the best person having an opening in his or her career at the same time you have an opening in your organization is astronomical.”

Use every recruiting source possible and think outside of the box when it comes to the ideal candidate. Peterson and Hadden suggest the following methods.

  • Word of Mouth: Your best recruiting tool is your reputation as an employer, Hadden says. Become involved in local and/or regional organizations to expand your network.

  • The Internet or Social Media: You never know who might stumble upon your post. For a small fee, Peterson says, you can boost your ads so they’re

  • seen by more potential applicants.

  • Newspaper Ads: This method is costly and short-lived. But ads can help you find the best of the unemployed. With unemployment higher now, you might grab some great help, Peterson adds.

  • Trade Magazines: Magazines within the ag industry are still regularly read and have a longer shelf life than newspapers. Plus, you might find potential employees with farm backgrounds.

  • Local Universities and Colleges: Network with academic advisers at nearby higher-educational institutions, Peterson says. Also, consider starting an internship program.

  • Church Bulletin Boards: Places of worship can be great networking places, Hadden says. Share opportunities on the bulletin board in your church, as well as your employees’ churches.



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