Filling your farm’s talent pipeline can be a great challenge—and opportunity. How could a stellar employee transform your operation? What opportunities could you seize if you had the right team in place?
To poise your operation 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.”
With the current unemployment rate of 3.9%, you face a tight labor market. So, use every recruiting sources possible. Hadden suggests the following:
- The Internet or Social Media: You never know who may stumble upon your post. Pay special attention to your farm website’s career or team section.
“At most, websites list job openings, rather than doing what it should do—helping to create your employer brand and giving potential stars a look inside your workplace,” Hadden says.
- Newspaper Ads: This may not be the most effective, since ads can be costly and short-lived. But, Hadden says, they can help you find the best of the unemployed.
- Trade Magazines: Magazines within the ag industry are still regularly read and have a longer shelf life than newspapers.
- Word of Mouth: This will always be one of the best sources, Hadden says. Become involved in local organizations to expand your network.
“Your best recruiting tool is your reputation as an employer,” he says. “But it is the reality of your workplace that will retain and engage people for the long-term—reputation recruits and reality retains.”
- Local Colleges and Universities: Network with academic advisors at your nearby universities. Also, consider starting an internship program.
- Church Bulletin Boards: Places of worship can be great networking places, Hadden says. Not only should you share opportunities on the bulletin board in your church, but also consider your employees’ churches.
As you start to identify strong candidates through these recruiting sources, 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.”
How are you filling your farm’s talent pipeline? Drop me a note at email@example.com.