Re­cruiters strug­gle

Matamata Chronicle - - Rural Delivery -

Dairy farm re­cruit­ment agency, Frenz In­ter­na­tional, says it has more Waikato jobs avail­able than peo­ple look­ing to fill them.

‘‘Our job board is chokka and we’re strug­gling for peo­ple. We have dozens and dozens of jobs go­ing in the Waikato and many more in the rest of the coun­try in­clud­ing in par­tic­u­lar the South Is­land,’’ Frenz In­ter­na­tional di­rec­tor Chris­ti­aan Arns said.

A range of po­si­tions are avail­able from man­agers and as­sis­tant man­agers to dairy farm as­sis­tants. All are on dairy farms. ‘‘We haven’t got any se­nior man­age­ment jobs at the mo­ment, as there is less move­ment at that level than there would tra­di­tion­ally be,’’ Mr Arns said.

‘‘I be­lieve that is due to the grad­ual change in the in­dus­try. Work­ing from sea­son to sea­son is no longer sus­tain­able long- term and farm busi­nesses have changed as they have grown.

‘‘A lot of the big­ger busi­nesses have changed their prac­tices and put in­cen­tives in place to keep their se­nior staff. If some­one is work­ing for you and they move on af­ter 12 months, that’s a loss of in­vest­ment.’’

The agency is in­ter­ested in hear­ing from dairy farm staff, in­clud­ing those look­ing for ca­sual or per­ma­nent jobs.

‘‘Peo­ple with ex­pe­ri­ence are pre­ferred. For the re­ally young ones in­ter­ested in work­ing on farms we would look to get them in­volved in an in­dus­try train­ing or­gan­i­sa­tion.’’

Fed­er­ated Farm­ers Waikato pres­i­dent James Houghton agreed re­cruit­ment pat­terns in the in­dus­try had changed.

‘‘Fifty years ago there used to be 50 to 100 ap­pli­cants for one job.’’

The dairy in­dus­try also now has a ‘‘back­log at the top’’, with older and more se­nior peo­ple stay­ing in their jobs longer, Mr Houghton said.

The Hamil­ton of­fice of re­cruit­ment firm Drake In­ter­na­tional said re­cruit­ment in the dairy sec­tor had been busy.

‘‘The dairy sec­tor cer­tainly brings em­ploy­ment to the Waikato,’’ said the firm’s branch man­ager for the Waikato, Chris Haigh.

‘‘The good peo­ple are al­ways in de­mand. It’s all about re­li­a­bil­ity and flex­i­bil­ity. Most of all we look for peo­ple with re­ally good work skills, who turn up ev­ery day for work and com­mu­ni­cate well with the client and our­selves. Ex­pe­ri­ence is im­por­tant but is de­pen­dent on the job spec­i­fi­ca­tion.’’

Mr Haigh said the job mar­ket was ex­pected to qui­eten a lit­tle soon, as the dairy sec­tor was about to move into the off-sea­son.

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