Angela: 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 acquire 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 simple tip for hiring great Animal Health and Veterinary employees. Hello, Stacy, and thank you for joining us today.
Stacy: Hello, Angela. As always, I’m glad to be here.
Angela: Stacy, we’ve shared hiring tips before on our podcast. What makes this one so different that we’re devoting a whole episode to it?
Stacy: Well, that is a good question. It is because it represents a shift in the way that company hiring officials and veterinary practice owners and managers should think about hiring. And actually, what gave me the idea to talk about this on the show was a hiring manager of one of my clients. We were talking the other day, and he said to me, “I’m looking for someone who is motivated. I’m not looking for someone who is smart,”
Angela: That is certainly an interesting thing for a hiring manager to say.
Stacy: I thought so, too, but it does makes sense. And I’m going to do something that I’ve done more frequently in the past few weeks. I’m going to use a quote to illustrate what we’re talking about. I’ve been using quotes at the beginning of my articles and blog posts on the The VET Recruiter website, and I’ve also started to use them on our podcast.
Today’s quote is from a book by Simon Sinek. The title of the book is Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action. The quote is “Great companies don’t hire skilled people and motivate them, they hire already motivated people and inspire them.”
Now, being smart is one thing, but being motivated is another. Just because you’re smart does not necessarily mean that you’re motivated.
Angela: Stacy, when you say motivated, you’re talking about people who are intrinsically motivated, is that right?
Stacy: Yes, I’m glad you brought that up. The type of motivation I’m talking about is intrinsic. That means being motivated from the inside or being able to motivate yourself. Extrinsic motivation, on the other hand, is being motivated from outside forces. For example, being told that you’ll be fired if you don’t do something is extrinsic motivation.
So, yes. It’s intrinsic motivation. We’ve all known plenty of people who were smart, but were also lazy or they didn’t apply themselves.
So my simple tip for hiring great Animal Health and Veterinary employees is to hire motivated individuals and then inspire them once they join your organization.
Angela: Stacy, why is being motivated more important than intelligence?
Stacy: Let me say that ideally, an Animal Health or Veterinary employer should strive to hire a person who is both intelligent and motivated. That would represent the best-case scenario. However, even if a candidate does not have the optimum amount of skills or experience, but they’re an extremely motivated individual, then they could still be a great fit for an organization.
Personally, I believe this tip is even more important in light of current market conditions.
Angela: Why is that, Stacy?
Stacy: Because there is an overall lack of quality candidates in the marketplace today. There simply isn’t enough of them, especially in the Veterinary profession with the unemployment rate hovering barely above 1%. So if an employer comes across a candidate who may be lacking slightly in some areas, such as skills or experience, but they’re highly motivated, it may benefit the employer to consider hiring that person.
Angela: How exactly would it benefit the employer?
Stacy: There are a number of different ways. First of all, if the person is lacking in certain areas, whether it be technical skills or soft skills, if they are a motivated individual, they’ll likely be motivated to improve in those areas. The employer will hardly have to suggest that they do so. They’ll probably already have a plan for doing it.
It goes way beyond just that, though.
Angela: How so?
Stacy: As a motivated person, the new employee will be more engaged with their job and with the workplace, just by their very nature. Not only will that make the person more productive, but it will also make them a better fit for the company culture. By and large, motivated people are better co-workers and better collaborators. To put it another way, they work and play well with others, which is what you want as an employer. They won’t be a problem. In fact, they’ll solve problems, which brings me to my next point.
Angela: What point is that?
Stacy: Basically, that they’re problem solvers! Motivated people are more likely to actively seek solutions to problems and not wait for someone else to do it.
Angela: And if I remember correctly, being a problem solver is a form of value, is that correct?
Stacy: That’s absolutely correct. In fact, being a problem solver is one of the most important forms of value there is. That’s because there is no shortage to the number of problems in the world, but there is definitely a shortage of problem solvers. Animal Health and Veterinary organizations want to hire and employ as many problem solvers as they possibly can, and those individuals who are intrinsically motivated are more likely to provide that kind of value.
Angela: It also seems to me that motivated employees would also likely be good when it comes to dealing with other people. Would that be fair to say?
Stacy: Yes, it would. Being good with people is an excellent soft skill to possess, as well as an excellent form of value to provide. Animal Health and Veterinary employees have to deal with people, typically on a daily basis. This is especially the case for those working within the Veterinary profession. That’s because they’re not just dealing with pets, but they’re also dealing with pet owners.
And sometimes, when they interact with those pet owners, the owners are upset because there is something wrong with their pet or their pet is sick. So this is a situation where a motivated employee will excel more than just an intelligent one.
But there is two parts to this whole equation.
Angela: There is? What’s the second part?
Stacy: First, you must hire motivated people. Second, you must inspire those people once they become employees.
Angela: Ah, okay. I see. So how do you motivate them as an employer?
Stacy: There are few ways that you can accomplish this. First, you have to cast a vision for the employees and communicate to them how they fit into the vision. Hopefully, this will provide them with a sense of purpose and a sense of belonging. These are all things that motivated people want.
Angela: Stacy, I’m guessing that in order for an Animal Health or Veterinary organization to truly inspire their employees, it must have good leaders or a strong management team.
Stacy: Yes, that’s right. The management and the leaders within the organization must provide the inspiration that’s necessary. If they don’t provide inspiration, then these motivated employees will eventually look elsewhere for inspiration. And that will hurt the organization’s retention rate, for sure.
Angela: What else can an employer do to inspire its employees?
Stacy: The employer must trust them to do their job and get the desired results. Motivated people do not need to be micromanaged, and they certainly do not want to be micromanaged. They believe that they can be trusted to get the results that their employer is seeking, and they expect to be trusted to achieve those results. If they think their employer does not trust them, then that’s another reason they will eventually seek employment elsewhere.
Trust can be a very inspirational tool, especially for those employees who are already intrinsically motivated. And that leads us to our final tip for inspiring employees.
Angela: What would that be?
Stacy: Show appreciation to employees for the work they do, especially when those employees provide high levels of value to the organization with that work. We’ve discussed this before. It does not take much to show appreciation to employees. It can just be a kind word or even verbal recognition in front of everyone else in the department.
Angela: Does appreciation include raises and promotions?
Stacy: Yes, absolutely. But you don’t have to wait until it’s time to pass out raises or give a promotion to show appreciation. You can do it at any time. You could do it every day, if you wanted to!
Angela: Stacy, I noticed that all of these things have to do with retention. That’s not an accident, is it?
Stacy: No, not at all. All of the things that we’re discussing are retention strategies for keeping your best employees. Because once again, what is the point of hiring truly great candidates if those candidates eventually leave after they become employees? Hiring motivated people should be a top priority for Animal Health organizations and Veterinary practices. However, it should also be a top priority to do whatever is necessary to inspire these employees so that you can maximize their production and also retain their services for the long haul.
Angela: Stacy, as always, thank you so much for joining us today and providing all of this great information.
Stacy: You’re very welcome, Angela. It’s been my pleasure, and I look forward to our next episode of the Animal Health Employment Insider!