Yes in agricultural recruitment you cannot be afraid of dogs! You meet them, usually before the owners in all shapes and sizes, covered in various depths of mud. Some like their owners are genuinely pleased to see you and grateful for your visit… others are more wary, eyeing you from the safety of the farm office or kitchen door whilst you pick your way through the farm yard. Sometimes and thankfully rarely they seem to regard you as a menace and bark their dislike at you on sight!
Thankfully I love dogs and view gaining their trust and respect as a challenge and not something to fear. OK enough of the analogies!
I am a labour provider (a gangmaster if you like), providing permanent and temporary workers to the agricultural sector. From one tractor driver to 100 leek pickers. My job is as rewarding as it is challenging and here are some of the reasons why I love it!
It is all about the people. Agricultural recruitment is not faceless; it is personable and full of personalities! Discussions are not had in fancy offices but round a kitchen table or across boxes of potatoes or leeks. You shake a lot of muddy hands, and meet passionate , hardworking labour users who expect a professional , efficient flexible service
It is all about the challenge. Agricultural recruitment is not 9-5, it is 7days a week with early starts, it is hugely weather dependant and staff are often required a short notice, keeping an eye on the weather soon becomes an obsession.
Referrals. Whether these come from candidates or clients they are always great and are recruitments way of patting you on the back and saying, “Well done you are doing a good job.”
Every day is a school day! From what size onions Tesco are accepting this autumn, to the pros and cons of outdoor pig units and how global wheat prices will effect livestock farmers there is always something to learn. Every season is slightly different and talking to clients to understand the pressures and issues they face is vital.
The temps. You are only as good as your candidates. I know we all probably say it but my candidates work hard, do long hours in all weathers and are very loyal. Time talking to each person is time well spent, for feedback on a job and to tease out skills and experiences. Every day you find out something new about the people who represent you.
My colleagues – We all work hard, and we are all driven and like many recruitment companies up and down the country our offices is full to the brim with big personalities. We feed off each other and laugh out loud every day!
The great outdoors – being able to spend my time outdoors and follow the seasons effects on the land, to chat to my clients whilst walking a field, to meeting the new arrivals at a pig unit, face my fear each December… turkeys (I still get flashbacks of standing in the middle of field surrounded by hundreds of turkeys getting closer and closer… whilst trying to remain calm and professional!)
Never complacent -My farmers in the East of England have had a hard year this year; the great British Weather has been very testing. At this time of year arable farmers are trying to get the last of the crop in, they are at least ten days behind , and conscious that weather is closing in, to quote one client “I am just trying to get finished whilst keeping what is left of my sanity!” Livestock farmers face the knock on from high wheat prices and the challenge of finding local knowledgeable staff. These issues and many others they face will keep me focused and challenged to provide the best possible service so that I know that staffing is one thing that won’t keep them up at night.
And finally of course –the dogs! Jasper the cocker spaniel at a fruit farm in Suffolk who rushes you in to the kitchen and then goes to great pains to drag his bed into the garden – just in case you try and take it away with you and Molly the lovely black lab in Norfolk who insists on emptying the waste paper bin and bringing you selected bits of chewed paper and not forgetting Phoebe who always gives a warm welcome and returns to her bed under Rosemary (the farm secretary’s desk) once she is happy that everyone is sitting down with cup of tea .
All of the above is why I love recruitment!