Demand for farm labour continues to grow

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Demand for good farm labour remains incredibly strong across the UK, and the recruitment and people management agency REAL Success is growing rapidly to meet farmers’ needs.

“The past few years have seen a huge increase in demand for recruitment support and people management,” says founder Paul Harris. “Finding and keeping staff is consistently the biggest challenge that farmers discuss when they are together, and REAL Success provides a one-stop solution for all their HR, employment and staff needs.”

Founded in 2009, REAL Success has grown to a team of 20 working across the country, driven by strong demand in the farming sector. It has just established a non-executive advisory board headed by ex-Compass Group UK & Ireland Board director Andy Harris to see the business through its next growth stage. Also joining the board are farmer Tim Lock, chairman of the Red Tractor dairy board, award-winning creative director Craig Thatcher, and Oli Templar-Coates, finance director at Morgan Sindall.

The consultancy team has also been further strengthened by adding two well-known independent dairy consultants, Andy Gubb and Paul Fox. “People management is consistently the number one challenge for our industry, and I believe that REAL Success is best placed to support farmers over the next few years – getting more closely involved made total sense,” says Mr Fox.

The company is unique in covering the entirety of the employment life cycle. This means finding the right employees, ensuring their skills and training are consistently maintained to a high standard and eventually supporting them into retirement. “Our consultants build a close relationship with employers, which allows us to support their ongoing needs and relieve them of future recruitment concerns,” says Paul Harris. “We have also just launched a new website which offers a wide range of free information and resources, as well as vacancies and a job application portal.”

Strong demand for staff – particularly in the dairy sector – has led to a fivefold increase in recruitment work in the first half of the financial year, while work on staff development and consultancy has grown by 24%, year-on-year.

“Many farmers that call us are desperate for staff, and finding good quality people is a tough challenge,” says James Harris, recently appointed to the board as recruitment director. “But we’re delighted that we’re filling over 85% of the positions we take on, and clients are returning to us as we build close relationships with them.”

Although significant growth has been seen in the dairy sector, the firm is also finding demand across the entire agricultural sector. “Whether you’re an arable, poultry, pork or horticulture farmer, people are the centre of your business,” says Paul Harris. “We’re here to reduce the stress and take some of the strain of finding and retaining those staff who are so important for your future.”

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