What you offer someone in return for them completing the work defined in the job description will have a large impact on whether or not they accept the job. To attract talented and committed people you need to be offering competitive remuneration, learning opportunities and safe work conditions.
- Consider your budget and where possible benchmark the salary/wages of the job to ensure you are offering a competitive package.
- Decide what terms and conditions you will offer. Consider cash items such as salary/wages and bonuses/incentives. Also consider non-cash items such as rostering and time-off, training and development opportunities, meat, electricity, firewood etc. Be clear about the accommodation offered and rent for this. Remember that lifestyle is often as important as pay.
- Prepare an employment agreement. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and Federated Farmers both have appropriate templates. Make sure your employment agreement includes the required information and think seriously about adding additional clauses which help clarify exactly what you are offering your employee and your expectations. A detailed employment agreement can help prevent a lot of miscommunication later.
- Present the employment agreement along with an offer letter to the successful applicant, talk them through the agreement. Remember they must be allowed time to seek independent advice before signing.
- Be prepared for the applicant to come back and negotiate terms and conditions. Stay open minded to their suggestions but be sure that you can afford any changes.
- Decide if you will include a 90 day trial period for this role.
- Ensure your accommodation is in a good state and ready for your new employee along with a tenancy agreement.
- Having a signed employment agreement in place for every employee before they start, is a legal requirement and provides protection for both you and your employee.
Quick Questions & Answers
When do I make an offer?
As soon as you have decided on the right person for your role. You should phone them saying you want to present them with an offer. The offer should arrive within a week of this discussion as they may be considering other options and you don't want to lose them.
What level of accommodation do I need to offer?
This depends on the quality of staff you want to employ. Good quality farm accommodation is likely to attract quality job applicants and employees. It is also likely to help you retain these employees.
The Health and Safety in Employment Act 1995 does have regulations specifically relating to accommodation provided for farm employees. These regulations include a basic list of conditions that the property must meet such as:
- be maintained in good order;
- contain, or have access to, suitable toilets, washing facilities and sleeping facilities;
- lighting in all rooms;
- ventilation in all rooms;
- heating facilities;
- refrigeration facilities;
- rubbish disposal facilities; and
- adequate equipment, utensils and appliances should be provided for cooking purposes.
These are the bare necessities you must provide, but it is best to be honest and consider if your accommodation will result in an employee who lives and works in their best health, mentally and physically. If the answer is no, then think about, and implement changes to improve it.