5 (More) Creative Strategies for Recruiting Top Veterinary Talent

Just prior to the pandemic striking, our economy was the strongest it had been in recent history. This made it increasingly challenging to source new team members. With most candidates already gainfully and happily employed, the competition for top talent was at its fiercest. And while things may have slowed down due to the coronavirus outbreak, all signals indicate that the market will bounce back, possibly even stronger than before. 

So, what does this mean for vet clinics looking to fill open positions? It’ll still be a challenge, but here are a few creative ways to locate and land that diamond in the rough.

View your employees as your HR team.

Most veterinary practices simply aren’t big enough to have a designated human resources team. That doesn’t mean that as the practice manager or practice owner you’re in it alone when it comes to hiring. To the contrary, you’ve technically got an HR team – your existing employees. In fact, getting referrals from your current team can be incredibly effective, particularly in terms of hiring for cultural fit. 

There are a number of ways you can tap into your existing staff for help with recruiting. For instance, you could offer referral bonuses for successful new hires, or ask them to spread the word about job openings with their own social networks. 

Offer a paid internship.

One of the easiest and most effective ways to test-drive a new employee is to bring them in as a paid intern. Working with a local veterinary college or university can help you gain access to some of the industry’s best and brightest up-and-comers. And it’ll give you a chance to get them through the door before your competitors have the opportunity to pounce first. 

The best way to attract interns to your clinic is to take some time to learn about why these candidates might be seeking employment while they’re still in school. Then, when you’ve discovered what they value most, you can customize a role that matches their persona. Once they’re ready to graduate, you’ll be ready to welcome them on as an official part of the team before the ink on their diploma has a chance to dry.

Connect with local chapters and associations.

There are plenty of groups and associations that are specific to the animal health care industry. Many aspiring veterinary professionals are eager to join these organizations in the hopes of making important network connections and getting their foot in the door career-wise. As such, these industry associations make an excellent resource for a hiring practice to locate and recruit talented individuals. 

If there is a local chapter of a particular organization, start by focusing your efforts there. Then, check to see if there are other resources available on a regional or national level, such as industry-related job boards. 

Look to the competition.

Your competitors may have already landed some great employees, but that doesn’t mean those top candidates will stay there forever. If you’re so inclined, you may want to make a case as to why the proverbial grass is greener on your side of the fence.

Keep in mind, of course, that this tactic should be handled with a certain degree of tact. After all, you don’t want to burn any bridges. Likewise, the employees you will be targeting are passive candidates, which means wooing them may require a little bit of patience. Start by seeking them out and connecting with them socially, such as through a platform like LinkedIn. Be polite and respectful. Focus on building a rapport so that if and when they’re ready for a change, you’ll be the first option that comes to mind. 

Promote from within.

Sometimes it’s easy to overlook the fact that you’ve already got access to some of the most talented individuals, right within your existing team. Whenever possible, consider looking to your current staff and promoting from within. Not only will this show everyone on your team that there’s room to grow, but it’ll also make the transition from one position to another go much more smoothly. 

Start by cross-training all employees and investing in their ongoing professional development. Creating career paths can also help you identify what your employees’ interests and goals are, as well as determine which ones might be the best candidates to consider for a promotion when the time comes.

Recruiting an A-class team for your clinic can be challenging, especially in a tight job market. Thinking outside the box and showing a willingness to get a little creative will make the hiring process infinitely easier. 

Need more help? That’s what we’re here for! Get in touch today and let’s discuss how we can help you build your Dream Team!

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