4 Rules for Hiring Your Veterinary Dream Team

You can provide the most stellar veterinary care in the world, but if the team you have around you isn’t up to par, you’re not going to keep clients. It’s just that simple. Whether it’s toxicity amongst co-workers, poor service to pet parents or something else, having even just one bad employee can set your practice on a course for failure. So, what’s the trick? The good news is, you can hire a team of ‘A’ players, even if you’re not a hiring expert. All you have to do is follow these four simple rules.

Rule #1: Don’t rush things.

We know you want to fill that vacancy fast, but if you move too quickly, you could very well end up in a worse situation than you are now. The thing to remember is not to panic. Yes, your existing team may have to step up to the plate and give a little extra in the meantime, but taking your time to find the perfect person for the job will be better for everyone in the end.

One more tip: once you’ve hired someone, focus on cross-training everyone. That way you won’t be under as much pressure to hire right away the next time someone gives their notice.

Rule #2: Add some extra steps.

One common mistake many practice owners make when hiring is that they make a decision after the first interview. In reality, one brief meeting is rarely an adequate amount of time to truly get to know a candidate and evaluate their skills and personality. Instead, we recommend holding two or even three interviews.

Start with a phone interview to ask basic questions and assess communication skills. Then move on to an in-person interview to ask more probing questions, review the job description and discuss the role in greater detail.

Finally, if possible, have the shortlisted candidates come in for some job shadowing. This will enable you to more accurately assess their skills and observe the way they interact with clients, patients and their prospective co-workers.

Rule #3: Always check references.

Another common mistake made amongst busy practice owners is skipping the step of checking references. Why? Because most candidates that make it through the screening process seem genuine and credible. We want to believe that they’re as good as they seem. In fact, oftentimes they seem so good, we feel the need to hire them quickly because we just know if we don’t, another practice is going to swoop in and try to steal them away.

The sad reality is, not everyone is who they present themselves to be. And calling references can help prevent you from learning that the hard way. For instance, after speaking to a previous employer, you may learn that a certain candidate is habitually late, has a problem with authority or a tendency to gossip. Wouldn’t you rather know that before you welcome them onto your team?

Rule #4: Focus on the details.

Oftentimes, both parties can become so caught up in the excitement of a potentially good fit that important details, like policy and pay, get overlooked. Failing to set expectations on these important details, however, can cause major headaches in the not-so-distant future. Before making an offer, go over everything, from salary and dress code to holidays and business hours. Even if it seems insignificant, bring it up anyway. It’s better to provide too much information than not enough.

Hiring is often the least favorite activity of veterinary practice owners, but getting it right can literally mean the difference between sustainable success and utter failure. By following the four steps listed above, you should be able to streamline the recruitment process and dramatically improve your odds of creating the team of your dreams.

Don’t have the time, energy or desire to put these four steps into action? That’s what we’re here for! We specialize exclusively in recruitment for the veterinary industry. You just let us know what you’re looking for and we’ll find you the ideal candidates. Contact us today to learn more or get started!

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