January 3, 2020

88% Of Farmers Find Employees Using This One Method

 |  By: Rhonda Brooks

Stiff competition for good employees means farmers need to use a variety of methods to identify, hire and retain them. However, a Farm Journal Pulse poll conducted in late December found that 88% of the 439 farmers who responded say they find employees primarily through using one method: word-of-mouth.

From there, the approaches farmers say they use to recruit employees drops off drastically. The poll shows that 5% of farmers advertise for employees at their local community college. Three percent use employment sites, another 3% use social media, and 1% uses local community boards (see overall results below).

Farmers can increase their odds of hiring success by trying multiple methods of recruitment, writes Betty Berning, Extension educator at the University of Minnesota.

“Consider new places and ways to recruit, like job fairs, internships through local colleges or FFA programs, referrals from other employees, or handing out your ad to agribusiness professionals,” Bening says. “Be sure to communicate responsibilities and competencies needed for the job, along with a little bit about your farm’s values,” she adds.

Berning’s complete article, “Finding and Keeping Good Employees - It Can Be Done!” is available at https://bit.ly/39z3Cls

In the process of recruiting employees, consider these hiring hints provided by Mel Kleiman, president of Humetrics, a human resource consulting firm.

1.    Develop your UEP (unique employment proposition). What are the reasons an employee would want to work for your organization?
2.    Don’t go shopping for employees without a list. Make sure you cover all the bases: capacities (physical and mental), attitudes (responsible, self-motivated, etc.), personality (funny or serious, extrovert or shy, etc.) and any required skills. (Keep in mind it’s always smarter to hire for attitudes and train for skills.)
3.    Look for and recruit employees even when you don’t need them. “If you only recruit when you have a need, anyone with a pulse and reliable transportation will look good to you,” Kleinman says.
4.    Don’t recruit only from the pool of people looking for jobs. Go after people who are working and looking for better jobs. It is actually a bigger and better place to fish, he says.