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Animal Health and Veterinary Recruiting Trends and Tips for 2023

This past year was a tough one in terms of recruiting and hiring in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession, and that was especially the case within the latter, as the veterinarian shortage continued to serve as a major obstacle for employers.

Now that 2022 is over, the New Year brings with it plenty of promise, but it also brings plenty of challenges and obstacles for organizations of all sizes. It’s the goal of every employer to hire better and retain more of their current employees in 2023 than they did in 2022. Doing so will take a little luck, a lot of hard work, and a firm grasp on the conditions that are currently affecting the job market and will continue to do so during the next 12 months.

Animal Health and Veterinary recruiting tips

The Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession share some of the challenges that other industries and professions in the job market face. However, there are also some challenges that are specific to the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession and that provide employers with an even greater degree of difficulty in terms of their plans for the New Year.

Below are six Animal Health and Veterinary recruiting trends for 2023, with corresponding tips for each one:

#1—A shortage of qualified candidates

We have to start here, since according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the shortage of veterinarians is projected to continue throughout the course of this decade. We could be looking at a shortage of 15,000 to 18,000 veterinarians by the year 2031.

Tips: Identify your best sources of talent from a historical standpoint. Where did all of your hires come from in 2021? How about the years prior to that? These are the logical places to start when attempting to hire to 2023.

#2—Increasing levels of starting salary and compensation

The Law of Supply and Demand has been driving this trend for the past year and longer. There is a high demand for veterinarians, but a low supply. As a result, the cost of acquiring veterinarians has risen dramatically.

Tips: Conduct research and benchmark the going rate for the positions you have on staff and those you want to hire. Be transparent about starting salary when hiring (depending upon the state in which you operate, this level of transparency may be law). And do not low-ball a candidate during salary negotiations!

#3—“Job hopping”

The Great Resignation is not over. It’s just not getting as much press as it did in 2021. However, people are still quitting their jobs at historically high rates, and that includes within the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession.

Tips: Obviously, keeping employees engaged and satisfied is the best way to prevent them from “job hopping,” but some organizations are employing other methods, as well. One such method is the practice of offering a larger sign-on bonus for a multi-year commitment on the part of a new hire.

#4—The importance of the candidate experience

These days, when candidates enter an interview, they’re thinking less about how they can impress the employer and more about if and how the employer is going to impress them. And that’s if you impress them enough initially to entice them to agree to an interview. This is what happens in a job market in which job seekers and candidates hold the majority of the leverage.

Tips: Communicate frequently with candidates during the hiring process and set clear expectations with them regarding the timeline of events. In addition, strive to engage them as much as possible in meaningful ways. Our firm has had clients send gift baskets to candidates who interview. While unheard of just a few years ago, this is becoming common practice.

#5—An emphasis on DEI.

DEI, of course, stands for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. These are as important to today’s candidates as ever, and that’s especially the case for the members of the younger generations, Millennials and Generation Z.

Tips: Communicate and articulate your commitment to DEI throughout the hiring process. I included the word “articulate” because it’s possible to communicate your commitment badly. You don’t want to “butcher” your message. A standard, run-of-the-mill disclaimer isn’t going to cut it, either. The goal is to impress candidates.

#6—Mental health, wellness, and flexibility

This one is last, but it certainly is not least. A growing number of people in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession are becoming burned out. Stress is literally costing the industry billions of dollars in lost revenue and is manifesting itself in numerous ways, including causing some people to leave the industry altogether.

Tips: One thing that today’s candidates prioritize is schedule flexibility, including remote work and the hybrid work model. In the Veterinary profession, candidates are taking things to an even greater extreme, with some mandating that they only want to work certain days of the week or only three or four days a week. And as you might imagine, they’re not crazy about working weekends.

Help with Animal Health and Veterinary recruiting in 2023

Another tip not listed above is aligning your organization with an experienced and reputable recruiter who has a track record of sourcing and identifying the type of candidates you want to hire. The right recruiter has built relationships with top candidates in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession, and as a result, they know what these candidates want in a new job and new opportunity and what it would take for them to make a move.

The VET Recruiter has been helping employers with their Animal Health and Veterinary recruiting and hiring needs for 25 years, and we can do the same for your organization. No matter the trends, challenges, or obstacles that exist, we can work with you to help make 2023 one of your best years for recruiting, hiring, and retaining top talent in the employment marketplace.

We invite you to find out more about our Veterinary recruiting services for employers and also learn more about our recruiting process and how we can help you hire more veterinarians in 2023.

We help support careers in one of two ways: 1. By helping Animal Health and Veterinary professionals to find the right opportunity when the time is right, and 2. By helping to recruit top talent for the critical needs of Animal Health and Veterinary organizations. If this is something that you would like to explore further, please send an email to stacy@thevetrecruiter.com.

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