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Recruitment Trends for Australian Agriculture in 2021

While all plans for 2020 were swiftly hijacked by the outbreak of COVID-19, here’s hoping that 2021 will be a slightly more predictable period. Last year, Australian agriculture bucked the global trend of a contraction in job vacancies, growing by 0.37%. Considering the market forces currently affecting the industry and its workforce, here are our predictions for agri-recruitment in 2021.

Workplace Flexibility

Thanks to the COVID pandemic, many workplaces have a renewed understanding about the benefits of a flexible working environment, including working from home options and allowing employees to choose their own hours. Studies have shown that people tend to be more productive and happier when offered a flexible approach to working, and employee retention rates also improve.

While working from home won’t work for on-site teams, there are other options. There are apps on the market which allow workers to design their own rosters, and swap shifts with colleagues. Flexible starting and finishing times will also help you to retain good workers.

Remote Working Options

The benefits of a connected world means that we’re no longer limited to expertise based on a geographical location. For many positions, it’s not even necessary to be in the same state. By considering hiring someone on a remote basis, you open up your organisation to talent on a nationwide scale, and that’s great news for sectors like agriculture that have very specific skill-set requirements.

If your company is willing to consider appointing remote candidates, there’s an untapped pool of talent right at your fingertips – tree changers. Many have excellent professional skills and a wealth of experience to build value for your organisation.

Digital Recruitment Strategies

The days of meeting in-person seems distant, as many employers have moved to online candidate interviews. This creates a great deal of flexibility in overcoming scheduling issues and the distances that agricultural businesses often face. This also allows you to speed up the recruitment process, which is a key strategy in finding the right talent.

Depending on the position, you may want to follow up with an in-person interview for shortlisted candidates. Make sure that this is a genuine two-way interview where candidates can have the opportunity to ask questions about your company and gain an understanding of your organisational culture.

Navigating a Candidate-Short Market

While agriculture has proven to be resilient in the face of a global pandemic, it also means that good candidates with relevant experience are hard to find. If you’re looking to recruit in 2021, make sure that you have an attractive salary package to entice candidates to apply.

While money talks, there are a number of other benefits that you can use to increase the overall salary package such as bonuses, equity shares, a vehicle or vehicle allowance and accommodation.

Be sure to move quickly on good candidates. Don’t delay in scheduling interviews, providing feedback, conducting reference checks or making an offer.

With good candidates frequently in the running for more than one position, it’s critical that you act with a sense of urgency.

For more information about hiring in a candidate-short market, read our full article.

Need our Help?

If you’re looking for assistance to attract and retain the best talent for your business or organisation in 2021, The Lucas Group can help. As Australia’s leading agri-recruitment agency, we have the industry insight and networks to find the right candidates for you.

Find out more here or speak to one of our consultants on (08) 8201 9999.

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