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The Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession are very tight right now in terms of the employment marketplace. What does that mean, exactly? It means that high-quality candidates are difficult to find, and that’s especially the case in the Veterinary profession.
There are all sorts of numbers and statistics that back this up, including the following:
- A CNBC article last year stated that, “According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, opportunities for veterinarians are set to climb by some 18 percent through 2026, while roles for vet technicians will rise by 20 percent in the same time frame.”
- According to a DVM360 Magazine article published at the end of last year and titled “The Year Ahead: Things Are Looking Bright for the Veterinary Profession,” the unemployment rate in the Veterinary profession fell from 5% to 0.5% during 2017.
Where you should invest
Because of this, your best employees are at risk. What do I mean by that? Think about your best employees for a minute. Think about all of the value that they provide for you as an Animal Health Employer or Veterinary practice Employer. Now realize this fact: other organizations want those employees. Not only that, but those organizations are also prepared to offer those employees quite a lot to convince them to work for them instead.
This is why it is crucial for you as an Animal Health Employer or Veterinary Practice Employer to invest in your employees. Because if you don’t invest in them, those employees will leave!
It’s not enough to just pay your employees. You must invest in them. When you invest, you’re essentially communicating to them that you’re thinking about their future with the organization. And you want them to know that you’re thinking about their future within the organization because you want them to be thinking about their future with the organization, too. The reason: if they’re thinking about their future and it doesn’t involve your organization, then that future will involve another Animal Health Employer or Veterinary Practice Employer.
You want them to think about their future with your business and you want them to plan for that future. The way to accomplish this is by investing in them. But how can you do that? By focusing on where you should invest, starting with these four areas:
#1—Invest in their hard skills (technical skills).
There are many technical skills that are necessary for the Animal Health Industry and for the Veterinary profession, including skills related to equipment, especially in a veterinary practice. Not only that, but with technological advances, there’s also a need to stay up-to-date with these skills on a yearly basis. Offering training in this area will go a long way to making your top employees feel that you’re investing in them. And as a bonus, they’ll put these skills to work for you!
#2—Invest in their soft skills.
Interacting with pet owners for example falls into the category of soft skills. In other words, these are “people skills.” A veterinarian or veterinary technician might have amazing technical skills, but they might fall short in the area of soft skills. Offering training opportunities in this area is another way to invest in top employees and let them know that you’re interested in their future.
#3—Invest in their employment satisfaction.
This is an area that can NOT be overlooked. Top employees want to enjoy where they work. They want to enjoy their work-life balance. They want to enjoy the company culture. More than anything, though, they want to know that their work is appreciated. So show that appreciation in any way that you can. Even small gestures will be noticed and will strengthen retention.
#4—Invest in their career.
Top Animal Health and Veterinary professionals want more than just a good job. They want a great career. And if they think they won’t be able to achieve that great career by working with your Animal Health Organization or Veterinary Practice, then they will move on to another employer. Sit down with them and discuss their career goals. Ask them what they want to achieve and how you can help. This can pay big dividends.
The (many) benefits of investment
Obviously, an improved rate of retention is one of the benefits of investing in employees. However, it goes even beyond that. Because when you invest in your employees, you’re actually investing in yourself. You’re investing in your organization, because the return that you receive on that investment benefits your business.
As an illustration, below are some additional benefits of employee investment:
- More production—The more you invest in employees, especially their skills sets, the better they will become at their jobs. And more production means more efficiency and more profit for the business.
- Better reputation in the marketplace—When you invest in your employees, word gets around. And in this case, you wantword to get around. You want people to know that your business is an employer of choice in the marketplace.
- Better hiring prospects—With a better reputation comes better hiring prospects. That’s because more candidates are aware of you and what you do for your employees. And since you invest in your employees, they’ll want you to invest in them, as well!
As you can see, there are many benefits of investing in your employees, especially your top employees. Don’t just focus on the present. Treat your employees with one eye toward the future. Because if you don’t, they might not be part of your future.
(Editor’s note: Stacy Pursell has more than 20 years of experience as an Animal Health Recruiter and Veterinary Recruiter and is also a Certified Employee Retention Specialist, or CERS. Finding and retaining employees is the number-one concern of employers in today’s marketplace and this certification helps The VET Recruiter’s clients become better at retaining their employees in order for them to have a competitive advantage in the marketplace. If you have any questions about this article or about employee retention, please contact us at www.thevetrecruiter.com.)
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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