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.