5 Ways to Overcome the Vet Shortage
It’s no secret that we are experiencing a serious shortage of qualified veterinary professionals. Gone are the days when a job posting would be met by a flood of eager applicants. These days, it’s slim pickings. Those who are skilled and available are in such high demand that they hold all the cards. This can make hiring a challenge, particularly for smaller clinics operating on tighter budgets. So, what gives? Are you simply doomed to scrape the bottom of the barrel or carry on understaffed indefinitely? The good news is, there are ways you can overcome the current challenges and hire an awesome team. Here’s how.
If you wait until someone quits or is let go to start sourcing prospects for your open positions, you’re always going to find yourself behind the eight ball. Wouldn’t it be better to already have a list of leads to start with? This is why working with a veterinary recruiter is so effective – especially when there’s a staffing shortage – because they spend a great deal of time and effort building a network of potential candidates. That way when an opportunity arises, there’s almost always someone at the ready.
When it’s a candidate’s market, job seekers have the luxury of being choosy about their potential suiters. You can position yourself ahead of the curve by establishing a strong presence on social media. This is a powerful tool that many clinics fail to consider. Think about it. If someone is being actively recruited by multiple employers, chances are they’re going to do some research, and the first place most job seekers go today is social networks. Put your best foot forward by using social to showcase the reasons your practice is such a great place to work.
Candidate experience is another powerful differentiator for practices today. The way you make your prospects feel throughout the hiring process can make or break whether or not they’ll consider accepting an offer from you. To leverage this to your advantage, focus on finding and fixing the areas where your hiring process could use some work. It may take a little extra time, but when it helps you land that awesome new team member, it’ll have been time well spent. (Here are a few additional tips for improving the candidate experience.)
If you’re a smaller practice with limited resources, we’ve got some great news for you. Salary and benefits aren’t the only thing today’s qualified candidates are looking for. In fact, many list other less-tangible benefits and perks higher on their list of must-haves, like flexible schedules and a strong company culture. If you can’t afford to outbid your competition on price, find other ways to stand out from the crowd. You might be pleasantly surprised at the response you get as a result.
Of course, there will inevitably be times when hiring someone new is necessary. But it’s far more costly, both in terms of time and money, to hire new than it is to retain an existing employee. Should you invest in improving your hiring process? Absolutely. But don’t do so at the expense of your existing staff. Remember to regularly recognize and reward your team for their hard work. Show your appreciation for them. Empower them with the tools and support they need so that when you’re in the midst of a vet shortage, like we are right now, you won’t have nearly as much to worry about.
Feeling the crunch to hire someone but struggling to find the right candidate? That’s where Dream Team Elite comes in! We specialize in finding the best qualified people to match your job description AND your team culture. Get in touch today to get started!