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10 Tips for Building (and Maintaining) Great Employees in 2019
by Stacy Pursell, CPC, CERS

The VET Recruiter®

If there’s one thing that every Animal Health and Veterinary employer wants to do in 2019, it’s to have a dynamic workforce. At the very least, they want to have a more dynamic and impactful workforce this year than in 2018. There is always room to improve.

Doing so, though, requires quite a bit of time, energy, and effort. Not only that, but it also requires planning. Without proper planning, an organization’s investment of time, energy, and effort becomes unfocused and ultimately largely ineffective.

In addition, what we’re discussing actually involves three distinct phases:

  1. Upgrading employees
  2. The elimination of poor-performing employees
  3. The retention of the best employees

After all, what’s the point of hiring the best candidates in the marketplace as employees if you can’t retain those employees? And we all know the detrimental effect a poor-performing employee can have on a department or a business.

Below are 10 tips for building (and maintaining) great employees in 2019:

#1—Make your talent pool deeper and wider.

It makes sense: when you cast your net in a deeper and wider body of water, you’re more likely to catch fish. (Not that top candidates are like fish, of course.) Which would you rather have, the top candidate in a shallow and narrow pool or the top candidate in a deeper and wider pool? The answer is obvious, since what might look like an A-level candidate in the first pool might only be a C-level candidate in the second one.

#2—Stop treating all candidates the same.

To put this another way, stop approaching all candidates in the same fashion. That’s because they’re not all approaching your open position the same. There are active job seekers and there are passive candidates. As a general rule, passive candidates are more likely to be among the top 5% to 10% of the talent in the marketplace. That means you need to exert more time, energy, and effort to successfully hire them.

#3—Use the talent sourcing methods that produce the best candidates.

If you don’t know which methods have historically produced the best candidates for your Animal Health company or Veterinary practice, then change this step to “Identify the talent sourcing methods that produce the best candidates.” Ideally, you should be tracking this information, and if you haven’t, then make this a priority for 2019.

#4—Recognize the importance of employee branding.

Just like some Animal Health and Veterinary professionals overlook personal branding, some hiring managers overlook this as well. Employee branding is more important in this day and age, largely because it’s more important to today’s candidates. They want more than just a great job. They also want to work for a great employer that holds the same values they do.

#5—Make sure that the right people are part of the hiring process.

What do we mean by this? First, those most closely associated with the position you’re attempting to fill should be part of the process. Second, those who can effectively screen candidates and assess their candidacy should be part of the process. In addition, everyone involved should communicate with one another regarding all aspects of the process to maximize the candidate experience.

#6—Engage candidates during the hiring process.

Speaking of maximizing the candidate experience, if you want to hire the best candidates, then you must effectively engage them. This means a number of different things. It means setting expectations. It means communicating with candidates often. It means letting them know what the next step of the process is going to be. If you don’t engage with top candidates, then they are more likely to drop out of the interview and hiring process completely.

#7—Improve the onboarding process.

The first step in effective retention is effective onboarding. And when does onboarding start? It starts the moment that a candidate accepts your organization’s offer of employment. It’s tempting to believe that it starts on the employee’s first day of work, but that is simply not the case. Any hiring manager or practice owner who has lost a new hire between the time they accepted an offer and the time they were supposed to start work can attest to that.

#8—Identify and address poor-performing employees.

This might be the step that makes a hiring manager or a practice owner the most uncomfortable. However, it’s a necessary step. Now, what you do once you’ve identified these employees is up to you. For instance, you might opt to provide them with more training. You might place them on probation, as well as put them on a plan designed to increase their performance. You might discontinue their employment. Or you might do all three.

#9—Recognize and reward your top performers.

This is a major step in terms of retention. Top performers want to feel as though they’re being recognized and rewarded. They want to feel as though their employer appreciates them. This is especially the case with Millennials, who now make up the majority of the workforce. You just can’t assume that top performers know they’re appreciated. That appreciation must be intentional and it must be evident.

#10—Align yourself with an experienced Animal Health recruiter or Veterinary recruiter.

Search consultants and executive recruiters can be a wealth of information. They know the top candidates in the marketplace. They know what the competition is doing. They know the best strategies for identifying, interviewing, and hiring top talent. Some even know the best techniques for retaining candidates after they become employees. (In fact, as one of a handful of people with a Certified Employee Retention Specialist certification, I am uniquely qualified to provide expertise in the area of employee retention).

Is your Animal Health company or Veterinary practice properly prepared for 2019? Are you ready to do what is necessary to enjoy hiring success and increase the performance and productivity of your employees, especially in terms of the steps outlined above?

You can bet that other Animal Health employers and Veterinary employers are doing everything they can to build and maintain great employees in the new year. Don’t fall behind. Follow the steps outlined above and make 2019 the best year yet for your organization!

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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