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The challenge of hiring hourly and seasonal staff

Getty/iStockphoto/JJ Gouin Help wanted sign in partially harvested corn field
The challenge of finding ag hourly and seasonal employees intensified in 2021.

There’s a gap between agricultural operations’ needs for hourly and seasonal employees and the candidates willing or able to take on this type of role. This difficulty plagued the industry for years.’s survey of agricultural operations illustrates that this challenge intensified over the past year. Agriculture and farm employers noted hourly staff was the most difficult level and type of role to recruit for. Results weren’t even close at 65% of employers noting hourly type roles, with the next nearest category at 33% for technical types.

Roles that are difficult to recruit for

Agricultural operations deployed various strategies to meet staffing needs throughout the year. Employment of part-time staff (36%), temp agencies (30%), or temporary staff (30%) were the most prevalent strategies. Nearly 30% of agriculture employers hired temporary/contract staff for 3 to 9 months, with this number expected to stay the same over the next year. Over 42% of companies employed skilled seasonal staff, typically from 3 to 6 months of the year.

How are employers competing for hourly employees? First is reaching prospective applicants with employee referral programs, followed by online job boards, like Social media is also a popular method to support recruitment efforts.

But to look on the bright side, if you’re experiencing recruitment difficulties, especially for hourly/non-exempt staff, you’re not alone.

For more information, check out the 2021-2022 HR Review.

As many agricultural production operations gear up the season, is offering a $150 job posting special for seasonal or temporary employees through Aug. 1, 2022. Employers can use code SEASONAL2022 on to receive the discounted price.

AgCareers discount code

The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or Farm Progress. 

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