A day in the life of a dairy farmer involves wearing many hats. One of those hats is that of human resources. No matter the size of your farm, as long as you have employees, you need to be thinking about human resources.
Operations Manager / AgriStaff USA

Well, what exactly is human resources? Human resources can include payroll, recruiting and hiring, employee training, employment records, safety, handling employee issues, benefits and workers’ comp administration, and the list goes on. With so many duties a farm owner or manager has to complete, many times human resource duties are ones that take a back seat, but they are just as important.

Luckily, this is an area where it’s quite possible (and even preferable) to outsource some of these tasks. Let’s take a look at what you should and shouldn’t outsource.

1. Recruiting

Outsourcing can help you not only save on time, but can allow you to stay up to date on the latest legal aspects, as well as have someone who specializes in that field run those operations for you. One area that is great to outsource is recruiting. Hire a company like ours (AgriStaff USA) to advertise your farm for you. All day, every day, we are talking to and connecting with candidates who are looking for work. An agency can help spread the word about your farm farther, faster and more efficiently than you would be able to on your own.

Especially if you are always on the hunt for new employees, consider outsourcing this duty. Also, consider having an outside agency help with safety training, employee handbook and SOP (standard operating procedure) creation. This will help you stay on top of the latest safety procedures and keep up to date on any changes.


2. Payroll

Another area to look into outsourcing is payroll. Many times, accounting firms or other businesses will offer payroll processing. This is a big, time-consuming task that takes focus and attention to detail. If this is a big thorn in your side, consider outsourcing it. Also take a look at your timekeeping system. There are great electronic time systems out there that upload information directly to your computer so you don’t have to manually enter time. We always recommend a biometric (fingerprint, face recognition, etc.) system to reduce buddy-punching and other “cheating” tactics. You may also want to consider having someone outside the farm come in and do occasional employee document reviews to make sure all forms are completed correctly.

3. New hire training

While outsourcing may be the way to go for certain tasks, some things just need to be kept within the farm. I recommend keeping new hire training in-house. It allows you to have greater control over the content, as well as gives the new employees a chance to get to know different members of your team. Another aspect that should remain on-farm is handling sensitive employee issues. When it comes to handling poor performance, mistakes, firing or pay raises, it’s important that the information is coming from you. That’s not to say you can’t have a translator or consultant help you with this process, but it should be clear that the decisions are being made by the farm’s management. It is also important that you are keeping a close eye on all of your employee records, ensuring the proper new hire paperwork is completed and that you have everything you are legally required to have.

The list of human resource duties is a long one, so it makes sense to outsource some of the tasks. Take a look at some of the duties that are a pain-point for you – either you don’t enjoy doing them, they take too much time or they need more attention than you’re able to give. Find professionals in these areas that can help manage these tasks for you.

A big factor in the success of any business is having a team around you who will help move your business in the right direction. Your team isn’t just your employees, but your advisers, bankers and colleagues. You don’t have to take it all on by yourself; choose tasks that others can help you complete and delegate those tasks to outside companies.  end mark

Becky Rodriguez is with AgriStaff USA. Email Becky Rodriguez.