Loads of dairy jobs but no workers – agency
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 says.
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 says.
‘‘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 working for you moves 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 agrees recruitment patterns in the industry have 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 says.
The Hamilton office of recruitment firm Drake International says recruitment in the dairy sector has been busy. ‘‘The dairy sector certainly brings employment to the Waikato,’’ Waikato branch manager Chris Haigh says.
‘‘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.’’
Haigh says the job market is expected to quieten a little soon, because the dairy sector is about to move into the off-season.
Imbalance: Employers are finding it hard to fill farmworker vacancies.