Finding the right person for the job is hard for any business but it is especially hard to find good help on the farm. Here are a few tips to help you find the best workers.
1) Provide candidates with clear expectations
Give the low-down on the job and your expectations. If you're able to communicate what they need to accomplish and what is expected you can find out a few important things.
1.) Are they the right person for the job.
2.) Are they are going to be happy working for you.
3.) Are they going to stay (so you don't have to repeat this process as often).
2) Test for motivation
It's important that you find the person who is best suited for this job. That might not be a close friend or even a friend of a friend. Lots of people will tell you whatever you want to hear to get the job but you should make sure that they are motivated to work in this type of job and have the qualifications.
Possible questions to ask:
Of course you want to talk about the job and a potential employee is qualified for the job but there is a lot more that you can find out and save yourself many hassles down the road.
It's also good to note what questions you are not allowed to ask. Things like age and race are off limits. Here is a helpful list of questions that are off limits to ask. https://www.betterteam.com/illegal-interview-questions
3) Provide follow up
It's a good plan to know this before you start interviewing. When will you be getting back to applicants? What can they expect? What is the process? Here is a list of steps to take.
Steps to take before you have your first interview:
4.) Be prepared
There are many resources out there that give information on hiring and firing. Here is a link to a guide that covers farm hiring from A to Z and tackles many of the hard parts of hiring/firing.
The guide covers:
5.) Places to post jobs:
Here are a few places to post jobs that you have around the farm. If you have suggestions we would love to hear them!
Additionally, here is a blog post on hiring immigrants through the H-2A program. https://www.farmaid.org/blog/fact-sheet/immigration-and-the-food-system/
Finally be part of the team. Sure, you're the boss but it shows a lot if you work a long side your employees at times. You could also plan employee fun time (when there's time) to bond as a team and show your employees that you care.
Best of luck with hiring for the coming growing season!