Good help may be hard to find, but as they age and operations grow, some farmers have started to look a little harder. Follow these five steps to find the right talent for your farm.
First, conduct a needs assessment. Establish which tasks will demand extra help, what level of skill will be required, and how much time these tasks will need to be allowed.
Once you've established your needs, write a job description. Ideally, you'll want to start advertising 60 to 90 days before the expected start date.
Cast a wide net to attract a large number of talented candidates. As a guideline, target ads within a three hour radius from your location.
Prepare for interviews by developing a few simple tests that will allow applicants to prove they have the skills needed to handle the work requirements and solve problems. (i.e. Ask applicants to back a wagon into the barn, but loosen the battery cable beforehand.)
Check all references before offering a job and be sure to put the final offer in writing. The offer should include compensation, any extra benefits, and should cover general housekeeping items such as hours, breaks, and appropriate attire.