Human Resource Management in Agribusiness ZAB 101

Introduction | 5:15 mins

Welcome to the first week of Human Resource Management in Agribusiness. In this section we will be talking about recruitment of staff, in particular position descriptions and job advertisements.

Recruitment can be referred to as the attraction, selection and appointment of individuals for positions that become vacant or are created.

In essence, organisations need to find the right person with the right skill set at the right time to fit the organisation. Getting the wrong person for a position can become very costly for organisations so managers or supervisors need to look closely at the requirements of the organsiation when a position becomes vacant.

When a position does become vacant in an organization quite often the manager will grab the previous employees position description, read through it, make a couple of tweaks and then get on with the job of advertising the position. Managers are usually down an employee, other team members or the manager themselves is normally covering the work load of the employee that has departed until a replacement is appointed. Therefore, managers tend to rush this process of getting the position description ready for advertisement.

However, getting the position description right for a position is critical as it sets the scene for who applies for the position, who gets shortlisted and who succeeds in getting the position and every organization is after the right person for the job.

I am sure you have heard many times, people are the most important asset of any organisation so managers or supervisors need to spend some quality time looking at what they need in the organization, not just tweaking what they already had. It may be the case that they don’t need to change anything which is great but they do need to spend time analyzing the job requirements.

Things can change dramatically in organisations in short spaces of time and when someone leaves it is a perfect opportunity to reevaluate where the organization is heading, and do we have the right people with the right skills to get there. So essentially managers need to start at the end point, what sort of skills and attributes does the organization need in the next couple of years to achieve its outcomes. Then work back from there.

Spending this time on developing the position description to meet the outcomes of the organisation will not only produce a better position description but it will also be more likely to attract a quality prospective employee with the appropriate skill set.

Once the position description is ready there are a couple of options for organisations, they can advertise the position themselves or they can appoint a recruitment company to take care of the process. Many organisations that do not have their own human resource departments tend to use recruitment companies when recruiting at a senior level. Less senior positions are usually handled by the organisation.

For example, I previously worked in local government, anything at a Directors level or above we used a recruitment company, any positions below that the Directors and other key staff were directly involved in the recruitment.

Whether the organization is handling the recruitment or a recruitment agency there needs to be a decision made on how and where to advertise.

I have read many job advertisements that wouldn’t encourage me to apply for the position.

Whether organisations like it or not, everyone is competing for the best and brightest to join their team, therefore the advertisement must sell that organization. Why would someone want to work there, what are its selling points? These are the things that need to be in the advertisement because you want the applicant to think, hey that sounds like a great fit for me and then they go further and download the positon description and put in an application. Every advertisement must have a hook that will appeal to the sort of person the organization is trying to attract.

Then comes where should the organization advertise? A couple of the more popular internet sites to advertise on is Seek and Indeed. Some organisations are doing some targeted Facebook advertising.

Please watch the following clips which give you some hints on preparing job descriptions and recruiting and advertising the position.

Preparing job descriptions | 3.45 mins

Recruiting | 4.00 mins

For agribusiness, the process for a long-term employee will very much follow the process we have just spoken about, however agribusiness does have the need for short term job placements and a high casual workforce, sometimes positions may only last up to three weeks due to the nature of the work. Many of these positions will not need detailed position descriptions, picking raspberries for example, essentially, they just need someone who can physically pick raspberries all day, has good hygiene and can turn up on time to get the job done.

Many positions in a farming environment can have very short time frames as the farmer needs the casual workforce when the crop is ready or it can cost them dearly. That’s why just before Christmas last year farmers were very concerned with the intention of politicians to increase the backpacker tax as they rely heavily on this target market to supply their casual workforce.

The following video is an interview with Tom Lindsay from Lindsay Farming Bishopsbourne, who runs a mixed farming enterprise dominated by dairy and potatoes. He outlines some of the difficulties faced by farmers in recruiting staff that you need to be aware of in the agribusiness sector. (2.00)

Tom Lindsay | 2:05 mins

Assessment Tasks

Please submit a blog on MyLo that describes your current understanding of how human resource management contributes to business success. Maximum 250 words. Creating blogs is featured in the Practice and Portfolio unit. You must complete this task and the quiz before proceeding to Week 2 material.



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