When you deliver produce, own a farm, or manage other agricultural-related businesses, anticipating the number of Workers you need during any given week can present a real challenge. You never want to turn away business, but when demand increases, and you don’t have the extra staff on-hand to accommodate it, you often have no choice but to decline.
We’re here to tell you there’s a better way. If you’re not leveraging temporary labor to help supplement your staff as demand for your agriculture business fluctuates, you should be. Especially in light of recent circumstances, where coronavirus is making it more challenging than ever to navigate the end-to-end food supply chain. In this blog post, we’ll show you how you can utilize Gig Workers to help you accept every farming or food production request that comes your way, bringing even more revenue to your farm, produce delivery, or agriculture business.
What are Gig Workers?
First, let’s begin by going over the basics. If you’re new to the Gig economy, Gig Workers are temporary laborers you can hire on demand. Whether you need someone to come in to complete a half-day of picking crops, or you have several upcoming larger orders to fill, you can use Gig Workers to fill your vacant shifts.
What are the benefits of hiring temporary farming labor?
Of course, you never want to hire more employees than you anticipate needing. Since you likely have a good idea of how many Workers you need to staff to cover a ‘normal’ week, hiring additional full-time Workers to meet your changing business demands doesn’t make sense. Instead, consider hiring temporary Workers who will only work the specific shifts or tasks you need them for.
Aside from the above cost-savings benefits that accompany hiring temporary farming or produce delivery Workers over full-time employees, hiring Workers on demand can help you grow, harvest, and deliver more food or crops, generating more revenue for your business.
Similar to farming companies, read this small business success story to learn how a Colorado-based landscaping business uses temporary Workers to supplement their staff as demand for their services increases.
Temporary Workers can also be added and removed based on your upcoming workload. Especially as demand fluctuates based on a variety of factors like the weather, the time of year, the economy, and your location. Temporary Workers give you the flexibility to quickly scale your workforce as the variables change.
How should you train your temporary Workers to help your agriculture business?
Preparing temporary Workers for agricultural labor can seem overwhelming at first, but we’re here to help. Just like you would with your full-time employees, it’s important to make sure your temporary Workers understand the guidelines they must follow when working at your farm or produce business. Whether it’s what equipment or tools to bring, what equipment or tools they’re expected to know how to use, what they should wear, or task-specific requirements, communicate your expectations so Workers understand how to be successful on the job site.
Time invested in training temporary agricultural Workers can go a long way. They will be more confident in their performance, more efficient in their work, and less likely to get injured on the job. Below are a few topics you may wish to cover while training a new temporary Worker:
- Provide general ergonomics training and task-specific training to temporary Workers to maximize their efficiency.
- Include safe lifting advice and any other recommendations to help protect against physical injury.
- Incorporate industry guidelines, OSHA requirements, and state/ local regulations that apply to the Gig into your training to avoid potential injury and citations.
- Review basic agricultural industry language to familiarize the Worker with terms used on the farm for clear communication.
- Cover Federal, State, and Local laws and regulations that apply to your farm or produce distribution service and the task the Worker will be performing.
- Educate your Workers on your farm’s safety measures and procedures for any equipment they will use or be around.
- Cover important information specific to your farm or anything else that will help them to successfully complete your Gig.
For the same reasons, it’s important to make your temporary farm Workers aware of your expectations, and it’s crucial to advise them of what the consequences will be should they not meet those expectations. Make sure you are transparent with them and aligned on what to do and what not to do to prevent confusion on the worksite. With everything clearly laid out, who knows, you may find a temporary Worker you want to hire over and over again.
Where can I find last-minute skilled Workers for the agriculture industry?
It can be difficult to find qualified last-minute farm labor, but GigSmart makes it easy. Whether you’re a business that offers produce delivery services or an individual looking for extra hands at your farm, you can find and hire skilled temporary Workers for all of your agriculture-related tasks on GigSmart.
If your needs are immediate, we can help you find qualified, temporary labor in less than an hour. Or, if you have a scheduled harvest coming up, you can hire up to 30 days in advance. All of our Workers are insured at no additional cost to you, and you can even choose to hire Workers who have passed a background and/or motor vehicle records (MVR) check prior to working your Gig. Lastly, you set each Workers hourly rate, and GigSmart’s intuitive staffing app takes care of the paperwork and payment — without the additional administrative tasks that accompany hiring temporary labor outside of our app.
If you’re ready to hire temporary, skilled Workers for your agricultural business (farm, packaging, or produce distribution or delivery, etc.), create your first free Gig post in your Get Workers hiring account today.