Finding good horse help can be a balance game. The challenge is to get the work done without compromising the level of care, and without breaking the bank. In other words, you’re looking for another YOU.
So, how to make that happen?
“The first order of business is to create a top-down list of jobs, together with the estimated hours you think it will take to complete each task. The goal here is to identify what you really need help with, and to give you a picture of how to use the time you’ll gain to maximum advantage,” said Mary Thomas, president of Equistaff.com.
Once done, the next point to consider: Do you need someone full-time or part-time?
She went on to say that the upside of a full-time worker is that he or she is in it for the long-haul.
“Developing that ‘seamless’ relationship can be a time-saver and ultimately a money-maker, but you’ll likely be faced with administrative costs, such as payroll taxes. And, don’t forget to factor in how long it takes to do bookwork; time is money after all,” she said.
On the other hand, if you only need someone for morning chores, for example, part-time help is the way to go. On the downside, you might run the risk of training someone, then losing your help if there’s an opportunity for more work elsewhere.
Sometimes the decision is straightforward, Thomas noted, but sometimes with a little creativity, a full-time job can be divided into two or more part-time positions. Or, perhaps several part-time positions could be morphed into one full-time gig. For instance, you might be able to combine feeding and turn-out with mucking stalls and maintenance/farm work to make up the hours.
Whatever your needs, holding on to a good employee might be worth making concessions, especially if you’re in an area where there’s only a small pool of candidates who understand the rigors of the business--hard work, long hours, low pay, and having a passion that transcends all of the above. So, to that end, you might want to have a conversation about perks, such as health insurance benefits and/or the promise of job growth. The key is to be flexible.
Also keep in mind that full-time versus part-time employees have different legal requirements about insurance, worker's comp and Social Security. Check with your accountant to ensure that you are not causing legal problems by how you classify your workers.