Finding agriculture workers
Jobs boards on social media channels and recruitment sites can be an effective way of reaching prospective harvest workers.
What to include in your job advertisements
Prospective workers may have limited or no experience in the agricultural sector, so it's important to provide basic information to help them apply:
- What does the work entail?
- Is it indoor, outdoor or a mixture of both?
- Can this job lead to year-round work?
- Is there a pathway for development? For example, can it lead to a packing shed supervisor role?
- Can they commute from the nearest town? Will there be transport or do they need to provide their own?
- What is the pay rate and the hours available?
- What are the accommodation options if they move?
- Are there any cash bonuses available?
- If you are offering piece rates, how does this work? Consider linking to this information explaining pay and piecework rates from the Fair Work Ombudsman.
- Introduce yourself and your team. Include photos or a video of your team so they can see you. A friendly face, a bit about your enterprise and what you do can build their confidence to give it a go.
Alternative ways to recruit workers
- use the free Harvest Trail jobs website to recruit workers
- list vacancies for free or register your business on Workforce Australia
- contact your local Workforce Australia providers
- apply to participate in the Pacific Labour Mobility Scheme (PALM)
- contact a licensed labour hire service provider
- encourage your industry organisation to promote #pickqld
You should also ensure:
- induction processes, role descriptions and work procedures are in place and current (including procedures to prevent the spread of COVID-19)
- suppliers of labour (e.g. labour hire, Workforce Australia) understand your requirements and are selective in who they send to you (e.g. do you need heavy lifting capacity or intermittent work hours?).
Recruiting through social media
When you are advertising through social media channels:
- Identify the pages you want to post in (e.g. Cairns Jobs Board on Facebook) and ask to become a member.
- Post from your business's Facebook page, rather than as an individual or your private Facebook page. Some pages don’t allow for this, so make sure your individual Facebook page also looks professional if you need to use this to post.
- If you are using Facebook Messenger for applicants, automate a reply to acknowledge you have received their application and give a realistic timeline that you will get back to them.
- Watch the comments, and reply with useful information or links (e.g. further questions around accommodation). However, don't reply to negative comments. If a thread gets off topic, you can take down the post and repost, or contact the site administrators for them to take action.
If you need to build your confidence or skills in recruiting agricultural workers using social media, contact your Queensland Agricultural Workforce Network officer.
Workers seeking new employment
Workers are encouraged not to visit farms to request work.
- register their availability at Harvest Trail
- call the National Harvest Labour Information Service on 1800 062 332.
- Last reviewed: 21 Sep 2022
- Last updated: 21 Sep 2022