Most farms are usually family-owned and are therefore run and operated by the family members. The work is easy and more fulfilling as everyone knows and trusts each other. There is no defined hierarchy of management as everyone chips in to help whenever they can. However, there comes a time when the farm may need the services of a professional farm manager especially if the intention is to commercialize the farm. The farm manager is in charge of the day-to-day operations of the farm. Since most farmers usually rely on help from the family, they may be clueless about how to go about the hiring process for a farm manager. Here are some tips that can help;
1. Define the job and its responsibilities
Farmers are used to handling all the work on the farm with a little help from their families. However, it is important to define the position, the responsibilities expected of the farm manager and the skills needed for the job. For example, you will want to get someone who can operate the machinery as spelled out in the manual by the agriculture rotavator manufacturer. Make sure you define your roles too after the farm manager has reported to duty. This will help to avoid conflicts about what each person is supposed to do on the farm.
2. Offer reasonable remunerations
Offering a competitive salary and benefits will attract the right individuals for the position and prevent high turnovers. Always discuss this with the candidates so that you can agree before they start working. Some of the factors to consider when setting the salary include;
- The salaries offered by other farms in your locality for the same position.
- Experience and expertise of the candidates.
- Whether you will be offering accommodation to them on the farm or they will be making their own arrangements.
- The scope of the work to be done.
- Working hours, and whether overtime will be compensated for.
- Training and development opportunities provided by the farm owner to the hire.
3. Advertise the position as widely as you can
While you can get recommendations from friends and family, you will want to widen your search so that you can increase the chances of finding the right fit. You can advertise the position in the following ways;
- Social media platforms.
- Online job boards such as Craigslist.
- Recruitment agencies.
- Communal notice boards.
- Adverts in local radio and TV stations.
The advert should be as clear as possible and easily understandable about the position and what is needed of the candidate.
4. Establish performance review metrics
Before the farm manager gets on board, they should understand their roles and how their performance in this position will be measured. It is also important to be clear on how regular the performance reviews will be conducted. This goes a long way in ensuring that the hired farm manager understands their job and you can fairly judge them on their performance. Stick to the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and don’t expect them to handle everything on the farm.
5. Be impartial
When you advertise for the position of the farm manager, you are likely to receive recommendations from people around you and even applications from family members themselves. It is important to be impartial in the hiring process and hire purely on merit. The needs of your farm are paramount to pleasing family and friends. Practicing favoritism when hiring can easily cause conflicts between the hire and other farm employees as the new hire will feel they are above the others because of their personal relationship with the farm owner. Consider the goals of the farm first always. The hiring process should be carefully thought and planned. There are legal requirements, such as employment regulations, that you will have to comply with. Ensure that the working conditions are adhered to as laid down by the local authorities. You might also want to consider the training and development needs of your farm manager.