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GuideHR Growing Your Human Resource Management Step 3 — Recruitment

Are you hiring the best of the best, the best of those available, or best of the worst? Are your hiring practices a function of convenience, or sound human resource management (HRM) practices?

Employees who fit with the job add value. Those who don’t may put your operation at risk (and cause many sleepless nights). Using solid HRM hiring practices helps you get the right employee and hire the best of the best.

Recruitment (getting qualified candidates) is an important step in hiring. The next step, selecting an employee from the candidates, will be the focus of the next article in this series.

Know the job

Understanding the job is often an overlooked step. Does the job include pruning trees and you need someone with pruning experience? Or, does the job provide training prior to pruning?

Now you can look for someone you can train, and experience is a bonus. Does the job entail mixing and applying pesticides? If so, does the right candidate need specific qualifications? Or is the application of pesticides part of the job only if the right candidate comes along?

If you know the job, it just makes sense that you’ll be able to recruit and ultimately hire the right people.

Develop a message about the job vacancy

You need a message for your advertisements and when you talk to people about the job. Develop a message that gets attention, shares critical job information, and reflects your farm or operation.

In a sea of organizations looking for good workers, make your message stand out. Consider these advertisement headlines: “Hog Barn Labour” versus “Sweet Smell of Steady Employment and Career Opportunity at Our Hog Barns.” Which would you read?

Critical job information includes statements about what the employee must do and what success looks like. Important but not critical information includes must-have certifications and job location. If you’re willing to support employees getting those certifications, then say so.

Location is important but can be outweighed by the right job. People will move for the right job.

Including wages and working conditions is optional. Eventually candidates will need to know this information, but at this point, generating interest is your goal.

If there is a less appealing aspect of the job, share it later in the selection process and not in the initial message, or focus on the positive. For example, if you have lower wages but provide meals, you can emphasize the positive (compensation $11.50/hour plus homemade pie at lunch).

Most importantly, your message needs to be true and reflect your operation. Misrepresenting the job or organization might get you employees in the short term, but you’ll wonder why your turnover is so high.

Get the message out

To hire the best employee, you want to pick from the best candidates. This doesn’t mean you need a lot of candidates, but you need qualified candidates — the ones a good recruitment strategy will find.

Consider how you might reach people who are qualified and have the ability to be successful in the job. If the labour market is tight, spread your vacancy message broadly.

There are a number of options to expose your job vacancy message.

Electronic job boards (EJB).

Networking with and talking to people.

Traditional newspaper advertisements.

Support groups for diversity labour sources.

Post-secondary schools.

EJBs are the happening place to post job vacancies. EJBs are many job seekers’ first and only career and job advertisement stop. Many EJBs allow job seekers to post their resume, giving you an opportunity to approach them.

There are a number of free EJBs ( in Saskatchewan, in P.E.I., etc.). A free national job posting board is Many online classifieds such as are also free.

There are job-posting sites specifically for agriculture ( or These specific sites may have a fee for posting advertisements.

Talking to others about the job vacancy can be a very effective way to spread the word. Network with people with jobs similar to your job vacancy. Ask if they know of someone who has the ability to do this job. Talk to your current and past employees. Personal referrals are still an effective way to source possible candidates.

When you’re discussing the job with others, use the message you developed. Remember you’re recruiting for the job. Think of it as marketing the job and your organization.

There is traditional newspaper advertising, but dollar for dollar this medium may not net you the same results as EJBs. Advertise the job vacancy at post-secondary schools and employment agencies for diversity groups. Both of these places can be an excellent place to find workers.CG

Leah Knibbs is the owner of Knibbs/ associates hr consulting and a partner in Knibbs/associates sourcing people. Both organizations provide HR services to agriculture organizations. Knibbs describes herself as a professional HR consultant who used to butcher meat rabbits and market the product. Contact her at [email protected] or 306-861-9864.

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