Two points dominate the Ag conversation, another La Nina and “I can't get staff.”

Even if I can get staff, how do I keep staff?

An answer goes back 30 plus years when the traditional career path involved jackarooing on a large station - we learnt skills, gained experience from two or three placements and returned home. With the adverse commodity cycles and seasons, that jackarooing  experience has invariably fallen aside.

That experience not only built the capability of an emerging generation, it also brought within those operations a culture of building the next generation and a transfer of skills. Those businesses built systems around staff moving from one opportunity to the next, far from working to retain staff they celebrated an alumni and built a brand.

I copied the same process where I recruited university students to conduct customer support roles at Practical Systems and guided their career development. Those students are now building careers and talk about how that experience gave them the competitive start.

What also happened was that these customer engaging roles became sought after and I did not have to go looking for new support staff when the crew left and the calibre of the incoming crew was always accelerating.

What could be created if we build a business model that embraces the concept of building staff and pushing them to their next adventure, which may not be with you? Isn’t it better to recruit and take advantage of talent for a shorter period than not at all?

Consider the following:

Build a robust training and skill development process that is dependent on systems rather than individuals.

What would an employer of choice look like, and what if we become that employer?

Lets be prepared to disrupt ourselves, and build a network that builds a pipeline. 

Finding staff is challenging, but what would it look like to “flip” the challenge and develop a culture where you become that sought after employer..