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From Recruiting to Onboarding

  by Amber Roberts, Extension Educator, Agricultural Business Management

Check list titled: 'From Recruiting to Onboarding'. The list reads as the following: advertise position, review resumes, interviews, check references, hiring the candidate, and onboarding.

Recruiting the right candidate for your farm's position is a process that involves several chronological steps to find applicants, hire a strong candidate, and set them up for success on the job. The recruiting process includes three objects: quantity of applicants, quality of applicants, and the spillover effect. 

Quantity of applicants matters. The more people that apply to your position, the higher chances that you will find a superior candidate for your farm. While recruitment isn't strictly about the number of people, you also want quality applicants applying, a larger pool minimizes the likelihood of no qualified candidates. To find a balance between the quantity and quality of applicants, the job description should clearly state requirements for the position versus desirable traits. Recruiting for applicants can have spillover effects, marketing your farm as a preferred employer. 
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Once you have a pool of applicants, the formal interview process can begin. While your farm might not be a formal business, formal interviews help to make sure that you are choosing the right candidate. Nathan Hulinsky, an Extension educator, recommends the 3x3 rule, "the candidate is interviewed by at least three different people in three different settings. This could look like starting in the farm office talking with the hiring manager then talking with a milker in the dairy parlor and the calf feeder in the young stock barn." The 3x3 rule will give your farm multiple viewpoints of the candidate and inform the candidate if your farm including employees would be a good fit for them. 

Excellent interview questions are crucial. Hulinsky recommends consistency in all candidate interviews, "ask every candidate the same prepared questions develop around competencies and what that job requires that individual to do." Open-ended, behavioral questions can help you to get a sense of how the candidate has behaved in past scenarios and their work style. 
Once you have found a superior candidate, your farm should extend an offer. The hiring process can include reviewing the conditions of employment, the probationary period, signing an employee handbook, and completing job status paperwork (I-9 and W-4 Forms). Lastly onboarding the candidate. Onboarding is more than just orientation and can take up to one year to fully train an employee for their position on your farm. 

To learn more about the full recruitment process, listen to the entire podcast. 

Episode 12 Transcript

Episode Content:
01:27 - Quantity of Applicants
03:41 - Quality of Applicants

05:34 - Spillover Effects
07:13 - Interview Process
09:38 - Interview Questions
12:39 - Reference Checks
13:12 - Hiring 
14:20 - Onboarding


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