Who Should You Hire?

    Screen potential employees for these qualities. (Canva)

    Have you ever had one employee who you wish you could clone and make one hundred more of? While cloning technology won’t be on the market anytime soon, what if you could hire the same type of employee over and over again? Taking time to determine what qualities employees must have to help your business be successful just might be the next best thing.

    It’s no secret the labor pool has become a bit shallow, especially within agriculture. However, qualified, hardworking employees still exist. As the leader of your operation, it becomes your job to find the right talent that fits your team’s needs. And according to Michael Hoffman, founder and owner of Igniting Performance Inc., it’s a skill every employer should possess.

    “Having the right people in the right place or growing them into future roles is a superpower of every great leader. But it can be a challenge to find the right people in the first place,” Hoffman says.

    When you are short on labor, it can be tempting to fill an open position with the first person who walks through the door. However, Hoffman suggests using the ‘KSAM’ (Knowledge, Skill, Attributions, Motivations) method to help determine what qualities your employees should possess to begin with.

    “Having a purposeful interview process can help you determine what qualities your team currently has and what you need to fill,” Hoffman says. “Take time to figure out what knowledge, skills, attributes and motivations your team needs to be successful.”


    While there are certain positions on the farm you can train for, other positions require a general understanding of the job at hand. Hoffman recommends asking yourself:

    • “What do my employees need to know to be successful and do the job right?”

    “There are certain things that in a beginning position where you might be able to take anybody because you’re going to train you from the beginning. But then there are certain positions that require a certain knowledge base from bringing,” Hoffman says.

    Examples of this include:

    • Equipment understanding
    • Specific program knowledge
    • Methodologies behind certain tasks



    “Certain positions require certain skill levels from the get-go,” Hoffman says. “This is another area you can train for, but it’s important to know exactly what you are looking for during the hiring process.” He suggests asking yourself:

    • “What do my employees need to be able to do to be successful?”


    Consider asking current employees what skills it takes to get the job done, then make these skills a pre-requisite for future employees. When interviewing candidates, compare their skillsets to the skills required to be successful in the job, then narrow down your selection.



    “This is the one I think gets left off the most when looking for positions because you can’t train for it. When we see a position, we look at the things that have to be accomplished, but we often don’t take a look at the person who’s doing them,” Hoffman says. Ask yourself:

    • “What do my employees need to be like in order to be successful?”

    Examples of this include:

    • Patient
    • Attentive
    • Up-beat


    “This is one of the most important qualities to hire for because it gives you a sense of who the employee truly is,” Hoffman adds. “If you hire someone who’s personality doesn’t fit the role, it just won’t work out.”



    What are some of the things that encourage you to go to work every day? Is it your team? Your drive to be better? Your passion for the industry? These are the things your employees should possess as well. Hoffman suggests asking yourself:

    • “What part of the job do my employees need to enjoy?”


    “Find out what motivates your employees within their roles,” Hoffman says. “What makes them truly enjoy their job? We can all put up with things we don’t like about our job for a certain amount of time. But after a while, this will have a negative impact on the longevity of being in that position.”

    While labor shortages continue to be a pressing issue across the agriculture sector, Hoffman notes that exceptional employees still exist.

    “Your next best employee is out there, but it’s up to you to dig a little deeper to find them,” he says. “If you settle for someone who isn’t the right fit, you aren’t setting yourself or your team up for success. Make a list of the qualities your employees should possess and stick to it.”

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