Employers, What Are You Looking For? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 04-23-2011, 10:40 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: San Antonio, Texas
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Employers, What Are You Looking For?

I'm a senior at Colorado State, and I'm currently in the process of looking for a full time job after I graudate (in 22 days!). I was wondering what you guys as barn owners/managers are looking for in a new employee and what I could say/do to make my application stronger. The equine world has so much competition, and is flooded with starry eyed horse girls. I'd like to appear knowledgeable, serious, capable, and really find a good job to get myself started. Is there anything you like to see in a particular applicant?
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post #2 of 8 Old 04-23-2011, 10:44 PM
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Taos, new Mexico
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Wow good one! Looking forward to reading the results!
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post #3 of 8 Old 04-23-2011, 11:39 PM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: NW Washington State
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I have nothing to do with running a barn, but here's my 10 cents anyway....

Dress for the part. Don't show up in office attire if you are looking to get hired as a hand. Also, I always secretly giggle when I see all the brand new "barn clothes". Most don't seem to function. You can still be presentable and professional, without looking stereotypical. Does that make sense?
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post #4 of 8 Old 04-24-2011, 10:00 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: San Antonio, Texas
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I made that mistake once actually. I showed up in heels and office attire for an interview with my internship. Needless to say, the tour around the muddy farm in December was NOT the most fun experience of my life. haha They still ended up taking me on but I definitely got some weird looks from the other workers!
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post #5 of 8 Old 04-24-2011, 10:13 PM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: NW Washington State
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Hahaha. Exactly. I would say muck boots are fine, as long as they are clean. Pants, flexible, clean and not warn out. a sweater or button up shirt would be good. As far as things to say, honesty. And just remember, horse people are either crazy, or awesome. So stay cool.
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post #6 of 8 Old 04-24-2011, 10:16 PM
Join Date: Jun 2010
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^^Lol, so true! I am just glad both of my bosses are awesome :)
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post #7 of 8 Old 04-25-2011, 11:34 AM
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Canada
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As an employer, I look for some one who is clean cut (meaning no sloppy pants or wearing sweats, looks like they have showered in the last day or two...have seen some pretty greasy characters show up in my day!)

I want someone who is punctual, dedicated, and honest. If you make a mistake, I want to ensure that you wont make excuses, take credit for your error, learn and move on....nothing bothers me more then a worker who plays the blame game. Or criticizes others work ethic, when theres isnt shiney either!

I also want someone who realizes that working w horses is not a 9-5 job...there will be overtime, and you will be expected to stay to the job is done

I want someone who works well under pressure, and can stay calm, focus, and ensure that the situation is dealt with promptly and in the most efficient manner.........nothing like having a barn worker running around freaking out cause a horse is cast, or got out of thier paddock, figure it out!!

I want someone friendly, and can have a good attitude toward clients even though the cleint may be the biggest b**** in the world and is being unreasonable...must still act professional, and be able to compromise.

Horse boarding is a PEOPLE business just as much as a horse business, so must be able to work well with all types of people.

Those are the main things I focus on.....but of course there is jst that feeling you get when you meet an prospective employee whether or not they will be a good fit.
I have turned away very experienced horse people, in exchange for the less experienced just because I knew that the latter would work out better just based on their personality.
I once hired a girl who had very little horse experience, I just had a good feeling about her....she was a quick learner, had common sense (which cannot be taught!)...she turned out the best worker I ever had!!

Horses are like chips...you can never just have one
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post #8 of 8 Old 05-03-2011, 06:55 PM
Join Date: Jul 2010
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I'm not an employer but I have had many many successfull horse related positions, this is what I did to get the jobs. (not in any particular order according to importance, just listed as ame to mind)

1st: Dress accordingly, such as if you are trying for a job as an assistant trainer, etc show up in your riding attire. If applying for stable hand job, come in clean jeans, boots, and collard shirt of some sort. Look clean and proffessional. And come prepared for anything, i.e. bring helmet (in case ask for ride test), muck boots (in case muddy).

2nd: Arrive early. If don't know where the place is take a test drive the day before around the same time so will have an idea how long it takes to get there. I always have rule for myself to arrive 10 min early. This shows punctuallity.

3rd: Bring a detailed resume and references.

4th: Emphasize your good work ethic. First to arrive last to leave. Realize often horse jobs are 7 days a week rain or shine, hot or cold, holiday or not. Must be willing to work these days too.

5th: Show persistance. After a couple days if don't hear anything give them a call to check in.

6th: Be friendly and have a smile. Horse businesses aren't just about the horses but about people as well. So must be friendly.

This is all I can think of so far. If think of more then will post more.

The wind of heaven is that which blows between a horse's ears. ~Arabian Proverb
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