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New Years Resolutions for Equine Employers: How to ensure a strong start to 2020

New Years Resolutions for Equine Employers

How to ensure a strong start to 2020

The early part of the year can be one of the busiest times in equine recruitment. The blank canvass of the new year stretches ahead, full of potential, promise but let’s face it, sometimes dread too as finding good staff these days can be …er…challenging, to say the very, very least!

Having the right team around you is paramount and with so many Grooms resolving to move on at the start of the year, January is a prime time to assemble that team and/or plug any gaps. To help you through this, we’ve put together a quick guide for you as an equine employer!

 

What happens when a job offer is withdrawn - legal disputes1. Brush up on employment law

It may be tempting to do this after you’ve sourced and secured your new employee, but you do need to be clear on not only your obligations but your employee’s too, before easily avoided and potentially costly mistakes are made. Not many people realise that an employment contract begins when your job offer is accepted. By reading up and being clear on employment law you can save an awful lot of headaches should you run into any complications throughout the recruitment process. We have a catalogue of blogs which explain various aspects of employment law in bite-sized portions within the context of the equine industry. Follow them in a step-by-step order of the recruitment process in our Employers Zone. By the way, there’s no need to buy a subscription to access this information.

 

New Years Resolutions for Equine Employers - Plan Ahead2. Always be thinking ahead

The recruitment process is, more often than not, a very time-consuming process and you need to factor this in. For example, don’t wait until the start of your season to recruit new staff members. If you can, allow yourself the luxury of a minimum of 8 weeks – that’s what we would recommend you need to comfortably allow time to:

  • Establish your needs vs nice-to-haves
  • Construct your job advert
  • To wait for applicants day’s off to interview candidates who’re already in full-time work
  • To complete a trial period, possibly with more than one candidate
  • To wait for your appointed candidate to complete up to a month’s notice on their current job
  • A time-contingency for unforeseen circumstances/things going wrong

By allowing yourself a comfortable time-span you are more likely to secure the right candidate, rather than just any candidate which rarely ends well.

 

3. Time is of the essence

A common pitfall employers encounter when tackling the recruitment process in their own time, is that they fail to factor in the needs of the job seekers they’re hoping to attract. It may seem like a sensible, time-efficient strategy to review all your applicants at once towards the end of your advertising/subscription period so you can devote your attention to comparing suitable applicants. Always remember, the reality is that your job vacancy is never going to be the only vacancy each candidate has applied for. While you’re waiting for your optimum time to review your applicants, other employers are interviewing and offering them their job. All too often we speak to employers who are bitterly disappointed to find that the perfect candidate has applied for their job but has already been snapped up by a more reactive recruiter. You snooze, you lose!

 

4. Lead by example

Do respond to all of your applications, even those that are unsuitable for your current vacancy. It’s a small world in the equine industry and the candidates who’re too junior for your role now may be perfect for your team in a couple of years’ time. If a younger/more junior candidate feels they were wrong to have applied for your vacancy, or worse still simply never hear back from you, they might be disinclined to apply for your vacancies in the future and you could miss out! This is particularly important if you rely on local live-out staff. Some employers have difficulty with candidates not getting back to them, while they themselves are not getting back to candidates who’ve contacted them! It’s exasperating when you find and contact a promising candidate and you’re left to slowly draw the conclusion that they’re not interested – candidates feel exactly the same when they find a promising job opportunity and never receive a reply to their application or enquiry!

 

New Years Resolutions for Equine Employers - Train your staff5. Grow your own team

There is a clear shortage of experienced grooms and the reality is that this won’t change unless employers train the enthusiastic junior grooms! Be realistic about your current needs – do you need another groom who is capable of turning out for HOYS? Or could you/your existing team train someone to that standard?

Maybe you have an existing groom on your team who could step-up to a more challenging role within your team, allowing you to take on a new junior team member? If an existing team member isn’t getting a chance to progress within your employment you could find that they’re looking elsewhere for career development opportunities in 2020! It’s always worth enquiring within your team first!

NB: a word of caution about “Working Pupil” roles!

From a legal perspective, there is no such thing as a “Working Pupil” – a worker is either an Apprentice Groom gaining qualifications via a bona fide registered Training Provider earning no less than the official National Minimum Wage for Apprentices, or they’re a fully paid groom in a trainee capacity, earning at least the National Minimum Wage for their agePlease do seek advice before offering training and riding as full payment, or as part-payment alongside a reduced salary. You are welcome to contact us for free, impartial advice on employing a trainee groom.

 

6. You get what you pay for when it comes to skills and experience

The subject of experienced vs junior grooms leads to the common question of how much an employer can expect to pay an experienced, skilled groom. Regardless of whether a groom has qualifications, experience and skills come at a price!

The starting point of all salaries is the National Minimum Wage of the country of employment. Even if you are providing accommodation with the job, paying bills, liverying a horse, the starting point is always the hourly wage set by the government, then add to the remuneration package to reflect your requirements (by law you cannot deduct anything more than the accommodation offset rate from the National Minimum Wage, regardless of the bonuses included in the salary package).

It might be tempting to limit the salary to the minimum you can pay by law but, the reality is, a groom that is going to head your team/manage your yard/train your horses/take sole charge/drive your horses to shows is not going to be attracted to an entry-level salary! An example of this is the need for a groom with a trailer or HGV licence; it costs a not inconsiderable sum of money to gain a licence to drive anything other than a car these days, and any groom that has invested in this has done this to lift their earning capacity, and it’s unrealistic to expect to get this on the National Minimum Wage.

If you’re concerned about advertising a high salary then having to compromise on the skills and experience of available candidates, it’s perfectly acceptable to advertise a salary range. As long as it complies with the National Minimum Wage and anti-discrimination law, you can specify a salary range that is negotiable, depending on age and experience.

 

7. Don’t struggle on alone – call us!

Give us a call for advice when you find your recruitment drive moving with less ‘gusto’ than you had hoped. We can advise on some simple solutions the employer hasn’t thought of just because of our weight of experience.

One issue that can be insurmountable is the time required to produce a successful outcome. If you can’t put in the time your chances of a timely, favourable outcome is much reduced. In this case, do consider using our unrivalled bespoke recruitment service. It’s an investment that will pay back dividends when Caroline and her team of experienced, specialist equine recruiters source, screen, and send you profiles of candidates you’re most likely to want to interview – like most of our bespoke clients, you will wonder why you haven’t done it sooner! You’ll be able to exhale and enjoy leaving someone else to make all the pre-employment checks before helping to organise your new employee’s start date, all backed up by an 8-week guarantee from when your new employee starts with you. Contact us for a friendly, confidential chat about the options available to you. Caroline will always get back to you quickly.

 

New Years Resolutions for Equine Employers - retain your staff

8. Don’t neglect your existing staff!

Enable career progression

As recruitment consultants, the no.1 reason we hear from grooms for wanting to change jobs is looking for new opportunities/career progression. Ironically, it’s not unknown for the former-employer to then advertise their job vacancy as the very type of opportunity the outgoing groom has moved on to:

  1. The employer re-evaluates their team and their needs and decides to take on someone to shoulder more responsibility
  2. The employer makes their job vacancy look attractive in order to fill the vacancy quickly, without thinking ahead to when the new recruit realises the job is not what they understood it to be

Either way, this breakdown in communication is entirely avoidable and, sadly, contributes towards the issue of job-hopping within the equine industry. Every employment relationship goes beyond fulfilling a requirement in return for remuneration – for equestrians it’s a labour of love as much as anything else and, like their employers, the majority of equine workers want to enjoy development, progression and a sense of achievement. Making yourself aware of your worker’s aspirations is only going to benefit you:

  • you can train and develop someone’s skill-set and enjoy a fruitful working relationship together
  • if you know you’re unable to fulfil a worker’s career aspirations you have the chance to prepare for the inevitability of them moving on at some point

 

Keep track of time/progression

A Basic Guide to Payslips - Equine Employment - The Grooms ListDon’t let time run away without re-evaluating your existing team members and issuing pay-rises:

  • re-evaluate salaries every April when the National Minimum Wage increases. With every National Minimum Wage increase, the relativity of your more experienced workers’ salary decreases!
  • for younger staff members, keep track of birthdays so you can ensure you’re paying at least the National Minimum Wage for their age
  • retain loyal workers by increasing their pay in line with their years of experience and growing skills. (It’s not unheard of for a person to graduate to the Head Groom position yet still be earning the same salary they earned as a starter!)

 

Remember to show appreciation

Remember to show appreciation to your workers; it’s easy to get caught up in day-to-day pressures and be perceived to take others for granted. A person who feels appreciated will almost always go the extra mile. In 2019 the Equestrian Employers Association made a great suggestion of “Give Your Staff a Pizza Day” as part of their Good Employment Week in November. Small gestures like this can really boost morale and cannot be underestimated!

Give Your Staff a Pizza Day with Carl Hester and Charlotte Du Jardin - Horse and Hound Magazine

www.horseandhound.co.uk

 

If you would like a friendly, free, no-obligation chat about your recruitment needs please do contact us; our experienced, knowledgeable team will be more than happy to advise.

 

Whatever your plans for the year ahead, we wish you a happy and prosperous New Year!

Get FREE equine recruitment advice

Both employers and jobseekers alike, if you would like free, friendly, no obligation recruitment advice from Caroline please do get in touch!

The content provided in this article is for informational purposes only. It is the responsibility of the individual to ensure that the information they are working to is correct and appropriate for their specific circumstances.

© Caroline Carter Recruitment Ltd and The Grooms List, 2019. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Caroline Carter Recruitment Ltd and www.thegroomslist.co.uk with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Job Description In 1992, Paul Schockemöhle, a successful businessman and former European Show Jumping Champion, purchased a large site in the expanses of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. On no less than 3,000 hectares of land in the heart of the protected landscape of the Lewitz, a centre for modern horse breeding which accommodates 4,000 horses and is unparalleled in Europe has emerged over the years. Around 250 employees look after the well-being of the horses, which are kept in spacious stables and in speciesappropriate herds in the expanses of the Lewitz. As a groom or rider at one of the three riding stables, you are responsible for the training and care of the horses bred by Paul Schockemöhle. Many horses which will later cause a sensation in top level sport go through our hands. The daily routine gives you the opportunity to gather a lot of experiences and impressions in every respect. The fact that a renowned trainer is always available to support you will particularly help you with your personal development. The riding stables entrusted with training the horses are three geographically separated farmsteads under a common organisational umbrella. At each of the individual sites, site managers look after the training of the horses with their teams. A jumping horse trained on the Lewitz stud runs through all three stations chronologically. The second station for training a Lewitz jumping horse, the “Rustica”, is located in the immediate vicinity of the main stud. Under the management of Janek and Melanie Hucz, the young horses take their first jumps under a saddle here.    
Job Description In 1992, Paul Schockemöhle, a successful businessman and former European Show Jumping Champion, purchased a large site in the expanses of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. On no less than 3,000 hectares of land in the heart of the protected landscape of the Lewitz, a centre for modern horse breeding which accommodates 4,000 horses and is unparalleled in Europe has emerged over the years. Around 250 employees look after the well-being of the horses, which are kept in spacious stables and in speciesappropriate herds in the expanses of the Lewitz. The riding stables entrusted with training the horses are three geographically separated farmsteads under a common organisational umbrella. At each of the individual sites, site managers look after the training of the horses with their teams. A jumping horse trained on the Lewitz stud runs through all three stations chronologically. The “Stern-Buchholz” site is outside the gates of the state capital Schwerin. The team headed by Birgit Brandsätter and Paulo Castro here is responsible for breaking in all the horses, as well as for the further training of the dressage horses and the preparation of the colts for licensing.   Accommodation details The stud’s own apartments, modern and practically furnished, give you affordable living space near your place of work and make it easier for you to form and strengthen social relationships even after you finish work. On request, you will be served breakfast and lunch in the stud’s own canteens.   Benefits Of course, we will help you with all the administrative issues which come up at the beginning, provide you with translating assistance during doctor’s visits if necessary and help you with anything else that you need. We will do everything to make your stay as pleasant as possible for you.  
*Dog welcomed *Own horse considered *Flexible accommodation options (shared/with partner/sole) *Fair remuneration Business man and former European Champion has set up an amazing centre of modern horse breeding “unique” in Europe. The facilities comprise 3,000 hectare (30,000,000 sqm)land in total,spacious stables,large run-in stables and horse-appropriate group-housing for the approx. 4000 horses. A constantly progressing health management and the stud-owned vet clinic provide the perfect care for the horses.These are best prerequisites to guarantee breeding and training at the highest possible professional level. Almost 200 employees, among them 14 vets, are work around the clock for the benefit of the animals and ensure perfect conditions for the approx. 700 foals that are born every year. As a groom at one of the three riding stables, you are responsible for the training and care of the horses bred by Paul Schockemöhle. Many horses which will later cause a sensation in top level sport go through our hands. The daily routine gives you the opportunity to gather a lot of experiences and impressions in every respect. The fact that a renowned trainer is always available to support you will particularly help you with your personal development.
*Own horse a possibility * Very experienced Yard manager based on site *Fabulous facilities Job Description We are looking for a friendly, hard working individual to join our team at our busy yard just outside of Tonbridge in Kent. The candidate will be happy to assist in all yard duties including turning out, mucking out, catching in, etc.  An eye of detail and a tidy yard attitude is a must. You will need to be self driven, ensuring all duties are carried out meticulously.  We run a very reputable livery business and our reputation is important to us. Minimum Requirements Previous experience necessary   Accommodation details     Benefits    
Job Description *Upwards of £500pw depending on experience + pool money & bonuses paid *Friendly working atmosphere *Pets welcomed *Accommodation available/partner could be accommodated National Hunt  yard looking to recruit Riders and or Rider:Grooms for upcoming season. Friendly working atmosphere and fabulous location with the best of facilities. Minimum Requirements You can be from any discipline but must be confident in handling and riding TB’s. Confident and  previous experience riding out would be preferred but if plenty of riding experience in other disciplines this would also have its advantages. Accommodation details On site accommodation options single/shared/with partner 🙂 Caroline’s comments 🙂 This is a fabulous opportunity for competent and capable riders to get a lot of saddle time on a professional yard with quality horses and be very well remunerated and looked after as part of a professional Team. Great opportunity to experience another discipline or to put your existing experience into good use.   Please call Caroline & the Team on 0203 006 5730 or email info@carolinecarterrecruitment.com
  *Up to £450 pw negotiable depending on experience * Partner welcomed * Dog welcomed European champion Young Rider competing with Team GB and who has won 7 European medals is now looking for an experienced Groom/Exercise Rider with professional standards to work on the family yard. Must turn out to 4* and be capable of sole charge when required but understand the team dynamic of a family situation. HGV helpful but could be put through test. Affable personality is essential for this private and happy yard and a shared enthusiasm for eventing at the highest levels is probably essential! 10 polo ponies kept in winter/minimal duties. Professional facilities/x country course/great hacking.2000 acre farm stunning cross country course.   Please contact Caroline & The Grooms List Team, quoting reference code JL58861 on 0203 006 5730 or email info@carolinecarterrecruitment.com      
Salary 8.5 Euros/negotiable dependent on experience with no food/accommodation or utilities to pay. You will need some experience grooming competition horses One of the Most Professional SJ yards in the world – Learn your trade with the best and secure your Grooming future with a hands on job. All you need is a passport and an adventurous spirit! Enthusiasm and dedication to work along side the best horses, riders and horse people.This opportunity would be GREAT FUN and a second to none experience which would guarantee your career anywhere you chose in the future both home and abroad. A rare insight into world class horses, world class facilities and a truly remarkable experience for any groom seriously interested in getting to the top of their game. Whilst there are considerable opportunities for advancement and promotion possibilities if you wish to remain in Germany. 🙂 Caroline’s comments 🙂 This is a commercial environment where the opportunity to learn is awesome but not for anyone who gets homesick or doesn’t feel comfortable in the commercial end of the horse world. The horses you will encounter are world class and it will certainly add to the breadth and depth of anyone’s experience. Fast paced and exciting in so many ways. A real ‘one off experience’ to add to the CV!    Please call Caroline on 0203 006 5730 or email info@carolinecarterrecruitment.com
*Salary IRO 1800 euros *All accommodation and food provided *Seasonal position with far reaching CV improving benefits! This world class service station and stud is looking for experienced stud hands for the forthcoming season to be based in Muhlen, Germany. Some prior experience important as some serious unmatched warmblood breeding stock is involved in this operation names such as  Balou du Rouet, whose offspring’s prize money makes millions plus Sandro Hit plus stallions Fürstenball, Vivaldi, Bordeaux, Foundation, Vitalis, Sir Donnerhall I and Diarado were amongst the leading group of all German stallions according to the German FN’s 2016 predicted breeding value statistics. Last year stallions from Mühlen once again dominated the Oldenburg Elite Mare show and of the twelve mares presented, seven of them were daughters of this yard’s stallions, including the winner Candy OLD by Sir Donnerhall I. The list goes on and on and on! 🙂 🙂 Caroline’s comments 🙂 This is a commercial environment where the opportunity to learn is awesome but not for anyone who gets homesick or doesn’t feel comfortable in the commercial end of the horse world. The horses you will encounter are world class and it will certainly add to the breadth and depth of anyone’s experience. Fast paced and exciting in so many ways. A real ‘one off experience’ to add to the CV!    Please call Caroline on 0203 006 5730 or email info@carolinecarterrecruitment.com  

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Caroline Carter Recruitment Ltd
The Stables
Fildyke Road
Meppershall
Bedfordshire
SG17 5LU

caroline@carolinecarterrecruitment.com
0203 006 5730 / 07747 686 118

Registered company number 10657796good site
Caroline Carter Recruitment Ltd is registered with the UK Information Commissioner as a data controller with registered number ZA250621

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