|Profitable Horseman Newsletter ||
May 6, 2010
Ten Tips for Interviewing To Avoid Hiring The Wrong Person
If you are like many
professional horsemen, finding the right people to help you in your business
is one of your biggest challenges. That's partly because candidates with horse
experience are limited, the rate of pay in the equine industry is low in
comparison to other industries and much of the work is unsupervised requiring
employees with good work habits.
A resume, job
application and a short interview will you tell
you only part of the story about an employee candidate.
You know what I mean if you've ever had your promising new hire show up for
work on Monday morning and you find out that not only did the name on the job
application and the face from the interview show up, a whole person came along
as well with a life history and assorted baggage.
There are many books and articles written every year on the subject of
hiring. Read one, or skim several to expand your skills.
But, like most things, experience is the best teacher on the practice of hiring good
Experience has taught me that the following points are important to consider in
your interview process. They're in random order and may seem blatantly obvious.
But, like a mare with her ears pinned flat on her neck, the obvious is still
worthy of your attention.
the applicant show up early, on
time, or late for the interview?
Late arrivals are often backed by good excuses: "heavy traffic,
difficulty finding the place, drop children off, etc." These are the
same excuses you'll probably hear every day from the applicant once hired.
If you expect punctuality every
day, lack of it at the interview is deal breaker.
the applicant dressed in a way that is acceptable to you for your business image? If unconventional body piercings-offensive tattoos and
sloppy general appearance don't bother you or your customers, no need to
worry. If they do, keep in mind you are probably seeing the best image of
the candidate at the interview.
- Does the candidate have reliable transportation?
You know what happens when a
worker is a no-show. You either find a way to pick up the employee to get
him or her to work, or you go through the day running on one less
for life in the eyes- good
eye contact, enthusiasm and energy.
And while the following is not absolute, it's worthy of your
careful observation. When someone is remembering details, their eyes move to the right (your right).
When someone is making something
up, their eyes move to the left. It's usually opposite for left
- Bad mouthing and negative comments- past employers, industry, relationships, family,
excessive bad luck. If you hear too much of it in the candidate
interview, you'll be forever hearing it from the employee.
many days off, benefits, what's the pay ? If too many questions like these come early in
the interview, you know that Johnny is all about his Paycheck.
of enthusiasm for horses and
or animals in general. Captain Obvious says this could be a problem.
- Messy car
- no science or research backs this up, but I got in the habit of walking
a candidate to his vehicle to have a peek at the car. Back seats littered
with adult beverage cans and fast food wrappers, duct taped door handles
and turn signal lenses and out of date inspection stickers tell part of a
- Poor listener-Even
though you will only be doing twenty percent of the talking at an
interview, the candidate should show signs of coherence and listening
carefully to what you say. After all, carrying out your directions is a
key job requirement.
- Lacking good manners-you'll never be happy apologizing
for your employee's crude behavior and impolite habits. Even though it's
not you being rude, his reflection tarnishes your silver.
We both know there is no
perfect employee. But, as a profitable
business owner, screening for bad habits and attitudes makes good sense. Good
attitude trumps work experience.
People with good
attitudes, but weak on work experience and skills can always be trained for
People with bad
attitudes, but strong on work experience and skills are often train wrecks
Profitable Horseman Live One Day Workshop
Wednesday May 12, 2010 at
Fallbrooks Farm, North Plains, Oregon
(Appx. 35 minutes from Portland Intl. Airport)
Fallbrooks Farm Hosts an All Day
With Two Nationally Recognized Experts
Professional Horsemen Go Broke and What to Do About It"
Doug Emerson of the Profitable Horseman
Your Horse Manure - Discover Hidden Treasure in Your Barn"
Peter Moon of O2Compost
Doug will unravel the mysteries of making
money in the horse business. He will offer simple and practical solutions to:
1) help you map out your business plan and create achievable goals to build the
profitable horse business you've always wanted, 2) relieve anxiety about cash
flow in your business by helping you get control of the finances 3) help you
overcome the need to be a control freak and micro-manage with practical job delegation
practices. And he'll leave plenty of time for questions from you about your
business and how to reduce the stress of managing.
Doug has been a horseman for over
forty years and offers thirty years of personal small business experience along
with 10 years of business consulting experience to his audiences and clients.
He will offer advice and suggestions
that you can implement on the spot for immediate
value to you and your business.
Peter will teach you the fundamentals of
composting and show you how to take the labor of pile turning completely out of
the process. Following a bit of time "in
the classroom", he will lead a walking tour of Fallbrooks' beautiful new
compost system. Seeing is Believing -
you DO NOT want to miss this opportunity!
As a licensed engineer, Peter has over 21 years of experience with
composting, and has systems located throughout North America, and as far away
as Beijing, China. Peter offers a
"Manure Solution" for every farm and for every budget. He has even been heard to say, "When you
think of manure, I want you to think of me!"
This workshop is designed for every
horse owner and stable manager and will be packed full of take home
information. In addition, O2Compost
is offering a 15% discount on their compost systems, but only to those who
attend the workshop. The day will include "audience friendly" lectures, a
workbook, group exercises, a walking tour of Fallbrook's new compost facility
and a fabulous lunch.
To Register: go to: www.fallbrooksfarm.com
|Others Have Said |
"I am convinced that
nothing we do is more important than hiring and developing people. At the end of
the day you bet on people, not on strategies." --Larry Bossidy
"When I meet successful
people I ask 100 questions as to what they attribute their success to. It is
usually the same: persistence, hard work and hiring good people." --Kiana
"Never hire anyone who is
going to report directly to you who you do not intuitively just plain like from
first impressions. If your instincts tell you you're going to have a hard time
working with someone, pass." --Fred Charette
|Back At The Barn
Barn Chatter this week brought up speculation on Kentucky Derby winner, Super Saver being suitably chilled in a Belmont match-up with Derby second place horse, Ice Box.
Man, can Ice Box pick 'em up and put' em down on the home stretch. The next two legs of the Triple Crown will be exciting to watch.
My search for fair market value for an older four horse head to head goose-neck trailer this week had me fantasizing about the non-existent Blue Book for used horse trailers. It's not always easy to come up with a value for a used horse trailer.
I was fortunate to have two trailer dealers help out with my questions regarding present value and resale potential of a particular trailer. There was nothing in it for them other than being helpful. I give away a lot of information for free, but don't always expect others will be as willing.
Thanks to James Maloney of Orchard Trailers in Whately, MA and Bill Hopkins of Lazy H Sales in Sardinia, NY.
These two know "paying it forward" a little bit each day is painless and a philosophy that's good for all and for their future business.
|I work with professional horsemen and women struggling with the business half of the horse business.|
If your business is in need of a spring tune up, contact me about how I can help.