5 pearls for recruiting veterinary employees

dvm360dvm360 May 2023
Volume 54
Issue 5
Pages: 56

Master writing the job posting to find the best fits for your clinic

Flamingo Images /stock.adobe.com

Flamingo Images /stock.adobe.com

Hiring in the veterinary world right now is an excruciating process. It is taking twice as long to find new team members, and getting the right people into the clinic proves even more difficult. There are many opportunities out there, and if the perfect scenario is not presented, a new candidate will pursue another option.

Being down necessary team members causes all sorts of issues, with both financial and emotional ramifications to the clinic. The doctors, technicians, and customer service representatives experience the adverse effects from the lack of stability, consistency, and security.

So how do we avoid the upheaval of having an incomplete team?

We avoid the negatives by hiring quickly and effectively while retaining those who stood out and joined the team. This can honestly be the easiest part—believe it or not—once the measures noted below are in place for a recruiting process.

1. Be detailed/specific

This starts with the job posting, followed by the job description and requirements of the position. There are countless postings to sort through, and what distinguishes one is verbiage regarding the specifics. For example, be clear about who makes up the support team. Potential veterinary candidates want to know the exact number of credentialed technicians, assistants, and client service members that will be a part of their team. This may seem like a trivial detail; however, it allows for a more informed applicant. Writing, “A great support system,” sounds fine, but stating, “Three full-time veterinarians with 15 years of experience who are eager to assist with cases” explains exactly who may be available and shows that the clinic is aware there will be new hires.

The job description is just as important. Outlining a schedule or workload with complete statements is essential. State appointment times and breaks/lunches, plus whether there are scheduled times for callbacks, drop-off appointments, or even technician appointments. This offers applicants an inside look at a day in the clinic and introduces expectations.

2. Set expectations

This is essential for any future employees. If there are requirements for the position, put them in the posting. If a new veterinary graduate is required to have performed a certain number of surgeries prior to hire, state this! If a technician needs to be proficient in anesthesia, be detailed and list what is expected. Being clear with what is needed and expected of any new hire is essential to set everyone up for success.

Take this one step further and state expectations such as appointment loads, mandatory skill sets, or certifications/specialties with a time frame in which the goal is to be met. If this is not feasible for an applicant, then time will not be wasted going through the recruitment process, which reduces a lot of frustration.

3. Be honest

Many clinics promise wonderful things and paint a perfect picture of life in their clinic to “catch” whom they need. Naturally, one should be proud of their clinic; however, presenting perfection will disappoint. Once a new team member reveals that the schedule was overpromised or the continuing education credits were not accurate, it begs the question: What else was not true? The feelings that this induces will lead to distrust and resentment, oftentimes permeating into other team members. This creates an unpleasant work environment and eventually back to recruitment.

This ties in with being both detailed and specific. Say what you mean and mean what you say. A good mantra for any business!

4. Be willing to invest

Investing in team members means more than giving them a paycheck. Although a base salary is critical to get an applicant’s attention, the perks that are offered are just as important, if not more so. Veterinarians and credentialed technicians not only need but want to be sure their continued education is valuable to their bosses. Employers that invest in their teams show that their employees are valued and will be encouraged to grow.

Outlining goals that the clinic supports is a great eye-catcher in a job posting. Express that you support technicians achieving specialties or veterinarians adding services such as laser, rehabilitation, or specialty surgeries to the clinic that may be of interest.

5. Be informative

Inform the candidate about anything that sets the clinic apart. Listing the equipment or services that may be uncommon in the area is a huge selling point. For example, there are candidates who are passionate about laser therapy or carbon dioxide lasers or interested in having an associate who practices acupuncture, so note these kinds of things. Also mention what seems like standard equipment because much is not “standard” (eg, monitoring equipment, in-house lab abilities, dental capabilities, etc).

Also consider the benefits of listing the availability of specialty clinics in the area, especially to those looking to relocate for a position.

Attracting the right people

In the end, every job hunter has an idea of what the perfect job involves. The more details provided, the longer a potential hire will read about the clinic. The longer one looks at the posting, the more invested they become in the job and the clinic. Next, they will likely pay a visit to your website to learn more about the clinic and team and become even further invested.

Be deliberate and write a job posting to your advantage. The extra time spent on writing about the clinic will save time moving forward. It will also be more effective at eliminating those who are not a good fit. A good candidate will want to keep reading and be interested in what you have to say and what is being offered. It also demonstrates that this is not just some posting slapped up in a hurry—there is care and thought behind the position and, therefore, the clinic.

Give the attention, intention, and energy that you want to get back in a hire.

Sabrina Beck, CVT, CVBL, is a learning and development manager who has practiced as a credentialed technician in day practice, and in emergency in private and university settings, and in the eye care specialty. She worked as a practice manager for the past 5 years and realized her true passion is developing a happy, healthy, and productive team. She lives in Florida with her husband and a menagerie of animals that continuously grows.

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