Samantha: Welcome to “The Animal Health Employment Insider,” brought to you by The VET Recruiter. In this podcast, executive recruiter, Stacy Pursell, founder and CEO of The VET Recruiter, provides insight and practical advice for both employers and job seekers in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession. The VET Recruiter’s mission is to help Animal Health and Veterinary organizations hire top talent, while helping animal health and veterinary professionals attain career-enhancing opportunities that increase their quality of life.
In today’s podcast episode, we’ll be talking about a blueprint for hiring Animal Health and Veterinary employees. Hello, Stacy, and thank you for joining us today.
Stacy: Hello, Samantha. As always, I’m glad to be here.
Samantha: Stacy, we discussed a blueprint in our previous podcast episode. That one focused on growing your career as an Animal Health or Veterinary professional. Today, though, we’re going to address some employer issues, is that right?
Stacy: That’s right. We’re focusing on what employers can do to successfully hire employees. And there are a couple of important aspects about hiring. One is the fact that it requires significant time, energy, and effort. The second is that proper planning is required. If an organization does not plan to hire well, then it will ultimately not hire well.
And that’s what this blueprint that we’re talking about today is all about. It’s about planning to do the things that need to be done to hire top Animal Health and Veterinary employees. And specifically, we’re going to address three phases.
Samantha: What phases are those?
Stacy: First, upgrading your team through the hiring of new employees. Second, the elimination of poor-performing employees. And third, the retention of the best employees. Because if you’re successful in hiring the best candidates, that doesn’t matter much if you can’t retain those employees.
Samantha: That’s a great point, Stacy. Where would you like to begin?
Stacy: I’d like to start with the talent pool. As an employer, you have to make sure that your talent pool is as deep and wide as possible. When your pool is deeper and wider, you’re more likely to identify qualified candidates. For example, an A-level candidate in a shallow pool might only be a C-level candidate in a deeper pool.
In addition, employers should not treat all candidates the same.
Samantha: What does that mean Stacy?
Stacy: What I mean by that is not to approach all candidates in the same fashion. The reason for that is because candidates are not approaching the open position the same. There are active job seekers and passive candidates. One of the differences between active job seekers a passive candidates is that passive candidates are more likely to be among the top 5% to 10% of the talent in the marketplace.
That means, in a nutshell, that it takes more time, energy, and effort to hire such candidates.
Because of that, it’s important for employers to use the talent sourcing methods that they believe will produce the best candidates. In a best-case situation, an employer would know where there best hires and employees have come from. If they don’t, then they need to start tracking that information and make it a priority within their organization.
Samantha: How important is the way in which employers engage with candidates during the hiring process?
Stacy: It’s very important. Unfortunately, some employers don’t recognize its importance of how they engage candidates. Just like personal branding is critical in today’s employment marketplace, so is employer branding. The reason that it’s critical is because it’s more important to today’s candidates. Today’s candidates want more than just a great job. They also want to work for a great employer. That’s what employer branding is all about: showing to candidates that your organization is a great employer and a great place to work.
And the people who are part of the hiring process are also part of employer branding.
Samantha: Stacy, can you elaborate on that?
Stacy: Certainly. An employer has to make sure that the right people are part of the interview and hiring process. This means a couple of things. First, it means that those most closely associated with the position that the employer is attempting to fill should be part of the interview process. Second, those company officials who can effectively screen candidates should be part of the process. There should be good communication between everyone involved so that the employer can maximize the candidate experience.
When it comes to maximizing the candidate experience, you must effectively engage those candidates. The first way to do that is to communicate with the candidates often and set expectations with them. You have to let them know what the next step of the process is going to be.
Samantha: What will happen if an employer does not engage candidates during the hiring process?
Stacy: If an employer doesn’t engage the candidates in its hiring process, then those candidates are more likely to drop out of the process. That’s especially the case for A-level candidates, who typically have more options available to them.
Samantha: Stacy, what if a candidate makes it all the way through the hiring process and becomes an employee. What can the employer do at that point when it comes to our blueprint?
Stacy: The first thing is to improve the onboarding process. The first step in effective retention is effective onboarding. And what you have to remember is that onboarding starts the moment that a candidate accepts an organization’s offer of employment.
Samantha: Doesn’t the onboarding process start on the employee’s first day of work?
Stacy: I know that’s a common perception, but it’s not the case. Once a candidate accepts a job offer, the employer must keep engaging them and start the onboarding process. If the employer does not do that, then they run the risk of losing candidates. And when I say losing candidates, I mean those candidates might not show up for the first day of work. That’s happened before, and there are hiring managers who can attest to that.
But even if you successfully hire the best candidates and successfully onboard them, the work is not yet done.
Samantha: Why is that? What’s next?
Stacy: What’s next is a step that some hiring managers might not like or might make them uncomfortable. That step is to identify and address poor-performing employees. In some cases, that means firing or letting employees go. However, the point is to replace under-performing employees with top candidates. This is a method of hiring called “top grading,” where you replace the bottom 20% of your staff with A-level candidates through hiring.
Samantha: Instead of firing the employee, could the employer put the person on a plan designed to improve their performance?
Stacy: Absolutely. Whatever they do, though, the focus should be on improving the production and the performance of the organization. And our next item also speaks to production and performance.
Samantha: What is that?
Stacy: It’s recognizing and rewarding your top performers. This is a major step in terms of effective retention. Employees want to feel as though they’re being recognized and rewarded, and they especially want to feel as though their employer appreciates them. The last thing you should do as an employer is to take for your best employees for granted. If you don’t make them feel wanted, then they’re likely to look for employment elsewhere.
Samantha: I know that an Animal Health recruiter or Veterinary recruiter was part of the blueprint that we discussed on our previous podcast for candidates. Is that the case with this podcast, too?
Stacy: It certainly is! Working with an experienced Animal Health recruiter or Veterinary recruiter is definitely a way for an employer in the animal health industry or veterinary industry to gain a strategic competitive advantage in the marketplace over other employers.
That’s because executive recruiters know the top candidates in the marketplace. They also know the best strategies for identifying, interviewing, and hiring top talent.
Samantha: Some even know about retention. Stacy, don’t you have a CERS certification?
Stacy: Yes, I do. I’m one of a handful of people who have a Certified Employee Retention Specialist certification. This means that I’m uniquely qualified to provide expertise in the area of employee retention. And we discussed earlier, successful hiring is only successful when you also retain the people you hire.
And successful retention marks the end of our blueprint and of our podcast episode for today.
Samantha: Stacy, thanks so much for joining us today and providing all of this great information.
Stacy: You’re very welcome, Samantha, and thank you. Once again, it’s been my pleasure, and I look forward to our next episode of The Animal Health Employment Insider!