Video: Selection of Ag Employees

University of California APMP
San Joaquín, Stanislaus & Merced Counties

Systematic Selection
of Ag Employees (Video #V90-Y)

"My dad used to manage this ranch before I did, and I remember he used to tell me that sometimes you just have to put up with lousy employees," explains Chris Nelson, ranch manager of San Felipe Ranch in El Nido, California. "I believed that up to a few years ago .... I realize now that you don't have to do that. You can hire somebody that can meet all your expectations and maybe more."

The video introduces Chris Nelson and three other farm managers who are pioneers in the use of practical tests in agriculture. Each decided to improve his or her selection process. This video will take you from deciding what to look for in an applicant--in terms of skills, knowledge and abilities to fill the new job opening--through the recruitment process, design of the selection process, interviews and practical tests, as well as some tips on how to orient your new employee. Farm employers do not have to hire whoever shows up, but through a set of selection tools can increase the chances of hiring "the dream employee."

The 59 minute video is available for US $20 (plus $1.45 for California tax & $4.00 for postage or a total of $25.45 in California, and $24 out of state). The video was finished in 1990, but the material is just as pertinent today. Farm employers should keep in mind one important legal change, however. In the US the law specifies that medical evaluations have to be given last. The job is offered to applicants contingent to their passing the medical evaluation (the legal term is a post-offer pre-employment medical evaluation. The video shows the medical being given earlier in the selection process.

Please make check payable to "UC Regents" and mail to:

Communication Services
University of California
Davis, CA 95616-8511 or call (530) 757-8930

I. Decide what you need: A-Consider if temporary employee is needed, B-Analyze and describe the job, C-Weight job specification items; II. Recruit; III. Design the selection process: A-Determine use of selection tools, B-Draw up questions and situation pool for written, oral, and practical tests, C-Progressive hurdles approach? IV. Exchange information with applicant: A-Preliminary interview, B-Biodata (applications and résumés), C-Tests, D-Interview (oral test), E-Medical Screening [note: US law now requires that the medical screening only be given after the job has been first conditionally offered to the applicant], F-Reference Check, G-Final Interview (if needed); V. Bringing the new employee aboard: A-Make offers and rejections, B-Fit job description to new employee, C-Orientation.

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Agricultural Labor Management


Gregorio Billikopf Encina
University of California
(209) 525-6800

15 November 2004