Spring and summer are the busiest seasons at a horse farm or boarding facility, so how can you make sure you are hiring the right employees? This series on finding the right employee should help.
Whether you are looking to hire your first employee or you need to fill a vacancy at your farm or stable, finding the right person for the job can be a challenge. Classified ads in local newspapers aren’t as effective as they once were. “People aren’t searching the papers for jobs anymore,” said Mary K. Thomas, president of Equistaff Inc., a recruiting and staffing agency based in Ocala, Florida.
These five job posting alternatives can help you efficiently find your next employee.
- Tack and feed stores: This is likely the most widely used method for connecting with job seekers. Most supply stores provide a bulletin board to connect local equestrians.
- The web: “The internet is the biggest thing going for job seekers and employers,” Thomas said. Indeed, CareerBuilder and Monster are all sites candidates use frequently, as is LinkedIn. The last-named features multiple equine groups that can be a resource for connecting employers with candidates.
- Social media: Stables that maintain active social media accounts can leverage their network to find new employees.
- Networking: Referrals and in-person introductions are also effective resources to finding employees. Let veterinarians and farriers know you’re hiring. Avoid poaching employees from competitors, but if you have established relationship with other barn managers, ask if they can recommend a candidate. The local Chamber of Commerce or Extension agency maintains referral networks, too.
- Horse shows: Post an ad at shows. These candidates will likely already have the skills you need and an initial, even impromptu, meeting will give you a good idea if the individual will be a good fit for your barn.
- Staffing agencies: “When stables don’t have the time or energy to recruit, we do it for them,” Thomas said. Equistaff maintains an online database of openings, provides salary surveys to identify the current going rate for the open position, and helps hiring managers write job descriptions.
“Specialized positions can be difficult to fill, and you’ll need a recruiter to find them,” Thomas added.