Is your farm employing summer workers or interns? While both experiences can be valuable to students and your organization, it’s important that you distinguish between the two. It’s vital that you set expectations regarding the true nature of the work experience for both your staff and the summer hire.
What’s the difference?
Here’s how we define a summer job: If you hire someone who performs daily tasks to fill a need, or to handle simple repetitive assignments, this is seasonal labor or a summer job. These workers may be part or full-time to assist during peak times, such as planting or harvest. Laborers, crop applicators, clerks, drivers, office assistants, scale operators, and crop scouts are common examples of summer jobs in the ag industry.
Nearly half of the agricultural organizations surveyed by AgCareers.com employ skilled seasonal staff, and more than a third employ temporary/contract staff for less than 3 months a year.
Internships, on the other hand, are related to the students’ education, typically involve project work, and are supervised by a manager or mentor. Internships take students beyond the classroom to learn the skills they will need on-the-job. Oftentimes internships will include training and experience in a particular career. An intern usually works full-time for a limited period of time.
Interns are assigned projects that will directly benefit your farm; they should be expected to reach goals that contribute to your bottom line. Internships also provide students with a sneak peek into what employment at your organization would be like.
Recruit an intern
Internships are an important recruitment method; nearly 60% of agribusinesses we surveyed said that formal internship programs were one of the top methods they use to attract new graduates to their organization.
Farms may post their internship openings on the AgCareers.com site for FREE! Ask your AgCareers.com Talent Solutions Manager about posting your free internship, or email [email protected].
Every summer AgCareers.com conducts the Internship Benchmark Survey. This survey provides a company with a student evaluation of the internship program in an industry benchmarking format. The analysis provides positive and constructive feedback, in an anonymous form, from interns both at the beginning and after their experience. If you are interested in participating, email [email protected].
AgCareers.com surveys agribusinesses in their annual HR Review. For additional data, download your free full copy here.
The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or Farm Progress.