Q&A: Make your practice desirable to applicants


How can we attract high-quality applicants to apply for vacant positions at our practice?

Jan Miller, owner of consulting firm Veterinary Best Practice in Hillsboro, Ore., feels your pain. "It's either feast or famine when you're trying to fill an open position," she says. "Either you're inundated with unqualified applicants or you get no interest at all." To improve your chances of attracting qualified applicants to your practice, try these tips:

> Offer a competitive compensation package. That means a salary and benefits.

> Provide a comprehensive job description either on your Web site or in writing at your practice. The more detail you provide, the better chance you have of connecting with the person who has the qualities you're looking for.

> Use a question-based job application to screen applicants. A good application will ask about skills, not just employment history.

> Require a drug screening and criminal background check. State in your ad that your practice is a drug-free workplace.

> Market your practice. Place your advertisement where most people are looking—the Internet. Try using sites like CareerBuilder.com, Craigslist.org, and CareerSniff.com.

> Develop a good relationship with local technical schools by speaking at classes, offering your practice as an externship site, or participating in local job fairs.

> Anticipate openings before they happen. Posting job openings in advance will give you more time to hire the right person.

> Solidify your reputation as an employer. People in our industry tend to migrate to employers within a small geographic area. Be the place where excellent people want to work.

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