OUR RECRUITMENT PROCESS
- Finding the role that’s right for you
There are plenty of opportunities to become part of the Knowsley team. Your first reference point should be our vacancies page where we post all available job roles both at Safari and the wider Estate. Each of the roles available will have a corresponding recruitment pack that will provide you with information that you need about the role, the person we are looking for, where the role sits in the organisation and a bit more about us to ensure that you’re applying for the role that’s right for you.
- Your Application
When you have fully read the Recruitment Pack for your desired role and you believe you fit the criteria listed, go ahead and follow the instructions on how to apply. We would normally ask you to complete an application form to send in with your CV, however there are times when we ask for CV and covering letter only.
Carefully follow the instructions and send it into the correct email address as outlined. Please note that each role has a specific application form relating to that position, so you will need to complete the application form for each role to which you are applying.
Due to the capacity of the HR department, we are not able to keep speculative CVs on file.
Please ensure that you are only applying for advertised roles.
All applicants are assessed against the person specification, and their experience is taken into account when considering their employment history against the job description. If you have been shortlisted for interview, we will phone you to invite you to interview. If you do not answer, we will leave a voicemail and send an invitation by email also. When your interview has been confirmed you will receive a follow up email with all of the details that you need which includes where you need to go and what you need to bring with you on the day.
Please note that we are unlikely to contact you before the closing date of the position you have applied for as we read and consider all applications before making our shortlisting decision.
Unfortunately, due to the number of applications that we receive for all of our roles, we are not always able to email those who have been unsuccessful to interview.
- The Interview
All our interviews are face to face, although there may be some occasions when a telephone pre-interview is most appropriate. Our interviews for permanent roles are normally a sit-down meeting with the hiring manager and a HR representative that last between 30 minutes to one hour; or are a group stage interview which may require some preparation in advance. Where you have been invited to a group stage interview, we would normally advise of the approximate timings expected as these can last a little longer.
If you have applied for a seasonal position, you will firstly have an interview with a representative from the recruitment agency we use to supply our staff, followed by an assessment centre at Knowsley Safari which is a group interview. The assessment centres normally last just over an hour and are designed to bring out your personality and attitude.
- What to bring to your interview
In your invitation email we will outline what we would like you to bring with you to interview. We will always ask you to bring along your documentation of your proof of right to work in the UK.
- What to wear to your interview
Depending on the format of the interview, we would normally advise on the dress code in the invitation email. As you can imagine, for some of our roles this means getting your walking boots on for outdoors activities, where for others, office wear is more appropriate.
- Finding out
We will always look to get in contact with you as soon as possible after all interviews have taken place. We will usually advise at the end of your interview when you can expect to hear from us by. Normally, we will contact you be telephone or email to let you know the outcome and we always aim to give you feedback where we can.
QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPERIENCE
- What subjects and degrees do you need to become an animal keeper?
When we receive a CV from a budding Animal Keeper, or someone who has been Keeping for years we look at ensuring that they have a relevant animal related qualification or degree in a subject such as Zoology, Animal Behaviour or Animal Science.
We are frequently asked what subjects someone should take at options stage in high school or sixth form / college and we always advise that the options and subjects you take should be based around the requirements of your preferred university towards your chosen degree.
- How important is experience if you want to work with animals?
Animal Keeping is a highly competitive career and experience sets you apart. With a limited number of zoological collections in the UK, this means that there are a limited number of animal keeping positions available. There are thousands of students each year coming out of university with an animal related degree all wanting to make their way in a Keeping role or similar, so you need to stand out from the crowd.
To differentiate yourself, we would advise you to get as much practical, hands-on animal based experience as possible, preferably with zoo or safari park animals. Completing an internship whilst studying towards your degree is a fantastic way to secure both your degree and experience. You should also use your covering letter, CV, or the provided application form to your full advantage by making sure you use the space given to really sell yourself on why you would be an asset for the role you’re applying for and to that particular company. And remember, it’s important to relate your application to the collection that you’re applying for, we don’t want to see generic applications, we want to know that you really want to work with us.
WHAT DO WE LOOK FOR IN AN APPLICANT?
- Someone who can embody our values and work towards our mission
There are so many roles which contribute to Knowsley Safari’s mission from working within the Animal Team, Guest Services, Parks and Gardens, Marketing, Accounts, Maintenance, Learning & Discovery, Property Services and many more. Common to all of these roles though is our recruitment of individuals who are able to embody our values, who are committed to working towards our mission, and who are able to help deliver the ‘best day out ever’ to our guests to inspire their connection with the natural world.
- Someone who has the skills, qualifications and qualities to fulfil the role
When looking through applications, we want to ensure that we are hiring the right person for the role which includes a look at your skills and qualifications that we can see from your covering letter, CV and / or application form. We then consider your qualities and ability at interview stage which ensures that we are selecting the right person for the role.
- Someone who has a great attitude
Having a great attitude is a common factor within our teams and we want to ensure that our applicants have it too. One of the things that we try to do at any second stage interview we may offer, is to take you on a meet and greet tour of some of the areas of the Park. This allows you to meet some members of the team to ensure that you feel that you would fit in well with our team and vice versa. We firmly believe that the employment relationship is a two-way process and though we may want you to become a part of the team, you have to want to be part of our team too; and so, getting to know the team is the first step towards that.
We’re proud to be a member of BIAZA (The British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums) and would encourage anyone seeking an Animal Keeping role to seek employment with a BIAZA accredited collection. BIAZA have also put together some information on careers within zoos and safari parks which you can find here.