The Top Trends for Animal Health and Veterinary Talent This Year

by Stacy Pursell, CPC, CERS

The VET Recruiter®

We are the deepest into a candidates’ job market as I have witnessed in my more than 20 years as an Animal Health recruiter and Veterinary recruiter. This candidates’ job market has been ongoing for several years, and it appears to now be reaching a “fever pitch.”

What does this “fever pitch” look like? Well, it looks like quite a few things, all of which employers should be aware, especially those that are looking to hire in 2019.

For more information regarding this topic, we turn to the social media platform LinkedIn, which recently surveyed 5,000 talent acquisition professionals from around the world. The purpose of the survey was to help LinkedIn identify the major talent trends that will shape the employment marketplace in 2019.

The result of the survey is LinkedIn’s Global Talent Trends 2019 Report. (You can download the report by clicking here.)

Below are the top trends not just for the employment marketplace at large, but also for Animal Health and Veterinary talent in 2019:

Trend #1—A respectful and welcoming culture

Employees have always wanted to belong to this type of culture, but now it appears that more employers are providing it. Certainly, the #MeToo Movement had something to do with that. We at The VET Recruiter have surveyed candidates during the past few years regarding what they want most in an employer, and the answer “To be treated with respect” was toward the top of the list.

This extends beyond sexual harassment in its many forms. Employees don’t want to be harassed for any reason by anyone. And this trend is important not just in terms of hiring. It’s also vitally important in terms of retention. In fact, it might be even more important, since if a candidate agrees to join an organization and they find out that the culture breeds and cultivates harassment, then they will leave as soon as they possibly can. And they will not care at all what anyone thinks about their quick departure.

Trend #2—More workplace and schedule flexibility

Yes, there are certain limits within the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession in terms of this trend, especially with the latter. That’s because there are two key considerations: when the employee does their work and where the employee does their work.

A Veterinary professional is largely restricted by the fact they many veterinarians for example work at a brick and mortar practice and they must work the hours that the practice sets. In fact, they might have to work some evening hours and on the weekends, too. Let’s face it: you can’t predict when a pet is going to become sick.

That being said, it is true there are some jobs within the Animal Health industry that offer more workplace and schedule flexibility. A key factor driving this trend within the employment marketplace is technology. There are numerous technological tools that are now allowing more employees to work remotely, and having the opportunity to work remotely has become more of a priority for many top candidates.

According to data collected by LinkedIn through its survey, below are the main benefits of providing more workplace flexibility for employees:

  • Improves work-life balance
  • Encourages retention
  • Attracts more candidates
  • Increases productivity
  • Expands available talent pool

Regardless of your organization’s ability to provide workplace and schedule flexibility and the degree to which you can provide that flexibility, this is a major trend in the employment marketplace.

Trend #3—The growing importance (and scarcity) of soft skills

I can say with 100% certainty that I’ve witnessed this trend grow during the last several years. Soft skills have become more important to employers, while at the same time it seems as though some soft skills are becoming scarcer among candidates. One of those skills is active listening, which I’ve addressed previously on more than one occasion.

However, that’s just one soft skill that is sorely lacking in the marketplace. According to data collected by LinkedIn through its survey, below are other soft skills in high demand relative to their supply:

  • Creativity
  • Persuasion (or as I like to say, this another word for sales)
  • Collaboration
  • Adaptability
  • Time management

Yet another critical soft skill is resilience. You might say that’s a trait or characteristic as opposed to a skill, but I disagree. A person can improve their resilience, just as they can improve any other skill. And just like the other ones listed above, resilience seems in short supply these days.

During the last several years, employer branding has become more of a factor in the employment marketplace. As a result, an organization’s employer brand is critical in that organization’s attempts to attract and hire the best candidates.

There are two parts to your organization’s employer brand. The first part is the experience that you provide to candidates during the hiring process. The second part is the experience that you provide to employees after you hire them. These two parts are interrelated, and here’s how:

How you treat your employees not only affects how well you retain those employees, but can also serve as a way in which to attract top candidates to your organization. For example, if you treat employees well, including by observing the talent trends listed above, then “word will get around.” Your organization’s reputation, as well as its employer brand, will reap the benefits. Consequently, more candidates—including top candidates—will want to work for your organization. You will become an employer of choice which is what every employer should strive to be.

The bottom line is that if an Animal Health organization or Veterinary practice wants to consistently hire well in this market, then it must recognize the trends that are affecting and motivating top talent. This is especially the case in a candidates’ market like the one we’re currently experiencing.

Failure to take all of these factors into consideration will translate into a corresponding failure to hire the candidates that you need to succeed in the marketplace.

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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