Hiring Strategies and Techniques for More Success in the New Year

by Stacy Pursell, CPC, CERS

The VET Recruiter®

As an Animal Health employer or Veterinary employer, you want to experience more hiring success in 2019 than you did in 2018. That only makes sense.

However, there are challenges aplenty that exist in the current marketplace. I have detailed these challenges in previous newsletter articles and blog posts. I reference them in this article because of the stark reality that these challenges are NOT going away anything soon. In fact, there’s a good chance that they’re going to become even more challenging in the New Year.

These challenges revolve mainly around a lack of qualified Animal Health candidates and Veterinary candidates for various open jobs. There are a ton of job openings in the marketplace right now, but there aren’t enough qualified candidates to fill them all. For example, by some estimates, there is one Veterinarian job applicant for every five job openings. That is a not good ratio if you’re an employer.

That’s why, as we head into the New Year, employers and hiring managers must be both proactive and intentional with their approach to hiring. They can’t afford to be reactive or passive in any way. If they do, they will miss out or end up with inferior candidates. And if you hire “B” and “C” candidates, then you’re going to receive “B” and “C” results.

A blueprint for hiring better candidates

Below are five hiring strategies and techniques for more hiring success in the New Year:

#1—Attach plenty of “sizzle” to your job opening.

First, your job description can’t read like a grocery shopping list. Don’t make it sound like a litany of duties that you want the candidate to carry out. Assume for a minute that you will hire someone who is capable of carrying out the duties. Instead, highlight whatever it is about the position that could be appealing to top candidates.

After all, top candidates are more than likely considering multiple opportunities. As such, they’re going to choose the one that they believe is the most exciting. Make yours sound interesting and attractive.

#2—Emphasize recruiting at the beginning of the hiring process.

Top candidates are not just going to “fall into your lap.” You must convince them to consider your opportunity. That means a lot of recruiting efforts on the front end. I can not overstate this.

Identifying top candidates is only the beginning. It doesn’t matter much if you identify them, but they’re not interested in your job openings. If that’s the case, then it wouldn’t matter if they existed at all. The existence of top candidates is only important if they know about your opportunity and they are interested in it.

#3—Emphasize negotiation at the end of the hiring process.

This is the bookend to #2 on our list. Recruiting gets the candidate interested in the position. Negotiation closes them at the end of the process so they accept your offer of employment and become an employee of your organization. Once again, it doesn’t matter if you’re able to convince top candidates to consider your opportunity if you can’t also convince them to work for your organization.

This is not horseshoes. You get no points for “coming close” to hiring the best candidates. All you get is an important position that’s still open and still costing your organization money.

#4—Hire for both the intangibles AND the tangibles.

Considering how scarce top talent is in this market, it’s extremely difficult to always hire your top choice. Sometimes they turn down your offer (which is why #3 is so important). Sometimes they accept a counter-offer from their current employer. And sometimes they just drop out of the hiring process, as though they disappeared from the face of the earth.

When that happens, you still need to hire. But if you can find a “diamond in the rough” candidate who may be lacking a bit in technical skills, but more than makes up for it with soft skills and other intangible attributes, you should add them to the team and help them fulfill their potential.

#5—Remember that people are the “X Factor” and your secret weapon.

Most of the time, people are the reason that people do things. This also extends to the professional realm and the world of employment. Specifically, it pertains to the fact that people like to work with people they like. This is why company culture is so important in today’s marketplace.

Candidates want to feel as though they fit in and they belong. They want to like the people they work with, and that includes their boss (especially their boss). So make a concerted effort to emphasize the culture and also be friendly and hospitable during the entirety of the hiring process.

An important bonus strategy

Another strategy for hiring success in the New Year is to partner with an experienced search consultant or executive recruiter who has a track record of success. That’s because a good search consultant can help with all of the areas outlined above. They can:

  • Identify the best candidates in the marketplace, including “diamond in the rough” candidates who have an impressive soft skill set with tremendous upside and potential.
  • Recruit those candidates to consider your employment opportunity.
  • Keep them engaged throughout the hiring process.
  • Negotiate effectively with those candidates to successfully close them so they accept your offer of employment and join your team.

The longer that an important position remains unfilled at your organization, the more money it costs. A search consultant, on the other hand, does not cost you money when you look at it as an investment to hire top people. They are, in essence, an investment. That’s because they help you to fill the position as quickly as possible with the most qualified person possible. And once that person is hired, their production represents a return that you should expect to receive on the investment you made in the search consultant.

So be intentional, be proactive, and implement these strategies and techniques that can help you enjoy more hiring success in the New Year!

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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