Most rural and remote agribusiness owners will tell you that luring the best and brightest candidates away from big cities is challenging.
But there are plenty of things that can be done if employers are prepared to be creative with remuneration packages and can think outside the box.
Agricultural Appointments, Sales and Marketing Director, Brett Price is all too familiar with the task of recruiting for careers outside of our urban centres.
“There’s a lot of negatives associated with going to these regional centres,” explains Price.
Bigger regional centres have all the modern conveniences of big city living – hospitals, schools, shopping precincts – and for some people the shift away from those comforts can be a deal breaker.
“It’s lifestyle – if someone wants a skilled farm manager in an isolated regional area, they are competing with businesses in bigger regional cities. Agribusinesses need to find innovative ways to overcome these problems,” says Price.
Here are seven strategies that can make the difference:
1. Annual leave
Offering longer annual leave will appeal to a lot of people, particularly if your business makes people take forced annual leave over certain periods of the year.
2. Flexible working arrangements
Early starts, late finishes, commitments with family and sport, makes most people’s lives a juggle. Helping them to fit work around their lives is one way of fostering happy, productive workers. Even allowing time off in the middle of the day for exercise or other activities helps create a happy workplace. People can make-up the lost work time when it suits them.
3. Provide housing
In isolated areas providing, an on site manager’s residence is a big draw card and making the housing inclusive in the remuneration package, or subsidised, is also a valuable incentive.
Offering additional financial or business incentives beyond a contracted wage shows employees’ you are prepared to invest in them over the long term. Also, include generous super as an inducement.
5. Think flexibly
Loosen the selection criteria and concentrate on training. Also, look for skills that are transferable.
6. Benefits for families
Include childcare/school fees/tutoring in the package. Look into employment opportunities for the spouse/partner.
Offer tuition reimbursement and professional development benefits. Offer opportunities to attend national and international conferences.
For more ideas on what employers can do to attract top talent to their farm and agribusinesses check out our latest report: The 2015 Agribusiness Salary and Trend Report.