by Stacy Pursell, The VET Recruiter®
I’ve written a lot about money lately, specifically salary negotiations between Animal Health and Veterinary Employers and candidates. That’s because in this tight market, salary negotiations have become quite important.
However, they’re not important for every top candidate.
Now, it might seem inconceivable that not every top candidate cares about money. Heck, you might believe that every candidate everywhere in the world cares about money (although they may try to hide that fact from you). Well, I can tell you after more than 20 years as a recruiter and search consultant that not every candidate cares about money. And when I say that, I mean not every candidate makes money their #1 priority. After all, they have to care about money to some extent. They have bills to pay, just like the rest of us.
There is a type of top candidate that doesn’t care about money in this regard. This type of candidate has been dubbed the “lifestyle candidate.”
Good news, bad news for employers
While this type of candidate has always existed, they’ve become more prevalent during the last several years. One of the reasons for this is that the Millennial Generation contains more “lifestyle candidates” than other generations. And as you know, no generation is as well represented in the workforce right now as the Millennials.
This equates to a “good news, bad news” situation for employers, and since I mentioned the good news first, that’s what we’ll explore first. The good news is that if this candidate does not place a high priority on money, it means a two important things:
- The candidate is less likely to accept a counter-offer from their current employer if that counter-offer is focused on more money and/or other compensation. That’s because since money is not the candidate’s top priority, they are probably not wanting to leave their current employer because of money.
- The candidate is less likely to accept an offer from another employer after accepting your offer if that second offer is focused on more money and/or other compensation. Once again, that’s because since money is not the candidate’s top priority, they probably will not be wooed (and convinced to break their commitment to your organization) simply for the promise of what amounts to a few extra dollars.
See, isn’t that good news? However, that brings us to the bad news, which is this: since money is the not top priority for the “lifestyle candidate,” you must find out what is their top priority. And then you must offer that priority to them. If not, you have scant chance of successfully hiring them . . . no matter how much money you promise.
Top 4 career priorities
So what does this type of top candidate care about? Well, there are many things about which they care, but the ones I want to address in this blog post are the ones that will allow your organization to hire them. (After all, those are the ones about which you want to hear.)
Below are four of the top career priorities for the “lifestyle candidate”:
#1—To be treated fairly and with respect
The VET Recruiter® conducted a survey of candidates in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession. As part of that survey, we asked a series of questions, many of which dealt directly with employers and the hiring process.
We also asked candidates what they look for in an employer. One of the top answers was “Fairness/to be treated with respect.” So all candidates want to be treated fairly and with respect. However, the “lifestyle candidate” is even more likely to feel this way.
#2—To find meaning in their work
These types of candidates want to work for an employer that shares the same core values they share. That is how they feel as though they are finding meaning in their work. In addition, they want to make a difference in their community, and if possible, in the world at large. That means they want to know how your organization is making a difference in the community and the world at large. If your organization is not doing these things, then you are far less likely to hire this type of top candidate. This is one of the reasons why it’s critical to articulate your core values and effectively communicate them to employees.
#3—To advance in their career (move forward)
This is not only how you hire this type of top candidate, but it’s also how you retain their services. They place a high premium on personal and professional growth and progress, and either your organization is helping them to achieve these things or it’s standing in the way of achieving them. They want to contribute to the success of the organization, while at the same time attaining success of their own by plotting and following a career track that brings them satisfaction and a sense of fulfillment.
#4—To enjoy flexibility
This can denote a broad application, but it refers mostly to their schedule. If you’re a veterinary practice owner, obviously you have constraints in the area of scheduling. In some cases, the schedule is what the schedule is. However, whatever flexibility you can afford to the “lifestyle” candidate will go a long way toward getting their attention and keeping it. To some of these candidates, the “9-to-5 mentality” seems antiquated.
How does your organization stack up in these four areas? How much do you offer to candidates and current employees in these areas? Is it enough to keep them engaged? Is it enough to hire them and then retain them?
An experienced Animal Health Search Consultant or Veterinary Recruiter can help you to identify, recruit, and hire the top candidates in the marketplace, including the “lifestyle candidate.” They have the knowledge, skills, and experience to maximize the return you receive on your organization’s hiring efforts.
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.
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