There are few things in the world more boring than poring through a collection of employee applications, but it must be done. If you want to hire the right professionals for your horse business, the application process is your first opportunity to find gems—and to weed out non-contenders.
Some horse business owners don’t bother with applications and go instead with an informal hiring process. While this might be easier and faster, you are neglecting a fundamental aspect of hiring new employees. There is a reason why applications and resumes are required for most jobs in the non-horse world.
So what do you look for in applications? What should an application look like? And how does this process go?
Preparing the Application
Make sure you have applications prepared before you even post an ad for new horse business employees. The phone calls, e-mails, and drop-ins will start much sooner than you expect, so get everything ready beforehand.
The application can be as simple or as detailed as you’d like. Get all the pertinent data (e.g., name, D.O.B. social security number, address, phone number) as well as information about the applicant’s history (e.g., previous work experience, educational background). The application gives you an at-a-glance view of each candidate so you can weed the Definitely-Nots from the pile.
Have your applications printed out on high-quality paper, with your horse business name and logo at the top. Ask candidates to print legibly in a clear, visible ink (blue or black) and to attach their resumes or CVs when appropriate.
Evaluating the Applications
Once you’ve amassed a healthy collection of applications, review them at your leisure. Make three piles: one for possibilities, one you’ll discard, and one to file away for future openings or other positions. And be careful about discarding too many applications; you’re looking for people who definitely do not meet the requirements for the position. You can’t get the whole picture from an app.
Taking the Next Step
Once you’ve got a “maybe” pile of applications, call up each of those candidates and set up an interview. Let each one know that you are interested in his or her skills, and request any further information you might need to supplement your decision (e.g. resume).