Look in the Mirror!!

Are you having problems recruiting or retaining team members (or both)?

Some farmers have people waiting to join them.  Yes, the market is tight for labour, and it is challenging to find replacement labour.  This is all the more reason to retain what you have.

Look at your business through the eyes of a prospective employee.  What factors would put you off working for you?  Does the job demand long and unsociable hours?  How does your farm appear to the public?  Is it tidy and a safe environment in which to work?  Are your facilities up together, as basic as do the gates hang properly or will employees be expected to drag and tie them with twine?  Have you a reputation for low staff turnover / are you continually advertising with vacancies?

Are you willing to invest time and money training employees?  Are you flexible with time off?  How do you treat your team and how well do you communicate with your team?

The best people to answer these questions are your current employees?  Would they recommend to their friends to come work on your farm?  The best way to find out is to ask and get feedback both with a written questionnaire asking the same questions to all the team and follow up individually with verbal questions to clarify points.  It gives you the employer an opportunity to address any issues and put things right.

This questionnaire is a separate exercise to individual team member annual reviews which are personal and address the job performance and career development of the individual.  This is equally important in providing constructive feedback.

Recruiting new team members starts with retaining your existing team members.  For all matters concerning recruiting and retaining labour on your farms, contact Gerard on 07976 426420 or e-mail  gerardfinnan@fcgagric.com.  We would be happy to help with putting a team questionnaire together relevant to your business and to collect and summarise the feedback anonymously to ensure the best responses.