Recruitment: Deciphering the Australian Agriculture Job Market



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  • Station Hands, Rocklea Station Pilbara – Hammersley Iron
  • Hands of Head of Breeding – Stanbroke
  • Territory Sales Director, Northern NSW – via Agribusiness Recruitment
  • Regional Sales Manager, Victoria – Via Farm Meetings
  • Executive Assistant – NAPCo
  • Station Supervisor, Rosewood – via Red Dog Recruitment
  • CEO of Forest & Wood Products Australia – via Rimfire Resources
  • Livestock Management Officer, Katherine – Government of the Northwest Territories
  • Storage managers, various sites – AA Co
  • Chief Stockist, Newry Station NT – via Anna Brown Recruitment
  • Operations assistant + Breeding assistant – Bar H Grazing

Click here to access these and other exciting jobs in the meat and livestock supply chain currently listed on Jobs Central.

The permanent job market is starting to move again in the agro-food sector.

Two strong winter harvest seasons in agriculture after prolonged drought and improving commodity prices have resulted in increased confidence in the agribusiness sector and a corresponding increase in employment.

On the other hand, many of those who left during the drought did not return – especially to Western Australia under the influence of the mines.

The cautiousness of candidates due to the COVID “Bunker down” effect also adds to the reduction in staff movements, as the majority of people are unwilling to move away from their friends, family or business. a support network they know and a secure job they hold.

As such, competition for quality staff and therefore the pay scale in most, if not all, agricultural industries has increased rapidly compared to the 2017 market (i.e. hiring before drought).

Key factors to consider when setting your hiring expectations include:

  • Hiring officials have identified that more people will voluntarily leave their jobs after COVID. According to a recent Microsoft study, more than 40% of the global workforce plan to leave their employer this year. This pandemic has shifted the balance of power from employers to employees and forced employees to rethink their careers, working conditions and long-term goals; more importantly, what their employers have done to enrich their lives
  • The recruitment process is becoming increasingly difficult and time consuming due to a tight agricultural market. Recruiters pressed for time will find it increasingly difficult to do the recruiting work themselves
  • Hiring managers may have unrealistic expectations of the available workforce, in that they want candidates who are ‘walk-in beginners’ and ignore candidates who are slightly in need. below their expectations. They want 120pc but have to accept that often only 90pc are available
  • In addition, they often do not respond to the market in terms of salary expectations or working conditions.
  • Candidates change direction quickly if hiring managers procrastinate; there are plenty of greener fields. Managers need to allocate time and prioritize their hiring responsibilities appropriately.

In this critical time for agribusiness companies, employers need to be more flexible in their hiring decisions than they have been in the past decade.

In addition, employers should consider providing more training for new hires and accept the fact that in a market where the shortage of real talent is very evident, they will face stiff competition for employees from companies that can offer. more.

Savvy businesses will increasingly look to “grow their own businesses” and implement retention strategies. Businesses need to focus on the needs of their employees and find a way to drive their growth ambitions without overburdening already tired staff.

Flexibility and work-life balance are two important factors to consider when selling a job. Otherwise, agro-industries will lose out and candidates will move on to other industrial sectors.

* Author Dr Ray Johnson is managing director of the specialist recruiter Nominations Agricoles. Agricultural Appointments have been helping agribusinesses hire the right people since 1979. Click here to go to website



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