Access to web data gives Kevin Yauck quick and easy access to new market and production information he can put to work on his 6,800-acre certified seed farm at Cymric, SK, a 90-minute drive north of Regina. So when a long-time employee tendered notice, Yauck and his wife Candace advertised the position in a regional agricultural newspaper and through an online ag job bank.
Mike Bachner thinks Yauck’s decision to go virtual was a good one. Manager of AgCall HR’s eastern Canada division, Bachner says primary producers have struggled with labour shortages for longer than other agri-businesses, and the talent pool farmers fish from is even tighter.
Farmers and ranchers typically use local papers to publicize job openings “believing that local labour would be the best fit for their business culture and job opportunities,” says Bachner. He thinks that’s shortsighted. “The web takes their exposure to a higher level and even opens up access to internationally-trained candidates.”
Bachner’s position gets a quick thumbs up from Andrew Campbell, a dairy farmer and communications technology guru in southwestern Ontario. Campbell, who teaches farmers how to optimize web-based communications, predicts you’ll will like what online job banks offer in terms of reach and convenience.
For example, farmers with smart phone technology will be able to turn on their auto steer and take until the end of the row to look at resumés or set up and even do a phone interview, says Campbell. “Let’s be honest — if you’re looking for farm help, chances are you don’t have a lot of time to sift through resumés or make follow-up calls.”
Bachner recommends producers look at online job banks that specialize in agriculture. These niche sites use the language of front-line production and attract an audience that’s looking for on-farm work.