Work for us! (You know you want to.)


When our veterinary hospital has an opening, job applicants flood in. They cant seem to resist our website and our social media pages that show off (honestly) our support of local community, care for patients and teamwork.

Recently, a number of area veterinarians or managers have asked me how our mixed-animal practice continues to attract applicants for job openings. Three of our local colleagues have completely "struck out," failing to get a single resume for respective open positions. At the same time, despite an extremely unusual circumstance where we're losing two of our five veterinarians, we've already interviewed several and filled both positions.

I had to wonder, what's so special about us?

Over my more than 20 years with this veterinary hospital, I've been on the rollercoaster of veterinarian resumes. Until now. We know that many new graduates focused on equine work or mixed practice eventually change their minds, opting for the regularity of a small-animal-only practice. We also know that some of those same veterinarians who focus on equine work might realize that a mixed practice like ours doesn't offer them the amount of equine work they want.

So ... what's different now?

I was blissfully ignorant of the reasons for our steady stream of candidates. Until our practice owner dropped a hint.

This time around, I was blissfully ignorant of the reasons for our steady stream of candidates. Until our practice owner dropped a hint. He's the first person to talk directly to applicants, and he told me every single applicant mentioned how impressed they were with our online presence. They cited our work with youth and our community.

That's true: Our website and social media pages are windows into our soul. You may not learn what kind of in-house chemistry analyzer we have or how long we've had digital radiography, but you will learn what we value about our community, our clients and our patients.

Our website shows our caring

The first thing visible on our website (check it out) is this photo of me with several of our annual Veterinary Camp kids. Gloved up with masks on, they were "assisting" with a canine dental procedure. That one photo says a lot. We're a teaching hospital -- starting with 5-year-olds and ending with veterinary students looking for hands-on learning. We almost always have at least one student in our facility most days.

(Screenshot of website)

We also have another page we're very proud of right here.

(Screenshot of website)

It's a list of all of the organizations and events we support in our community.

Finally, our former clinic cat has his own page, complete with photos of his many antics.

(Screenshot of website)

We loved him and that comes through in our page.



Our Facebook page shows our personality

Our Facebook page, on the other hand, has been an evolution.

While I first assumed that clients would want to see a regular flow of educational or promotional messages about our products and services, those posts are seen by very few. Instead, what goes "viral" are posts about lost dogs or cats, a doctor's birthday, a picture of one of our associates back in the day at age 5 using a play stethoscope on her dog, and holiday Elf On The Shelf photos of the elf doing veterinary-related things (use your imagination ... ).

(Screenshot of Facebook page)

Basically, our most popular posts have one thing in common: They are glimpses into the kind of people we are, our sense of humor and the things we value. I also use Facebook messages to brag about how great our team members are and thank them for the occasional rough day and their devotion to our clients and patients. I love to tell them in person, but its even better to post my praise on social media and then share the post on my own page.

From a potential employee's standpoint, our practice looks like a pretty awesome place to work (it is) with a group of people who depend on each other to take great care of our patients (we do). If you're not opening this window into your practices so that potential job applicants can see who you are (not to mention your clients), you're missing out on an incredible opportunity to sell yourself.

Kyle Palmer, CVT, is a Firstline Editorial Advisory Board member and a practice manager at Silver Creek Animal Clinic in Silverton, Oregon.

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