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Writing a Horse Facility Job Description

Take time in writing a job description to ensure you not only cover all the tasks, but that it fully defines the new employee's role.
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Job descriptions should clearly identify what is expected of an employee and can be useful tools for performance evaluation.

Editor's note: 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 for this critical time? This series should help you find the right employee.

Writing a job description takes thought and planning. It serves as the foundation for launching a successful job search, introducing a new hire to his or her role at your facility, and sets the expectations for an employment agreement. Before drafting a job description, list the characteristics or traits that have made previous employees successful. Depending on the position, that might include an educational requirement.

“Figure out the must-haves and the things you’d like to have but can live without,” said EquiStaff Inc. a nationwide recruiting and staffing agency based in Ocala, Florida. 

Start a job description with a title. List a title that accurately reflects the nature of the job and duties to be performed. Choose at title that reflects how the position fits into the overall staffing structure. It identifies if the job is an entry-level, mid-range or an experienced professional.

Job descriptions should clearly identify what is expected of an employee. For example, a barn manager might be expected to clean stalls, exercise lesson horses, schedule lessons and meet veterinarians or farriers for appointments. That is distinctly different from an employee at a breeding facility who is expected to stay on foal watch, assist with breeding and care for broodmares. An office employee’s job description will be focused more on bookwork, customer service and scheduling.

Within the job description you should identify who the employee reports to. For small barns where the owner is the manager, this is a less-formal process than in larger facilities where managers serve as the go-to. Many job descriptions in the corporate world include an educational or technical skill requirement and pay range, but that’s up to personal preference.

A well-defined job description makes it easier to write a help wanted ad and can guide a meaningful interview conversation. Job descriptions are useful tools for measuring performance and act as a reference of job duties in the event of disputes or disciplinary issues. 

The more time you spend crafting a job description, the more useful it will be in the long-term.

Indeed.com offers some tips on writing a job description on tis website.