By Stacy Pursell, CPC/CERS
The VET Recruiter®
The marketplace for hiring in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession is as tight as I’ve ever seen it, in my 23 years as an Animal Health executive recruiter. Even though we’re in the midst of a pandemic and there is still uncertainty in the job market and the economy overall, candidates (especially top candidates) still have the leverage.
And when I say that they have the leverage, what I mean is that in a great many cases—quite possibly even the majority of the cases—an employer typically needs a candidate more than the candidate needs the employer. Simply put, there are more job openings and positions available in the marketplace (especially in Veterinary Medicine) than there are qualified candidates to fill those positions. Because this is the case, the candidates that do exist in the marketplace not only have plenty of leverage, but they also have plenty of options in terms of their employment opportunities.
Why a candidate would reject your job offer
I know for a fact that some Animal Health and Veterinary organizations have been making offers of employment to candidates, only to have the candidates reject those offers. The reality of the current situation is that employers must make an extremely attractive offer to their top choice if they want to have a chance of that candidate accepting the offer. In this current market and considering the employer-candidate dynamic that I’ve already addressed, you can not low-ball a candidate, especially a top candidate.
In fact, in some cases, even a solid or adequate offer of employment will not get the job done. Instead, an extraordinarily attractive offer must be made in order to secure the services of a top candidate. The bottom line is that if you’re an Animal Health company or Veterinary practice and you’ve had candidates reject offers of employment that you’ve extended to them, then you’re not making the best offers. At the very least, these offers are not considered the best by the candidates who are considering them—and when you think about it, that’s the only measure of assessment that really matters.
I’ve addressed this before in previous articles and blog posts, but there are four main reasons why a candidate would reject an offer of employment:
1. The compensation contained in the offer is too low.
2. They received a counteroffer from their current employer.
3. They received an offer from another organization, quite possibly one of your competitors.
4. The hiring process was too long and drawn out.
While it’s true that all four of these reasons are different in some way, it’s also true that a better offer of employment might have further convinced the candidate to accept it and join the organization that made it. Let’s examine three of the aforementioned four reasons through the lens of this perspective:
• A better offer, especially in terms of compensation, counters the first reason that the compensation contained in the offer is too low.
• A better overall offer would help prevent the candidate from accepting a counteroffer from their current employer.
• A better offer would also help prevent the candidate from accepting an offer from another organization.
What about the fourth and final reason, you ask? Even if you are prepared to make an exceptional offer to your top candidate, if you draw out the hiring process too long, the candidate may drop out of it. And if the candidate drops out of the process, then you won’t even have the chance to make your exceptional offer to them. This underscores the importance of a timely recruiting and hiring process in the pursuit of top talent.
Numbers to know before making the job offer
There are steps that you can take as an Animal Health or Veterinary employer to help ensure that the candidate you’re making the offer to actually accepts the offer. One of those steps involves knowing the following three numbers, the combination of which puts you in a much better position to actually hire the candidate you want hire:
1. The salary that your organization can afford to pay
2. The current market value for the position (or what other organizations are paying to fill similar positions with top-tier talent)
3. The exact level of compensation needed to guarantee that your offer is accepted
If you don’t know these numbers, then your chances of the candidate accepting your offer declines drastically, especially considering the current market conditions and the leverage that top candidates have in terms of their options and opportunities. One way to make sure that you know these numbers is to enlist the services of an Animal Health executive recruiter.
If you are working with an experienced Animal Health executive recruiter, then it’s important to allow the professional recruiter to make the job offer to the candidate when the time comes. While this might seem counterintuitive to a hiring manager, there is a very good reason why this is the case, namely that the professional recruiter has been working with the candidate throughout the entire process. Because of this, the candidate expects the recruiter to present the offer to them.
Unfortunately, I have been witness to situations in which a hiring manager has insisted upon being the one to make the offer to the candidate. More than once, the candidate was perplexed by the move, to the point where they decided to reject the offer. Considering what is at stake, it’s a more strategic move to allow the recruiter to make the offer. This is the best way to ensure that the candidate will accept said offer.
I’ve made the following point many times, but I feel as though I must make it again. Hiring top talent is not like buying electronics. You can not attempt to get the most value possible for the least amount of money. It does not work that way when you’re trying to hire the best candidates in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession.
To convince the best candidates to accept your offer of employment and join your organization, you must make the best job offer.
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