Your orchard is probably ripe for picking, and the fruit pickers you have on the firm cannot meet the quota. It would be best to prioritize looking for a quality fruit picker to aid with the picking exercise. Fruit pickers are usually temporary workers as it is not economical to retain a considerable number in-house.
To find the right pickers over a short period can be strenuous for the farmer. Recruitment agencies for farming are well equipped to lend you a helping hand in shortlisting the fruit pickers for your farm. With their specialized nature of operations, you can get the best quality of fruit pickers within the area without worrying about vetting.
However, you may need to provide specific guidelines to the recruitment firm on the traits you’re looking for in a fruit picker to help them narrow down in their search. These are some of the characteristics you may want to consider in your fruit picker before hiring them.
Characteristics of a quality fruit picker
Experience with organization
Going through potential employee information, you may want to take a closer look at candidates’ resume with a proven record of arranging to seal, marking, and tagging items. A quality picker should possess organizational skills, something that is required in the entire picking process. These organizational skills are learned over time with accrued experience, something you won’t find in a beginner.
At the peak of the picking season, you will want a picker who knows their way around the store and efficiently handles different produce.
Experience with warehouse vehicles
This can also be classified as an added advantage. When hiring pickers for large-scale production, firsthand knowledge of operating warehouse vehicles like forklifts, trucks, and van can always come in handy. Candidates with these skills can always be considered for a more permanent position within the farm even if the skills cannot be applied during the current situation.
These skills may also work to your advantage as a farmer when you’re seeking to expand your operations over time.
The picker should be knowledgeable about procedures.
Farmers are continually adopting a new procedure to help to ease work both on the farm and in the warehouse. Fresh employees are usually up to date with new and efficient procedures in picking and packaging of fruits.
Over time, they can share the knowledge with other seasoned pickers, increasing overall work environment safety while increasing productivity.
The picker should be able to pay attention to detail.
Picking fruits for commercial purposes requires the picker to be keen enough to select the best quality for packaging. The ability to pay attention to detail is also important when taking care of a customer’s order. Paying attention will also help the picker effectively balance between going through a client’s order and packaging them within the shortest time possible while observing the laid down safety standards.
Efficiency and strength
Picking, sorting, and packaging all require a high level of efficiency, especially when your farm has many orders to meet. Look out for a picker who can work well under the pressure of an intense workload. To determine their efficiency, you can interview them in certain situations and determine how their efficiency has improved from the last picking job.
Assess how they are likely to respond to multiple orders over a short period and the methods they plan to effectively meet their quota. This way, you should be able to gauge their level of efficiency appropriately.
To efficiently pick fruits, you need to have enough strength to withstand the job’s strenuous nature. However, the physical strength required usually varies from farm to farm, depending on the farm and warehouse workload.
The physical strength should be in line with the picker’s physical condition. Working on the farm requires the picker to be in a good physical form to perform duties like lifting heavy packages, moving around and bending a lot, and especially standing for long hours. The picker should perform optimally for extended hours, especially when there is an increase in orders.
It is not enough to read the resume and interview the picker to know if they can perform efficiently. It would be wise to take them on a trial run to see how they perform firsthand before making a final choice.
Eric Reyes is a passionate thought leader having been featured in 50 distinguished online and offline platforms. His passion and knowledge in Finance and Business made him a sought after contributor providing valuable insights to his readers. You can find him reading a book and discussing current events in his spare time.