Sources of Labour

Published 24 September 10

Sourcing contractors and outsourced labour

The simplest means of finding skilled professionals for tasks such as foot trimming is to ask other farmers -  neighbours, friends and members of organisations such as discussion groups - for their recommendations. Veterinary surgeons, consultants and nutritionists may also have knowledge of reputable individuals and businesses. The worth of recommendations obviously depends on how much an individual's opinion is valued.

Another way is to look for advertisements in farming newspapers, magazines and journals, and also in the farming sections of local newspapers, or to search online via search engines, particularly via search engines specific to agriculture.

Advantages of using contractors

Outsourced professional contractors can:

  • Provide convenient access to specialist skills and experience.
  • Be useful where spare labour for certain tasks is unavailable or is not cost-effective.
  • Present an alternative to the cost and time required for training an employer himself or his own staff for a particular task.
  • Provide access to expensive specialist equipment and technology.
  • Be potentially more cost-effective than traditional alternatives, for example using a specialist cattle ultrasound scanner operative in place of a veterinary surgeon.

The disadvantages of depending upon an outside contractor may include:

  • The requirement for planning or management changes or compromises.
  • The perception of a degree of loss of management control, for example by entrusting fertility management to a third party.

Ensuring good value for money. This may require comparing several different providers and their rates.