Recruitment: Key points for employers in job interviews

James Price*, JPAbusiness September 25, 2020

Latest listings on Jobs Central

  • 2021 Season Positions – AA Co
  • General Manager, Farm Operations – via Agricultural Appointments
  • Safety & Training Supervisor, Grassdale – Mort & Co
  • Station Manager, Auvergne NT – via Anna Brown Recruitment
  • Stockpersons, Naracoorte SA – Teys Australia
  • Accounts/Admin Assistant, Sydney – Gunn Agri Partners
  • Farm Manager, Dairy goats – via Agricultural Appointments
  • R&D Operations Manager, S&W Seed Co. – via Rimfire Resources
  • Operations Manager, Darwin – Coomalie Holding Depot

Click here to access these and other exciting meat and livestock supply chain jobs currently listed on Jobs Central.


WHEN hiring new staff, there are a number of issues that need to be dealt with by a business owner or senior manager before a recruitment interview process begins. It’s much harder to retro-fit this important information into a recruitment process after the fact.

In the video below, three key tasks are listed that employers should undertake before beginning the interview process.

Here’s some examples of when and how you might go about these tasks.

Document it: Understand the role you are recruiting for and document the outcomes you want:

You’ve grown a business to a certain stage and want to enter a new market, but can’t achieve that goal with your existing resources. You’ve decided to employ a business development manager to help. The things you need to consider in designing the role are:

  • What products and services do you plan to sell in that market and how do you want them sold? What is your desired financial outcome?
  • When do you envisage the candidate achieving that level of sales performance? Is the person only focused on business development or do they deliver part of your value proposition? For instance, if you’re selling air conditioning units, do they simply secure new sales, or do you want them to be both a seller and servicer/installer?
  • If the role is purely business development, what type of rapport and approach do you want to see provided to potential customers? How do you want to be perceived as a business through this new role e.g. efficient and professional, relaxed and consultative, or aggressive and highly motivated?
  • What is the current culture of your business and are you happy with it? Do you want your new team member to fit in, or help refine and change your culture?

Create a checklist of skills, capabilities and experience needed

Having sorted out what outcomes you want, now consider the core skills and capabilities your new business development manager would need to achieve those outcomes:

  • What does the person need to have done in the past?
  • Do they need to have worked in this market before?
  • How much life experience do you require them to have?
  • Do they need experience in sales and business development, or are you happy if they’ve been in service and want a change?
  • Do they need to have any specific technical skills, educational qualifications or licences?

Recognise what’s essential: Identify the non-negotiable critical strengths required

The final pre-interview step is to decide which attributes are non-negotiable critical strengths which a successful candidate must have, versus desirable but not essential qualities that can be covered by other team members and/or developed with the candidate in time. In the case of your business development manager:

  • non-negotiable – highly developed communication skills
  • desirable, but not essential – technical understanding of your particular brand or product.


* About the author: James Price has 30 years’ experience in providing strategic, commercial and financial advice to Australian and international business clients in agribusiness and commercial sectors, through his advisory, transaction and valuation firm, JPAbusiness. His blogs (click here to access) provide business advice for aspiring and current small to mid-sized business owners, operators and managers.





Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your comment will not appear until it has been moderated.
Contributions that contravene our Comments Policy will not be published.


Get Sheep Central's news headlines emailed to you -