Thursday, July 7, 2022

Important to employ right staff

Employing new staff can seem like a time-consuming process, but it’s worth doing it right.   If you take the time to recruit properly you are much more likely to find a great employee, someone who fits into your business and can deliver the results you need. When recruiting new employees you can get a professional specialist to help you or you can go it alone. What you choose will depend on your confidence, your budget, your time, and your interest.   Both options can deliver you great results. You just have to be committed to a proper process. If you decide to do it yourself, here are a few tips to get you started.

Step by step:

  • First, be clear about the skills and experience you need. Check this fits with your plans for the farm and the rest of the team. If someone is leaving the role you want to fill think about what worked and what didn’t in that relationship.
  • Once you have decided on the big picture, review or write a job description. This helps make your expectations of the role clear to applicants.
  • Think about what terms and conditions you could provide. This is about more than just money and time off, so consider different roster systems, accommodation, perks, training and development. Make sure it fits your budget and that your total package will attract good, quality applicants, because you have to be competitive.
  • Decide if you want to accept phone or written applications and if you want all candidates to fill in the same form, so you can compare equivalent information. Prepare all the documentation you will need for the next stage – ie, application form, draft interview questions.
  • Now it‘s time to advertise. Research shows that being specific in your advertising will help attract better-quality applicants, so refer to your job description and detail the skills and experience you want and any opportunities you can provide. Try to make your advert stand out – sell the positive aspects of your role while being realistic about the rest.
  • Next up you need to decide which applicants to interview – between three and five is recommended. Make sure you remain objective when reading applications and compare each person’s skills, experience and attitude to the selection criteria you said you wanted. Once you have your shortlist, contact the applicants and arrange a time to meet.

One of the best things about getting recruitment right is that it gets your employment relationship off to a great start. Good recruitment means planning and communicating – two essential aspects to providing a good-quality working environment. By demonstrating a high performance standard in your initial dealings with your new employee you are already letting them know you have quality standards and expectations of yourself and your team.


And that gives you a good base to create that great working environment, where your employees and your farm can thrive.

For tips, tools and templates to help with the next steps, such as interview and assessment process, reference checking, picking the right person, making the job offer, negotiating the employment agreement and getting the new person on board, visit, an online people-management resource designed specifically for New Zealand dairy farmers.

DairyNZ also has QuickStart Recruitment kits available for farm assistant, herd manager, assistant manager and farm manager roles, with key recruitment templates, interview guides, detailed job descriptions, employment checklists, and an orientation plan to help get your employment relationship off to a great start.  

They are free to levy-paying dairy farmers and can be ordered at or by phoning 0800 4 DAIRYNZ (0800 4324 7969).

Jane Muir is a DairyNZ developer, people.

This is the first in a series of six articles from DairyNZ on staff management issues.

More articles on this topic