You're Hired!


Hiring employees for your Agritourism business can be a tricky process. Like any business, you will need people of different ages and abilities to successfully run your agritourism venue. But who will be best for that position, and what should you pay them?

We talked last time about where to look to find quality staff. I mentioned that character is the key to building a good team and should be the bottom line for any hire. But now that we’ve found some quality people, how do we best plug them in? Let me highlight several areas within most venues and give you some basic criteria for who is best suited for the positions. (Some of these positions are easily run by the same employees. If you’re like us, your employees move around and cover many different areas of our venue.)

Activities Included in the Gate Fee or Extra Fee Activities

(Corn Maze, Sling Shot, Pig Races, Inflatables, Contests, Parking)

  • High school age

  • Minimum Wage

Activities Included in the Gate Fee or Extra Fee Activities

(Cow Train Driver, (Driver’s License) Corn Cannon)

  • Mature high school age/College Age

  • Minimum Wage

Management/Upfront Employees

(Crew Management, Parking Supervisor, Greeter/Info Board)

  • College Age/Adult

  • Someone with experience in management

  • Higher wage

Haunted Attractions (These will vary and can also cover different employee levels)

  • High School/College/Adult

  • Minimum Wage/Higher Wage

Cashiers & Concessions

  • College/Adult (Someone mature, who you can trust)

  • Higher wage

Hiring someone to bring in an attraction – like pony rides

  • Must have Personal Insurance

  • Must have references

Equipment Operation

(Hayrides, Chain Saws, Farm Equipment, Trebuchets)

  • Adults

  • Higher Pay

I could spend a lot of time looking at every part of every venue, but that would take more time than we all have. Just remember some basic principles for plugging in your staff to the different areas of your venue and things will run smoothly. Don’t ignore this part of building and maintaining your agritourism event. It can be the difference between success and profitability and struggling to maintain. Here are some pointers:

  • Match the person to the responsibility. If it requires a higher level of responsibility and liability, make sure you have a proven person to staff that area. If it is general oversight and routine, use your rookies to run this. It’s ok. The goal is to help each staff member take the next step. What might seem like a mundane task, can be a stepping stone to greater involvement. And it’s here where you can observe how your staff react to the mundane!

  • Match the personality to the position. There are certain positions within your venue that require your staff to be not only friendly, but outgoing. We want to choose staff that are great with people as a rule, but for those who will be in those positions of influence, we also want them to know how to interact. These include your cashiers, your greeter, your hayride driver, your tour guide and others. Choose people who make a great first, second and third impression. If they are good at what they do, they deserve a little more.

  • Move the position based on progress. Your staffing assignments may not remain stagnant. If you are in touch with the progress of your staff or the lack thereof, you will find yourself moving staff into positions or greater or lesser responsibility. That’s ok also. Your season is short so your success is short. In other words, you have less time to get it right. If your staffing assignments are not working, don’t be afraid to change.

Hope that helps a little as you look forward to another season of hiring. By now you may have all your pieces in place, so take some time to evaluate those pieces and how it is working for you. If you’re still looking, hire based on character first and then specific position needs. Next time I’ll get into what needs to take place in staff training. Yes, that can be a great use of your time! Talk to you soon.


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