HIRED: Raising recruitment expectations on both sides
In business, the age-old adage, time is money, is a driving force. Maybe one of the most overlooked aspects of saving money for the operation is good employee retention. Successful operations have learned an inch of prevention is better than a mile of cure when it comes to recruiting and selecting the right employee for the long-term benefit of your farm or ranch. Here are six steps agricultural managers can use to recruit and select the right employees for their needs.
1) Advertise in the right places. Getting the right candidates is the most effective route to making a great hire. Posting on multiple platforms makes it easier to attract more of the right resumes to choose from. It makes it easy when your marketing can all be done in one place.
2) Create the right advertisement. Make sure you are clear and concise and straight to the point about who, what, where and when. A badly written ad can attract either not enough or too many applicants.
3) Consider the audience. Speak in a tone and language direct to the candidate and make it easy to apply.
4) Give the right interview. Ask the right questions, contact references, give them real-world skill tests depending on what the job entails. When hiring, more heads are better. Screen candidates with multiple people from the operation.
5) Have realistic expectations. Whether you’re hiring a manager or laborer, setting performance expectations is absolutely essential for improved performance, employee success, and good employee relations overall. Not to mention worker retention.
6) Provide competitive wages. This usually means the pay and benefits are comparable to similar positions and experience in the ag industry. Common benefits can be housing, food, holiday time, etc.
According to Forbes, employee replacement can cost the operation 30-50 percent of the annual salary of the position needing to be filled to cover loss of productivity and costs associated with finding an employee. There is a lot to take into account when a new hire is joining an operation. Employers are taking a chance with a new hire. Here are 5 steps on how to be a good employee and keeping up your part of the deal.
1) Be teachable and able to follow direction. Most people can learn with appropriate application of thought, time and energy. Be a sponge for new ideas, information and techniques. From welding and mechanical work to soil health and husbandry, it pays to be well-rounded.
2) Build relationships. A lot of folks in the ag industry work remotely. With everyone spread around and so many jobs to get done, getting to know each person on a more personal level helps build team camaraderie and company loyalty. Communication is always key. You never know when you might need assistance throughout the year, during sale day, or holding off a prairie fire.
3) Set goals for yourself. The best employees do the kind of work that recognizably makes a difference. It is important to set and meet goals and it builds character. Always set the bar above what is expected. Whether it’s servicing a tractor, building a fence, working the horses and cattle, the most rewarding part of the job is at the conclusion of a productive day.
4) Learn the job and do it well. Regardless of the task at hand, learn expectations of yourself and how to do the job to the best of your abilities. Be on time (or a little early) and take initiative. Promotions are based on your ability, loyalty, aptitude and plain ol’ hard work. Be the best you, you can be.
5) Always be productive. Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today. Don’t let equipment, livestock or paperwork go unattended. Get the work done and move on the next thing as quickly as possible. If you can accomplish tasks without being micro-managed and told what and how to do something, you will be ahead of the curve.
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A pasture or lot with plenty of grass or bedding and windbreak is important when calving in the cold.