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Build A Dream Team for Your Farm

Roric Paulman By Nate Birt

Good employees do more than just show up for a paycheck, they have a personal stake in the success of your farm. Once you feel the need for more help, write down the qualifications and qualities you want in your next employee.

“Before posting a help wanted announcement, assemble a written position description,” says Melissa O’Rourke, Iowa State Extension farm and agribusiness management specialist. “Make a list of all the different duties expected of this new employee.”

Explain both physical requirements as well as previous training the individual will need. If a CDL is required, note that in your call for applicants. Know what pay you can provide as well as any additional benefits such as sick days, vacation and health care. After selecting applicants, focus on the interview process. “You want the candidate to answer three big umbrella questions,” says Whitney Kinne, a Missouri leadership coach. Then you can identify the ‘micro’ questions within each of these categories.

Do you have the skills necessary to perform the job? Or can you learn them easily?

While it might be easy to teach someone to throw hay bales, some tractors and other duties might be trickier. What should the candidate already know how to do or what are you willing to take the time to teach?

Does this individual actually want to do this job? What’s their motivation?

Wanting a paycheck is fine, but that can’t be the only reason someone shows up to work. Why this job? Why this farm? What are their goals for the future of their career and how does that coincide with the farm?

Will the candidate fit in well with our current team? Is this the right role?

A lot of this comes down to personalities. Will this person blend in well? Are they willing to take constructive criticism? Is there a better place for them on the farm than the position they’re interviewing for?

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