How to FAIL at your equine job hunt!
in 5 easy steps
There is so much in the popular press about the “lot” of grooms when it comes to what is wrong with the equine job hunt these days. When it comes to equine job hunting it is quite right that we all strive and pull together to get a fair and appropriate deal for grooms and that those without this intention, whether employer or Equine Recruitment Agency should be consigned to the history books. BUT that being said, there is much less published about the frustrations of sourcing and employing decent, reliable staff and what’s to be done about it.
When I started out, it was easy by comparison. To fill one job I would easily isolate and talk to about 5 or 6 suitable grooms who presented themselves professionally, did what was asked of them and, bish bash bosh… they were placed, we were all happy and we exchanged Christmas cards until we spoke again sometimes in a couple of years, sometimes longer for a sensible and sane “next job move” discussion. These days, no exaggeration whatsoever, it is not uncommon to try and fail to speak to something in the region of 100 grooms for just one job, and only isolate 2-3 suitable jobseekers, if you are lucky! We are always told:
- The Grooms List has the best jobs with the best pay/content/accommodation/hours etc.
- The Grooms List has the best “fill rate” in the business.
but the effort involved in achieving this is gargantuan, (love that word!)
It is no accident that I set up The Grooms List by Caroline Carter Recruitment. It is no accident we have teamed up with another set of trailblazers, the British Grooms Association and the Equine Employers Association. In this weeks blog, Becky Parker takes a more lighthearted look at this situation but underlying this, there is a very serious message to all genuine jobseekers, we are here for you but you HAVE TO PLAY FAIR!
How to completely ruin your chances of landing the perfect job!
by Becky Parker
Job-hunting is not easy, believe us, we know this. Finding the perfect job that matches all your requirements in terms of preferred location, favourite discipline, nice accommodation, chances to ride, or not, welcoming your beloved menagerie of pets and/or significant other too. Sometimes it can truly feel like hunting for a needle in a haystack! So when your equine job hunt finally uncovers the ideal employment opportunity there are a few really silly mistakes you just don’t want to be making.
Here to help as always we bring you a simple guide on what NOT to do.
The 5 best ways to RUIN your chances of landing that dream job… or any job for that matter!
You would be AMAZED at how often these happen!
1. NEVER under ANY circumstances answer your phone!
This is almost certainly the best way to ensure you never even get as far as a pre-interview chat with your prospective new amazing employer.
- Do not answer the phone to the recruitment agency you signed up with to help you find a job, even if you have contacted them to enquire about and/or apply for a specific job you like the sound of.
- Do not answer the phone to employers trying to contact you, especially if you have been pre-warned they might call.
- Do drop off the radar (potential alien abduction style) halfway through the whole process, preferably right when you are about to start your job trial.
Note: While, of course, we do understand that most grooms are already in employment working hard in a busy, fast-paced environment, IF you are truly serious about finding your next job you can find 2 minutes to return our/an employers call and organise a suitable, more convenient time to talk properly.
2. NEVER answer any job-related emails either!
Full incommunicado is the best status for avoiding progress and guaranteeing complete failure. Think of it as burying your head in the sand or shutting your eyes turning the music up and singing very loudly. If nobody can contact you in any way, you might as well be in outer Mongolia living as a Sherpa – your chances of landing gainful employment are that likely.
Here at Caroline Carter Recruitment, we have nothing against Mongolian Sherpas, in fact, we often very much see the appeal of running away from Western civilisation to live a simple life in the mountains, surrounded by animals.
Note: As with telephone communication, complete failure to respond to email communication suggests to us and potential employers that, in reality, you are not particularly invested in your equine job hunt and therefore are probably not worth investing any time in.
3. ALWAYS leave gaping holes in your Jobseekers Profile and/or CV
Nothing screams “I CAN’T BE BOTHERED!” like one-word answers in a Jobseekers Profile which, of course, is precisely the right message to send potential employers. In fact, if you could avoid providing a CV or any clue at all as to what you have been doing with your life since you left school that would be puuurffect! Particularly if you have done anything really impressive, like competition groomed at Badminton, competed up to Prix St George, or been John Whitaker’s home groom for the past 10 years. You definitely want to be leaving those clangers out! I mean it’s not like you are trying to impress anyone…is it?!
4. DO NOT show up for interviews
**Attention!** **100% Guaranteed Employment Failure** **Immediate Blacklisting**
If there is one sure-fire way to entirely crush your chances with a potential new employer, it is to not even bother showing up for your interview. Imagine tipping an entire feed bin of icy water on an employer’s head – that’s what you just did. That fire is doused, not even a flicker of interest remains.
A secondary option is to show up drastically late and not really provide a legitimate reason or apologise in any way. This is a good way to ruffle a few feathers from the start but is no sure guarantee of failure. Best to not bother showing up at all.
5. Give ABSOLUTELY NOTHING away
Should the worst come to the worst and you find yourself at the stage of being offered a trial or horror of horrors, an immediate job offer, it is time to employ
Mission: UTTER CONFUSION!
STEP 1: Insert earplugs when the employer begins to explain what the actual job role entails.
STEP 2: Do lots of exaggerating, e.g. “Yeah, Yeah I’ve produced horses up to Advanced Medium” (whilst frantically Googling what the hell a half pass is!)
STEP 3: Leave any prior commitments entirely unmentioned, for full apple-cart-upsetting impact they need to be mentioned at the very last moment i.e. yelled out the window as you speed off down the driveway off on holiday for a week.
STEP 4: When the time comes to agree your start date, book a flight to OZ, flush your phone down the loo, delete your email account and start running.
All joking aside, at a time when everybody on social media is so quick to jump on their high horse and call out employers for any perceived wrongdoings it only seems fair to us, as a recruitment agency that sees both sides of the coin, to turn the spotlight on the other side too. While of course, nobody is perfect and many of these above issues can be caused by circumstances entirely out of our control, many times it is predominantly down to a lack of awareness of how our actions may be perceived. It doesn’t matter how good a groom you are if you are making these mistakes the chances are you will miss out on the job your skills and experience truly deserve. There are plenty of very good jobs out there and plenty of very good grooms to fill these positions but we all need to communicate better and put our best foot forward from the beginning if we want this to become the norm. This way we can continue to work together to grow all aspects of the industry in a forward-thinking, positive direction.
Serious about your equine job hunt and determined to secure that perfect job? Read our Top Tips for Getting Your Equine Job Application Accepted!
Have you considered joining the British Grooms Association? Find out more about the BGA here.