The hiring process
10 min read
Are you looking to hire a new employee? Having a well-planned recruitment process is critical to finding the right person for your team. Once you begin, it’s crucial to move forward quickly in this competitive job market to avoid losing your preferred applicant/s. It is equally important to make sure you follow all the steps to make an informed decision, as employing a new team member is a huge decision.
There are important things to consider before and during your search, so following this nine-step process for dairy recruitment can reduce your risk and improve outcomes. To manage expectations, keep the lines of communication open with potential candidates, ensure the process is transparent and they understand the timelines.
It’s also a good idea to think about what kind of person will fit into the culture of your team. What knowledge, experience, skills, values and attitudes are you looking for in an applicant? Make a list of the 'essential' vs 'preferred' characteristics you’re after - this can help you compare candidates.
Provide a clear description of the role in your advertisement. It helps to stand out from the crowd if you provide enough information to make the job sound appealing and clearly describe why someone would want to work for you.
If there is a chance your role will need to be filled by an international candidate, there are strict guidelines around advertising. Learn more about this in our immigration section.
We recommend including:
Qualified applicants are less likely to apply for vaguely-worded or ill-defined job opportunities, so spend time planning your advertisement and doing it well.
There are many ways to advertise the role available;
Prepare an Employer CV
This CV is so you can showcase the values and purpose of your business, which can make your job opportunity more appealing than others. It can be shared with shortlisted applicants and might include;
Interviews help you determine how someone might behave on farm and the skills and attributes they bring to your business. By giving all candidates the same structured questions, you will be testing their competence against the job description and ensuring a level playing field.
TIP: Conversational interviewing is easier for everyone. Try not to make the interview process seem like an interrogation. Take your time, smile, and talk about any relevant experiences of your own to put your candidate at ease.
Before the interview:
At the interview:
At the end of your interview, you could leave the person with the rest of your team so they can ask questions and get a feel for how they might fit with the team.
There are legal requirements around discrimination and privacy that you need to be aware of when conducting an interview and reference checking. For more information see the discrimination when hiring section of the Employment New Zealand website.
Once both parties have agreed to the offer it is important to talk through and sign the employment agreement and job description with your employee BEFORE they start work. Even 5 minutes after starting has been held by the courts to be too late and may make any trial period invalid. (Note: for any trial period to be valid, the employee must also be ‘new’ - meaning they have never worked for you (or any business you have ownership in) before, even on a casual basis).
If you are providing accommodation, arranging a tour through the proposed accommodation can be helpful to the new employee in being able to arrange appliances and their belongings.
The time between signing the job offer to the first day of work can vary, but it’s always a crucial period. Use the time to get prepared, build your relationship with the new team member, increase their knowledge of the local community and generally getting them excited. A minimum of fortnightly contact is recommended. See more in our onboarding section.
Rural recruitment specialists: Various recruitment providers focus on recruiting for rural communities. Farmers can shop around for a recruitment provider that suits their needs. Local knowledge and Google can help.
How do we find skilled, capable and enthusiastic farm staff when they just don’t seem to be available? In this episode, Lee Astridge, a leading agriculture recruitment and HR specialist, shares actionable tips to help you navigate the recruiting process and make your farming business an attractive option in a tight labour market.
Looking for ideas on how to recruit and retain good staff for your farm? We sat down with Jane Muir, DairyNZ’s lead advisor – people, to discuss this topic in our latest Talking Dairy podcast.