Rural Support Trust chair Neil Bateup says there is a lot of apprehension among farmers about the future as they follow and experience the disruptions caused by Covid and also by the war in Ukraine.
Covid-19 has caused massive disruption to the agri-contracting sector, but the Marlborough-based company has stuck to its core business, which centres on connecting suitable candidates with good job opportunities.
Realising that a number of different businesses have sprung up to recruit NZ-based, displaced workers with understaffed contractors, Hanzon has come up with a clever, web-based app. This allows new entrants and established workers to create a real-time work experience log in a simple and straightforward manner.
The app can be used to show potential employers an applicant’s work history. It also allows employers to seek out suitable candidates for their business.
The app takes the form of a Daily Log, split into four periods. The employee can record the tasks being undertaken – for example, mowing, raking or baling. They are also able to list the type of machine being operated (mounted, trailed or triple mower).
As part of an individual job, the app also offers a list of sub-tasks, such as attaching the mower, daily maintenance and identifying hazards.
Data collected also runs to the brand of machinery being used, for example, Claas, Krone or JD. It also records the conditions – wet, dry or muddy – and the type of terrain being operated over. The data, which is verified by the employer, builds up over the season to become a virtual CV for the operator – as well as a valuable tool for a prospective employer.
The latter can look at a resume and assess potential staff based on their experience at a task and their familiarity with certain machinery brands or tractors. Alternatively, potential employers can look at an operator’s experience based around terrain or types of crop – favouring candidates who might have more experience in a landscape similar to their own area of operation.
Richard Houston, a 20 year veteran of the ag industry with experience as a machine operator, contractor and recruitment consultant, suggests that the app will become a valuable tool particularly in the current Covid-compromised era. This has seen a large percentage of recently recruited staff having limited experience in the sector.
Houston claims with candidates building up a worthwhile resume, they should be able to become valuable contributors to the sector. He says it will also show potential employers that they are committed to making a career in the industry and worth investing in.