You'll need to screen applicants to determine those you will interview, interview selected applicants, check references and then choose your preferred applicant.
Selecting the right person for your role will mean you get great performance and productivity from them which will positively impact on you, other team members and your farm. People have a huge impact on the success or failure of your farm and the cost of selecting the wrong person can be high.
- Phone screen the top applicants by asking key questions about their experience, skills and qualifications and the reasons they are interested in your role. From this create a shortlist of 3 - 5 people you will interview and notify them. Also notify those that were unsuccessful.
- Arrange and carry out interviews making sure you will not be interrupted. Have questions prepared which will test the applicant's competence against the job description and the tasks and responsibilities they would have on your farm.
- Use a range of question types to find out:
- how they have behaved in certain situations in the past
- what they are interested in
- their strengths
- areas they find challenging
- their goals for the future.
- Make sure you get a feel for their attitude and how they would fit in your team and on your farm.
- Check the references of any applicants you are particularly interested in. Remember you can only contact nominated referees. Ask them questions about how the applicant has performed in the past and clarify any detail or unclear areas from your interview with the applicant.
- Review all that you have learned about your preferred applicants and decide which person, if any, is right for your role.
- Follow a thorough recruitment process to find the best person for the role.
- Once you have started the recruitment process then you want to keep it ticking over. Applicants are likely to be applying for a range of roles and any time wasted means your potential pool of applicants is reducing.
- The cost of selecting the wrong person can be high - lower performance, higher operating costs, reduced morale and increased staff turnover.
Quick Questions & Answers
What do I need to know about references?
Firstly, you need to check them!
Past behaviours are usually the best indicator or future performance so it is important to ring an applicant’s referees and find out more about their skills, experience and attitude.
Always contact more than one referee to ensure a balanced view. Remember that legally you can only contact referees the applicant has nominated.
Find out questions to ask when checking references.
Get help with picking the right person.
Start thinking now about how you will transition your new employee into the business.
What information can I ask an applicant to disclose?
You can ask an applicant for information which relates directly to their ability to perform the job, i.e. information relating to their skills, competencies and experience.
When selecting applicants to interview, or employ, you are required to abide by the Human Rights Act. This Act makes it illegal to discriminate against people based on: race, colour, national or ethnic origin, gender or sexual orientation, marital or family status, employment status, age, religious belief, political opinion or disability. This means questions relating to any of these areas should not be asked during the application or interview process. You can ask an applicant:
- about their experience, qualifications and skills that relate to the job you are offering;
- for evidence of relevant education and qualifications;
- if they have criminal convictions (although the Criminal Records (Clean Slate) Act 2004 allows individuals with less serious convictions, who have been conviction free for at least seven years, to put their past behind them and as such eligible individuals do not have to disclose convictions);
- if they have medical or physical conditions, or disabilities, that might prevent them carrying out the work satisfactorily. An offer of employment can also be made conditional upon passing a medical examination (to confirm the requirements of the job can be met) which may include a drug and alcohol test;
- if they have the ability to work the hours required (although you should not directly ask why they can or can't work the hours, and if the applicant discusses family or childcare arrangements, for example, you cannot discriminate based on this information).
Learn how to conduct a successful interview.
Find out why checking references is important.