Top 3 tips for farm worker recruitment

  • 2 min read

Producers know hiring the right people for the job is essential to their business success. However, given the labour market shortages for farm-related jobs, it can be challenging to find those people.

Hiring the right person for the right job is essential for farm business success. Experts recommend taking your time with the hiring process and avoiding the urge to hire the first person who comes along.

Janice Goldsborough, a human resources consultant with the consulting company The HR Basics in Manitoba, recommends producers take their time to ensure they find the right people the first time.

“Turnover can be very costly for anyone so taking more time to get the right people on the first try helps farms be more profitable,” Goldsborough says. “When you have the right people working in the right positions, farms become productive and can expand and grow.”

Key steps

Jade Reeve, manager of AgriJobs with the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council says the recruitment process includes several key steps starting with developing clear, realistic job descriptions.

“Quality job descriptions help employers identify the key tasks, duties and responsibilities of a particular job and communicate that information effectively to potential applicants,” Reeve says. “A detailed and organized job description makes it easier to attract qualified workers and compare their skills and experience to the job requirements.”

Other steps include writing a compelling job ad and placing it where the candidates being sought are likely to see it. During the selection process, producers also need to ensure they are compliant with Canadian laws and regulations by checking the Human Rights Act and Employment Standards.

Recruitment tips

Goldsborough stresses that producers need to take their time when hiring and not just settle for the first person who comes along. Here are her top three recruitment tips:

  1. Make sure to ask the appropriate questions during the interview. Ensure questions relate to the candidate's ability to do the job and aren't illegal by violating human rights.
  2. Check references if possible. They can help determine if someone is suitable for this particular farm.
  3. Have questions ready before the interview and make sure to ask each candidate the same questions. This helps to ensure an informed decision at the end when comparing answers for the same questions.

To learn more on how to recruit and retain workers, producers can visit the CAHRC website to access the AgriHR Toolkit.

Bottom line

Despite labour market shortages and the challenges of recruiting new employees, it's important producers hire the right people to ensure the success of their businesses. Take time when hiring, avoid settling on the first person who comes along and access HR tools and experts to help with the recruitment process.

Article by: Trudy Kelly Forsythe