Recruitment: Four recruiting mistakes that could cost you money

Beef Central, 09/09/2022

Latest listings on our Jobs Central recruitment page:

  • Territory Sales Manager, WA – via Rimfire Resources
  • Brand Manager, CopRice, Retail – via Rimfire Resources
  • Production Supervisor, Boning Room – Australian Country Choice
  • Apprentice Electrician + Electrician – Australian Country Choice
  • Station Hand Couple, Qld – Teys Investments
  • Field Officer – Tooraweenah Prime Lamb Marketing Cooperative
  • Graduate + Rural Pathways Programs  – Thomas Foods International
  • Livestock Manager, WA – Harvest Road
  • Pen Rider/Stockperson –  Stanbroke
  • Commercial Production Manager – via Agricultural Appointments
  • Managers(2) – Lochinvar + Mercadool – P&J Harris & Sons

Click here to access these and other recent job listings on Jobs Central.

Recruitment jobs southern


AGRICULTURE and food processing sector business owners are justifiably terrified about hiring the wrong person. Bad hires undermine team morale, are expensive and can dull the company, regardless of whether it is a family-scale cattle operation with a single staffmember, or a feedlot with 35.

These common mistakes can cost companies thousands, even millions of dollars every year, if they are large enough.

Worst of all, big mistakes in the hiring process mean you’re probably missing out on the talent you desperately need in your organisation, regardless of whether it is large or small.

To save time and money, here are four common mistakes agri-employers should avoid:

Not encouraging employee referrals

The benefits of hiring internal referrals are three-fold. Referrals tend to last twice as long, perform better (when you work with someone who actually referred you to the business, you would want to demonstrate that you are a great fit), and are more likely to have a better understanding of the company culture before signing on the dotted line. So, if you’re not investing in an employee referral program, you’re missing out on talented and loyal employees.

Scrambling to fill a role

Don’t wait until you desperately have a hiring need before you start looking for candidates. Rather, the best time to be sourcing is when you have fewer jobs to fill and are under less pressure. Procrastinating may be detrimental to your cost-of-employment – after all, recruiting the right person may take a minimum of 20 hours to 100 hours per position, depending on your circumstances.

Stay in touch with potential candidates, send them company news, industry alerts and articles you think they would be interested in. A great way to keep track of your pipeline is through a CRM program which allows you to add notes to your candidate files.

Passive candidates are not going to readily apply to your job openings; you need to find a way to build meaningful, long-term relationships with your talent pipeline. After all, you are selling them your brand alongside the prospect of working within your business. You want your brand to stay top-of-mind – much like how you would want your customers to think of you. Ultimately, everyone who connects with your business can become an advocate.

Valuing direct experience more than cultural fit

Skills are important; no one is dismissing good qualifications. But in today’s job market, there’s something to be said about finding a candidate who will fit into your company culture. Employee turnover is costly, and ill-fitting employees are more likely to pack their bags.

Again, employee referrals are a great source for finding like-minded individuals who will enjoy working in a culture where they naturally fit in.

Not asking enough questions in the interview process

It is important to ask as many relevant questions as possible in the interview process. Ask candidates to go through each job and tell you what they were hired to do, what they accomplished, what mistakes they made, what their bosses would say about them and why they left. Asking these same questions for each job will generate a wealth of data that you can use to rate them against other candidates and your hiring intentions.

While it is not necessarily easy to hire the best, by taking these four things into consideration as part of your hiring process, you’ll protect your bottom-line and attract the talent you need to move your business forward.

The costs and impact associated with an employee who leaves the business can be quite significant.






Your email address will not be published.

Your comment will not appear until it has been moderated.
Contributions that contravene our Comments Policy will not be published.


  1. Peter Dunn, 09/09/2022

    This is a good piece. Why no name at the top?
    Regarding the four mistakes, “employee referrals” is a quaint description of a useful activity used within an excessively rigid IR system. Before the IR industry as we know it now was created, employers used neighbourhood, family, industry (particularly previous
    work associates and peers), club, school, and social association networks to gather intelligence on prospective employees. It was an accepted process, kept discreet and honest for reciprocal reasons, and usually highly successful. Modern IR managers may roll their eyes, but there is nothing wrong with soliciting informal opinion from a wider trusted employer base, particularly for shortlisting. The concept of only references from immediate past supervisors belongs with Sir Humphrey Applebey.
    Staying (neutrally) in touch with potential candidates is also good advice, but if you are looking for someone for a senior manager/executive role, go to the next level and engage the agencies. Those aspiring to those positions register with agencies which ‘head hunt’, both nationally and internationally.
    The two paragraphs about seeking a ‘cultural fit’ are highly relevant. Unlike the saying about clothes, qualifications do not maketh the man. At risk of the wrath of the academia, let me say that there are many prospective employees who are educated but not intelligent, and equally many who are intelligent but not educated. It is prudent to keep in mind that while the latter can be assisted to qualify, the opposite cannot be attributed to the former.
    Regarding the questions during the interview process, this step can be made immeasurably more effective if wider intelligence gathering outside the traditional IR framework has been undertaken.

    Thanks for your comment, Peter. Regarding our use of bylines, it is our practice to only use our bylines where one of our journalists has had significant input into the article. There is nothing wrong with publishing relevant advisory material like that contained in this item, from a reputable HR/recruitment source – but you will never see one of our bylines on it. We consider it a matter of professional integrity. Editor

Get Beef Central's news headlines emailed to you -