Employer of Choice: Best practice people management on farm

Inspire AG

  • Project code: PRO-018146

  • Project stage: Current

  • Project start date: Monday, February 5, 2024

  • Project completion date: Thursday, August 14, 2025

  • National Priority: WFP - Workforce Policy


The Project will bring together a leading team of researchers, on-farm human resource (HR) professionals, and farm business managers to develop a Best Practice (BP) Framework between February 2024 and June 2025. It will evaluate existing on-farm HR practices that support industry employers to be employers of choice (EoC) and establish a baseline across the 15 key industries in three phases:


Phase 1: Desktop Analysis and Industry Consultation – a desktop review and digital scan of resources, programs and approaches will coincide with 100 online interviews with farm business owners across the 15 rural industries to understand their preferences for accessing and implementing best practice people management on-farm.


Phase 2: Develop a Best-Practice (BP) People Management Framework – the existing Inspire AG BP Framework will be expanded using the results of the desktop analysis and industry consultation, plus existing frameworks. This will assist industries in the professional recruitment, onboarding, and management of farm staff.


Phase 3: Pilot, Communication & Development of an Implementation Plan – the BP Framework will be reviewed and tested with 45 businesses across the 15 industries, with the feedback incorporated before developing an Implementation Strategy. Communication materials for the ten priority industries will be created, including written case studies and a 3-minute video specific to each sector.


The outcomes of this project will result in a more informed understanding of the current state of on-farm human resource management (HRM) practices in Australia. It will identify areas of improvement and provide targeted support to enhance HRM capabilities.



Workforce Policy

Research Organisation

Inspire AG

Objective Summary

– Conduct a comprehensive review of best practice people management in agriculture, including industries outside of agriculture, to establish a baseline and identify characteristics of a strong employer of choice (EoC) program.
– Enhance the on-farm capacity of leaders and managers to effectively attract, develop, and retain talent through targeted training and development programs by understanding the HR systems and processes required as an EoC.
– Gather industry preferences and insights to understand the barriers and facilitators of accessing and implementing best practice people management on farm.
Analyse the skills, behaviours and competencies required for an organisation to be identified as an EoC in the agriculture industry.
– Gain a deep understanding of Australian agriculture’s unique challenges and needs to design a tailored and relevant best practice people management framework.
– Develop a comprehensive implementation plan to extend and deliver the best practice people management framework to diverse stakeholders across the rural industries sectors, ensuring widespread adoption and success.