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- Livestock Manager, Sheep – Central West NSW
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- Assistant Manager – Winnathoola Pastoral Co.
- Working Manager, Canberra area – via Spinifex Recruiting
- Station Hand – Hancock Agriculture
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AGRICULTURE and food processing sector business owners are justifiably terrified about hiring the wrong person. Bad hires undermine team morale, are expensive and can dull the company, regardless of whether it is a family-scale sheep operation with a couple of staffmembers, or a feedlot with 35.
These common mistakes can cost companies thousands, even millions of dollars every year, if they are large enough.
Worst of all, big mistakes in the hiring process mean you’re probably missing out on the talent you desperately need in your organisation, regardless of whether it is large or small.
To save time and money, here are four common mistakes agri-employers should avoid:
Not encouraging employee referrals
The benefits of hiring internal referrals are three-fold. Referrals tend to last twice as long, perform better (when you work with someone who actually referred you to the business, you would want to demonstrate that you are a great fit), and are more likely to have a better understanding of the company culture before signing on the dotted line. So, if you’re not investing in an employee referral program, you’re missing out on talented and loyal employees.
Scrambling to fill a role
Don’t wait until you desperately have a hiring need before you start looking for candidates. Rather, the best time to be sourcing is when you have fewer jobs to fill and are under less pressure. Procrastinating may be detrimental to your cost-of-employment – after all, recruiting the right person may take a minimum of 20 hours to 100 hours per position, depending on your circumstances.
Stay in touch with potential candidates, send them company news, industry alerts and articles you think they would be interested in. A great way to keep track of your pipeline is through a CRM program which allows you to add notes to your candidate files.
Passive candidates are not going to readily apply to your job openings; you need to find a way to build meaningful, long-term relationships with your talent pipeline. After all, you are selling them your brand alongside the prospect of working within your business. You want your brand to stay top-of-mind – much like how you would want your customers to think of you. Ultimately, everyone who connects with your business can become an advocate.
Valuing direct experience more than cultural fit
Skills are important; no one is dismissing good qualifications. But in today’s job market, there’s something to be said about finding a candidate who will fit into your company culture. Employee turnover is costly, and ill-fitting employees are more likely to pack their bags.
Again, employee referrals are a great source for finding like-minded individuals who will enjoy working in a culture where they naturally fit in.
Not asking enough questions in the interview process
It is important to ask as many relevant questions as possible in the interview process. Ask candidates to go through each job and tell you what they were hired to do, what they accomplished, what mistakes they made, what their bosses would say about them and why they left. Asking these same questions for each job will generate a wealth of data that you can use to rate them against other candidates and your hiring intentions.
While it is not necessarily easy to hire the best, by taking these four things into consideration as part of your hiring process, you’ll protect your bottom-line and attract the talent you need to move your business forward.
The costs and impact associated with an employee who leaves the business can be quite significant.
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