Why use an Equestrian Recruitment Agency?
By Becky Parker
Having been very impressed with some down to earth, well-constructed and topical blogs written by Becky Parker (Super Groom and mountain biker extraordinaire 😊), Caroline Carter Recruitment is delighted to team up with Becky, who will publish a regular blog for us. Becky has a series of articles/blogs planned, and wants to kick it off with an article which really encapsulates the challenges that jobseekers and employers face these days and talks about how to actually go about improving the lot of jobseekers and employers by working with an equestrian recruitment agency such as Caroline Carter Recruitment, who have a clear mission to connect the best of both sides.
Becky, who is a real adventurer, has extensive first-hand grooming experience in “bread and butter” grooms roles in the UK, as well as working in Australia on a cattle ranch, in New Zealand on a family show hunter and racing yard, in Germany producing young Show Jumpers, and in Denmark where she travelled on the Sunshine tour SJ festival. She knows what she is talking about and is able to present a balanced view which is very much needed when tackling the issues we all face these days.
Over to you Becky …
Without grooms there is no industry – why use an Equestrian Recruitment Agency?
Finding your way through the minefield that is job hunting is a tricky task. Some may liken it to the proverbial hunt for a needle in a haystack, but No! let’s not bring that kind of negativity here. Undeniably there are many shady employers around but equally, there are still quite a few good, generous, kind-hearted and appreciative ones too. In my 10 years as a groom, I have been lucky enough to stumble across a few real gems whom I will forever look back on with fond memories. However, I have also had a few dire experiences.
As a young, impressionable college leaver I was simply delighted anyone would let me handle these talented expensive horses, let alone ride them. I would accept jobs without question, too scared to ask about pay, too excited to complain about living conditions and too naïve to realise I was being taken advantage of. Equally, I have worked with many a dishonest, lazy groom and felt awful to see the employer being taken advantage of. Amazed they haven’t realised what this person is like, I later realised they were simply too busy, too kind to see fault or too despairing of the quality of grooms out there after numerous other similar experiences.
At that time, I had never even heard of an equestrian recruitment agency. I wonder if my employers hadn’t either. Yet if we had, it would have potentially saved us all a lot of wasted time, effort and bad feeling. In a bid to save a few others the drama, let’s take a look at what recruitment agencies are, how they can help both grooms and employers, plus why Caroline Carter Recruitment is the fastest growing agency of them all!
What do you need to do?
In Caroline Carter’s own words……
“It doesn’t need to take long as our website is fast, efficient and easily viewed on a mobile phone, but grooms will have to complete a full Jobseekers Profile, upload a CV, and agree to our Terms at www.thegroomslist.co.uk. This protects us all and ensures grooms get the very best results for their job search. Please don’t think we are only interested in very experienced grooms – we are equally interested in grooms starting out and in the middle of their careers. I have grooms on my books who I’ve placed throughout their careers, and now even some who have sent their kids to me to find their first grooming job (am I really that old!!!)”
What happens next?
The level of involvement from the agency varies. If a registered employer has an active job opening and a job seeker has their profile set to ‘visible’ the two can contact each other directly, much like a standard job board. The difference with Caroline Carter Recruitment is there will always be a full team at work behind the scenes striving to give the best advice and when required to match candidates with their perfect job. In cases where they are actively recruiting on behalf of an employer, this will be taken a step further, involving a chat with a member of the team where you will go through what the job entails, your history, expertise and requirements so they can discuss your suitability with the client before proceeding further. Throughout the process, the team are on hand to help, advise and work towards a win:win situation for both parties.
Caroline says, “I can’t speak for the other recruitment agencies out there, but our desire really is to find the right person for the right job and this always underpins all our actions. There is many a fist pump in our offices when we get a call from a happy groom who is delighted with their new job, having achieved far more than they thought possible when securing their terms.
Whilst we are a business, it is not that lucrative despite what people sometimes think. It’s hard work, takes dedication, there are less ups than downs and genuinely, very small profits if any. We do it because like you, we love to work in the world of horses and our passion really is to make placements that are a good career move for a candidate and we like to put good candidates in touch with good employers and jobs”.
What are the benefits?
The benefits of joining an agency as opposed to going it alone are the numerous exclusive jobs you will hear about that otherwise could have passed you by. Agencies such as Caroline Carter Recruitment have long-term relationships with employers who will always go through them rather than any other company or social media for the hiring process. You will also benefit from an in-depth understanding of what the employer is looking for providing a greater chance of finding a position that’s right for you first time around. It can sometimes even stop you making a huge mistake! This agency strives to work only with reputable employers so there is some peace of mind that you’re not signing yourself up to be slave labour! Jobseekers also benefit from useful hints and tips on The Grooms List website’s blog, such as this helpful series of articles providing interview advice – Make an Impression – Top Tips for a Successful Job Interview
How do I sign up?
Employers can sign up for a DIY service on Caroline’s website The Grooms List www.thegroomslist.co.uk but you too will agree to the agency’s Terms of Business, plus your vacancy will have to comply with all the current employment laws eg: NMW etc. Alternatively, you can contact Caroline to talk about your vacancy first, get advice or just to get assistance choosing the recruitment approach that best meets your needs.
What can the agency do for me?
Trawling through CVs, answering endless inane questions, clogged up email/Facebook inbox full of completely inappropriate candidates are all headaches that you could simply do without in the already stressful job of running a business. Particularly one reliant on animals who often have an opinion of their own on what today’s activities will be. Caroline Carter Recruitment provides the service of sieving out the wheat from the chaff, to present you with a finely selected group of interviewees suitable for the job. Depending on the service you have chosen, the agency can also carry out thorough background checks and contact referees saving you more time and potentially disastrous experiences.
Included in all packages will be free expert help and advice to talk through your requirements and construct an appealing, engaging vacancy advert from trained experts. This can then be updated at any time. The advert will benefit from unlimited promotion to a targeted audience through The Grooms List website and the agency’s social media channels. Beyond the advert, you also have unlimited access to a large online database of mostly quality equine jobseekers many of whom will have been “screened” by Caroline and/or the team within Caroline Carter Recruitment.
WHY CHOOSE CAROLINE CARTER RECRUITMENT AGENCY?
Caroline Carter’s agency is the best choice for both employers and jobseekers because they aim to do things differently. After 35 years working in senior positions throughout the equine industry, first for blue chip companies and then for 15 years in equine recruitment, she knows a thing or two about people management and where agencies have been lacking in customer service in the past. Caroline has built up around her a team of equally motivated and hands on industry experienced staff to create the fastest growing recruitment agency in the market. Most members of the Team have actually been Grooms at some point in their careers!
Not sold yet? The answer to this question showing their dedication to improving standards in the industry as a whole sold me….
What role can equestrian recruitment agencies play in improving the future of the equine industry?
Caroline answers, “We should all look after both employers and jobseekers at every stage of the recruitment process. We have an obligation to put good jobseekers in touch with good employers and we are very clear on what constitutes “good”. We need to “weed out” those who fall short and are unwilling to address the issues which ultimately negatively impact on us all eg: grooms who disappear from a yard in the middle of the night without any warning whatsoever, don’t turn up for interviews and don’t let anyone know why for weeks. Employers who expect grooms to live in accommodation without heat and insulation or pay less than NMW etc”
I believe that equine recruitment agencies have a vital part to play in our industry if it is to continue to grow. We need to find a way to stop young and naïve but super keen new grooms, like I once was, being put off before we’ve even started. Equally, we need to provide a positive experience for employers who are actually trying to provide good and fair jobs for grooms. Hopefully, in this way we can make being a groom an appealing long-term prospect, a legitimate career rather than just a labour of love. Without grooms there is no industry.