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Job interviews are a two-way street


While you're judging job applicants, they're judging you and your veterinary practice.

It's easy to judge job applicants as soon as they walk in your door, but have you ever thought about the kind of impression your veterinary hospital makes on them?

Bob Levoy

A new study by the Talent Board, a nonprofit organization founded by human resource consultants to study and improve recruitment, sheds light on the problem of poor job interviewers. It found that negative comments by job applicants about the hiring and interviewing process far outnumbered positive ones among the nearly 12,000 candidates who were surveyed.

In another study, Beatrice Kalisch, PhD, a professor at the University of Michigan's School of Nursing, sent 10 registered nurses as "undercover" job applicants to 122 acute care facilities in the United States that are known to have high nurse vacancy rates. Kalisch found that just 43 percent of respondents said the interviewer appeared to be listening, and only 37 percent said the interviewer made eye contact with them. Additionally, a mere 36 percent said the interviewer was actually helpful.

Among veterinary team members I've interviewed, a common complaint has been tardiness—employers who are at least 30 minutes late for the interviews. Such inefficiency, lack of professionalism, and worst of all, lack of an apology for the delay was a major turnoff to many job seekers. (See "Which bad interviewer are you?" for more examples of such behavior.)

Which bad interviewer are you?

What many people conducting these interviews tend to forget is that job applicants have family, friends, and co-workers, all of whom will likely hear how poorly they were treated on their job interviews. The damage to a veterinarian's reputation as an employer and a possible pet healthcare provider is incalculable.

So avoid the off-putting behaviors of poor interviewers. Make sure that everyone in your practice treats job applicants with the same courtesy, respect, and friendliness with which you would treat your clients. As the labor market improves, top candidates will end up with multiple job offers. And you want to make sure that your practice is at the top of their list.

Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member Bob Levoy is the author of 222 Secrets of Hiring, Managing, and Retaining Great Employees in Healthcare Practices.

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