by Stacy Pursell, CPC, CERS
The VET Recruiter®
Last year was filled with more than its fair share of obstacles and challenges, both for professionals and for employers in the employment marketplace. And this includes in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession.
We can all breathe a sigh of relief now that 2020 is behind us, not to mention the fact that COVID-19 vaccines are currently being distributed throughout the country and around the world. However, that does not mean the virus will be immediately eradicated or that the pandemic is now over. Professionals and employers will still have to take precautions and safety measures for the foreseeable future, which means there will still be plenty of challenges in the year 2021.
One of these challenges, of course, involves the hiring of top candidates to fill important positions within Animal Health companies and Veterinary organizations.
Components of your Animal Health or Veterinary company culture
This is a challenge because the pandemic has made it problematic, if not impossible in some cases, for employers to interview job candidates in person. Video and virtual interviews have filled the gap and have proven to be valuable for many employers, but there are some things that are more difficult to convey to a job candidate when you can’t meet them face-to-face.
One of those things is your organization’s Animal Health or Veterinary company culture.
However, despite the fact that it is more difficult to convey your organization’s company culture, it’s more important than ever for you to do so. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, company culture is a critical factor for top candidates when they’re considering a new employment opportunity, perhaps more so than at any time in our nation’s history. And second, the COVID-19 pandemic has made company culture even more of a deciding factor for candidates, since for some people their first inclination is to “hunker down” and not make a move in this current climate.
With all of this in mind, there are three main facets of your Animal Health or Veterinary company culture that you must convey to candidates during the hiring process, especially if you do not meet the candidates in person. They are as follows:
- The COVID-pandemic itself
- Workplace flexibility
- Diversity and inclusion
As such, you can expect candidates to ask questions pertaining to these particular topics, and even if they don’t ask the questions specifically, you should be prepared to communicate this information, regardless. (In other words, don’t wait for the question to be asked before you give an answer.)
Animal Health and Veterinary company culture: COVID-19
Understandably, one of the top questions that candidates have right now is about the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s one of the major reasons that professionals are reluctant to consider new employment opportunities in the first place. So it makes sense that you should be able to answer their questions and alleviate their concerns during the hiring process. (And yes, how you have handled the pandemic and will handle it in the future are definitely considered to be part of your organization’s company culture.)
Below are just some of the concerns that candidates will have:
- Whether or not your organization closed because of the pandemic, and if so, when it reopened for business
- Whether or not your organization experienced layoffs or furloughs due to the pandemic
- What safety measures and protocols you have in place to protect employees from the virus
- Whether or not your organization provides paid sick leave for those who contract the COVID-19 virus
Be prepared to answer these questions, and if you’re not specifically asked about these topics, be prepared to share the information, anyway.
Animal Health and Veterinary company culture: workplace flexibility
The truth be told, this was a concern for candidates before the pandemic even started, but it’s even more so now. That’s because the pandemic has forced some organizations to allow employees to work from home. Of course, that’s not an option for some Animal Health and Veterinary organizations and Veterinary practices, which must have employees on site for animal care. (Although video and virtual care have slowly become more prevalent over the course of the last several months.)
In this current market, top candidates are looking for more workplace flexibility. This includes working remotely, the days of the week that they work, and the hours they work. These are all things they are going to want to know before they decide whether or not accept an offer of employment to work for your organization.
Animal Health and Veterinary company culture: diversity/inclusion
Like workplace flexibility, diversity was a concern before the pandemic began, and considering everything that’s happened in 2020, it’s become even more a point of focus. For some candidates, diversity and inclusion are among their core values. Since that’s the case, if they explore new employment opportunities, then they’ll only consider accepting an offer of employment from an organization that aligns with their core values.
Keep in mind that these days, an Animal Health company or Veterinary organization can’t be unclear in their stance regarding diversity and inclusion. They must have a clearly set position regarding these issues and be able to communicate this position to candidates during the hiring process. In fact, you have to do more than communicate. You must strive to overcommunicate in regards to these issues, especially considering the pandemic and the extraordinary steps organization must take during the recruiting and hiring process.
The supporting role a recruiter can play
As I’m sure you’re well aware, recruiting and hiring in this current environment is NOT easy. It requires a tremendous amount of time and energy, and with everything else going on in the world, it can sometimes seem like it’s overwhelming.
This is where an experienced Animal Health recruiter or Veterinary recruiter can be of assistance. They can help to communicate the things that you need to communicate to top job candidates, so that they have the information they need to make informed decisions about your open positions. Everything that was important to top candidates before the pandemic started is just as important now, if not more so. Your organization’s ability to communicate its Animal Health and Veterinary company culture could be the difference between hiring the top talent you need or letting those candidates slip away.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright © 2021 The VET Recruiter
The VET Recruiter is The Animal Health Executive Search Firm and The Veterinary Recruiting Firm
Stacy Pursell is an Animal Health Executive Recruiter and Veterinary Recruiter and Workplace/Workforce expert for the Animal Health Industry and Veterinary Profession.