Chief Inspiration Officer, Inspire AG
The objective of this Paper is to review how workforce management has changed over time, using agriculture as a framework. This Paper looks at the advancement from the pre-industrial revolution period, where local economies comprised of small-scale agriculture where master craftsmen trained apprentices to learn a trade; through to the contemporary approaches for Human Resource Management (HRM) where it has yet again progressed into Strategic Human Resource Management (SHRM). The potential impacts on farm profitability will also be explored. The workforce on Australia farms has experienced many changes over the past few decades, such as shifts in consumer demands, environmental changes, changes to government policy, advancements in technology, developments in innovation, to name a few. While farms have primarily been owned and operated by families, in recent times the agricultural workforce has begun to transform from ‘mum and dad operators’ to a reliance on non-family labour, and a shift in the skills and knowledge required to operate a successful farming enterprise.