7 Creative Ways to Recruit the Best Candidates

The employees you hire to work within your veterinary clinic can make or break your future success. Hard workers with relentless optimism and a special way with both people and animals would be ideal, but locating and recruiting these types of candidates is often easier said than done. If you’re not having much luck finding the individuals you want to fill your open roles, here are a few out-of-the-box ideas that just might do the trick.

Get creative with your job description.

The first place to begin your search is with your job description. This will be the initial encounter that most candidates will have and, as such, will serve as their first impression of your clinic. Finding a way to stand out amongst all the other job listings is the key.

Be sure to describe what it’s like to be a part of your team and provide as much information as possible rather than just focusing on job duties. Lastly, identify the essential characteristics of your ideal employee and weave them into your job descriptions.

Tap into your existing networks.

Word of mouth is still a powerful and effective tool for veterinary recruiting because it comes from people who are already in your circle. In most instances, the employees you’ve already hired will associate with other individuals who share their same values and work ethic. If it’s feasible, offering referral bonuses can provide the added push that gets your team thinking about who they might know that would be a great fit in your practice.

Start there and work your way outward to include your professional networks and social communities. And try to look at every gathering or get together as an opportunity to scout for good employees. For instance, when you’re attending a veterinary industry trade show event, keep your eyes and ears open for prospective candidates that might be worth connecting with and reaching out to.

Get employees involved.

Beyond simply asking for referrals, you can expand your reach and find even more qualified candidates by getting your employees to participate in things like networking events, conferences and trade shows. Paying for additional memberships to various veterinary industry associations may be well worth it in the long run as it will give you access to a greater pool of candidates that you might not have been able to locate on your own.

Maintain a list.

Use your network of clients, colleagues, coworkers and friends to create and maintain a master list of various industry leaders and other potential employees. From there, develop a plan for contacting those individuals on a regular basis. Utilize the various tools available to you to stay in touch, including emails, phone calls, newsletters and direct mail. The more you work to establish and strengthen those relationships, the more likely you’ll be to have a few interested candidates once a job opening becomes available.

Use your website strategically.

You’ve probably put a great deal of thought and effort into developing the pages on your website that describe your services. What about your careers section? Believe it or not, it’s equally important that you “sell” your vision, mission, values and culture to prospective employees as it is to convince visitors to become clients. What kind of message are you currently sending out? Does your “Join Our Team” page truly reflect how awesome it is to work at your practice? If not, it’s time to flex your creative muscles and make some changes.

Stay in touch with past candidates.

It’s tough when you can only choose one out of several candidates who you think would really make a great addition to your team. But turning someone down for a particular opening doesn’t mean that has to be the end of your communications. To the contrary, if you’ve got a few prospects that really stood out, make it a point to stay in touch. That way when another opportunity presents itself down the road, you’ll already have a short list of candidates to start with.

Enlist the help of an expert.

If you’ve tried all of the above, or you simply don’t have the time it takes to fully commit to finding the best candidate for your open position, it might be worth the investment to enlist the help of a professional recruiter. If you do choose to go this route, however, it’s important to find someone who specializes in veterinary recruiting. This will ensure that the right skills and industry experience will be accounted for and that the individuals who are shortlisted for the job are the ideal fit.

Finding the right person to join your veterinary team can seem like a ton of work, but ending up with the best possible candidate who will not only fit in and do a great job, but will also be in it for the long haul makes it well worth it.

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