Before I start, note my use of ‘pig technician’ for ‘stockperson’. This cachet gives the worker more status in the community, boosts his/her morale – and technicians is exactly what they are in this increasing technical job.
Another thing before we start: These days many job applications go through the Internet, with LinkedIn being used frequently so people can be hired without a single piece of paper being printed. For the essentials inside the pig house, of course this doesn’t make a difference.
I digress: Now to business.
Invited by an ex-colleague of mine to be allowed to sit in on a recruitment training seminar for personnel managers of one of our largest industrial firms with many factories, naturally I jumped at the chance. At the end of the day, emerging deep in thought, I realised that there should be absolutely no difference between the recruitment strategies of the leading firms in industry and commerce, and a farm business. We in pigs are unlikely to beat them at their job, “They seem to get the best people locally anyway,” is a common enough comment. But we can learn from them.
John Gadd: “People make or break businesses.”
First message was that ‘people make or break businesses’. No need to remind us of that, naturally, but selecting the best candidate from a full list of applicants is vital. So how might we get a good number of applicants? Factors affecting the number of applicants are:
The best pig technician for your circumstances, that is. Much time was spent on the vital importance of the job application. A closing arrival date must be stated on the advert (on- or offline) as people are slow in sending them in and a review of job applications must be completed well before the interview itself.
You need time to study and compare the responses to the matrix suggested below which will soon reveal the obvious rejects. For the possibles use a tentative scoring system based on your own requirements which can be added to a similar one on a prepared sheet after the interview (never during it) to compile a shortlist for reconsideration, or re-interview if needed. The job application form scoring also helps you ask the right questions at interview. The personnel speakers at the seminar all stressed the need to allow sufficient time to consider the job application replies, as many employers never do.
Important: In case you ask potential staff to send in a written application form, limit the total length of replies to 300 words maximum. Say the any applications exceeding this total wordage will not be considered. This discipline helps to sort out the more acceptable candidates – and will not overload you with work!
This article was featured in Pig Progress magazine no. 8, 2014 – to read more published article see Pig Progress digitial
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