6 Tips for Hiring Like an HR Pro at Your Veterinary Practice

Running a successful veterinary practice often means wearing many different hats. In addition to patient care, you must also manage staff, develop policies and procedures, create and work toward goals and balance the books. Hiring A-players can be the last thing you want to do, but it’s essential to your long-term profitability. So, what happens if you’ve got no experience? Do you need to appoint an HR or hiring manager? Not necessarily. In fact, if you do the following, you can streamline your hiring process and start staffing your practice like a pro.

Determine your needs and make a plan.

Good hires rarely happen through luck or even good intentions. Just like anything else in business, it takes careful planning. To set yourself up for hiring success, first determine exactly what your needs are. And by needs, we don’t mean simply writing down job titles. We’re talking about spelling out the skills and competencies that are necessary in order to help your team thrive. You should also spell out your recruiting and interviewing process in advance of doing either. Doing this legwork upfront will reduce friction and help prevent costly mistakes down the road.

Know where to look.

Having a pipeline of potential employees and various avenues for sourcing leads can do wonders for your hiring process. That said, there are many different ways to locate veterinary talent, including recruiting recent graduates, using social media to attract prospective applicants and asking your existing employees for referrals. You may also consider forging a partnership with an experienced veterinary recruiter. This can save you time, money and aggravation in the long run.

Know what to look for.

Be keenly aware of the skills (both technical as well as soft skills) that are needed in order for a new hire to fit in well with your team. You should also take the time to learn what things to look for as you’re going though candidates, such as resume red flags. This can help you weed out those who aren’t worthy of a follow up before you waste any more of your precious time. From there, a basic assessment tool can help you determine an applicant’s work and communication style to see if they’re worth pursuing.

Ask the right questions.

Not all interview questions are created equal. Start with the basics, but feel free to develop and expand on your own set of questions based on your unique needs and preferences. Asking open-ended, behavioral-based interview questions can be especially helpful in assessing cultural fit. To optimize your time, have a list of basic questions to ask of candidates over the phone prior to scheduling a formal interview. This will help you hone in and focus on only most eligible candidates.

Get others involved.

In many instances, getting others involved in the recruiting process can do wonders for choosing the best candidates. This can be especially helpful when assessing someone for a particular role with which you aren’t intimately familiar. Discuss the desired qualifications with your existing staff beforehand so you’ll source the right candidates right from the start and have other team members share their own thoughts and opinions on each applicant. This facilitates a more well-rounded hiring process.

Know the laws.

If you’re not careful during the recruiting process, you could find yourself in hot water. This is an important point to know, particularly for those who aren’t seasoned at hiring practices. Educate yourself on the rights of your applicants so you’ll know how to avoid any potential legal ramifications. For instance, knowing what questions are off-limits while recruiting can help you stay on the right side of the law.

Staffing your clinic doesn’t have to be a major nightmare. By keeping the tips above in mind, you should be able to streamline your approach and take much of the hassle out of hiring. Of course, if doing so is still too much of a burden, know that you have other options, like hiring a veterinary recruiter to help. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you build your dream team in no time.

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