Yvette: 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 how to spot exceptional Animal Health or Veterinary candidates. Hello, Stacy, and thank you for joining us today.
Stacy: Hello, Yvette. As always, I’m glad to be here.
Yvette: Stacy, today’s topic is about talent assessment. Can you talk for a little bit about why that’s so important in today’s market?
Stacy: I certainly can Yvette. The ability to assess talent is highly important in every kind of job market, but it’s more important in the kind of job market we have right now. The current job market is very tight for talent, the tightest it’s ever been during my career. Qualified candidates are difficult to find, and since that’s the case, time is of the essence. Not only is it important to assess talent correctly, but it’s also important to assess talent both correctly and quickly.
Yvette: Is that because other organizations are also assessing the same talent?
Stacy: That’s right Yvette. When you come across a top candidate, you have to move quickly, because another Animal Health organization or Veterinary practice could also be assessing the same candidate. It’s almost like a race. When top talent is scarce like it has been, you have to assess and hire great candidates before your competition does.
Yvette: So we’re going to talk today about how to assess talent and how to spot exceptional candidates?
Stacy: Yes, that’s right.
Kennedy: Where would you like to start Stacy?
Stacy: With motivation. An exceptional candidate or employee is intrinsically motivated. There are two types of motivation: intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation comes from within. It’s caused by internal factors within a person. These factors could include the desire to contribute to a team, accomplish goals, or feel successful. They can also include the need to be part of something or feel as though you’re making a difference in some way through the work that you do.
Extrinsic motivation, on the other hand, is based on external factors. These factors include things such as salary, benefits, or the feeling of job security. These are, for the most part, positive factors. There are also negative factors, such as the fear of losing your job. That’s an external factor that’s also negative in nature.
Yvette: So you’re saying that exceptional candidates are typically intrinsically motivated?
Stacy: Yes, most of the time, although not always. The second characteristic of an exceptional Animal Health or Veterinary candidate is that they’re a quick learner. And by that, I mean they pick things up quickly, everything from technical skills to soft skills to managerial skills. When a candidate is a quick learner, there are certain tell-tale signs in their employment history, including being assigned large projects on a consistent basis. That means their manager or supervisor trusted them with those assignments and had faith they would excel in them.
Yvette: If a candidate has a history of working on large projects and assignments, doesn’t that also indicate they can excel working in a group?
Stacy: It does, and I’m glad you brought that up! The ability to work in a collaborative fashion is critical, and exceptional candidates are those who possess that ability. In fact, those who possess the ability are usually those who are leadership material. Working well with others is the first step in leading others, and if there’s one thing that employers can never get enough of, it’s leaders. Employers need and want people who are willing to take charge in a positive way, both within the scope of their individual position and also when they’re working as part of a group in pursuit of a common goal.
Yvette: So if an Animal Health employer or Veterinary employer is hiring for a managerial role, that employer should focus on candidates who have a track record of leading teams?
Stacy: That’s absolutely right. If you’re looking for an exceptional candidate at the managerial level, leading teams well is a must. In a case such as that, the hiring manager or practice owner should focus on that aspect of the candidate’s work history and ask probing questions that will give them an idea of how successful the candidate has been in that area. An exceptional managerial candidate should have a superb track record of both building and leading teams of people.
Yvette: That makes sense. But what if the position that an employer is trying to fill is not a managerial role. What if a particular candidate does not have managerial experience or does not have any experience leading a team, per se? How else can you determine if they’re exceptional?
Stacy: One way is if their work history suggests that they’ve filled a variety of roles at their previous employer.
Yvette: How does that show they’re an exceptional candidate?
Stacy: A couple of different ways. First, it shows that they’re a quick learner, which we discussed earlier. Someone who is able to pick up new skills and tasks quickly is able to fill a number of roles and do different things. Organizations, especially those that are strapped in terms of manpower, will not hesitate to ask its employees to take on new responsibilities to cover gaps in the workload. An exceptional candidate is someone who has a track record of being an exceptional employee in this area.
Yvette: Is that because not only is the person able to learn quickly and do multiple things at once, but also because they’re willing to do so?
Stacy: Yes, that’s right. This is also something we mentioned earlier. People who are intrinsically motivated are more likely to be willing to acquire new skills and also take on additional responsibilities. So you can see how all of these characteristics are coming together.
Yvette: It’s like they’re all related and interconnected. But there’s one thing we haven’t talked about yet. I know it may seem like it’s an obvious thing, and maybe that’s why.
Stacy: What thing is that?
Yvette: What about promotions and awards and things of that nature? Those would be indications of an exceptional candidate, wouldn’t they?
Stacy: Yes, that’s right. However, if you’re an employer, you can’t base your decision about whether or not a candidate is exceptional on their number of promotions or awards alone. Now, it’s true that promotions, awards, and formal recognition are all ways to spot an exceptional candidate. But how the person achieved those things is at least as important as the fact they did achieve them. In fact, it might be more important.
Yvette: What do you mean by that?
Stacy: Well, a person could receive a lot of formal recognition by hogging the spotlight all the time. Or they might take the credit for other people’s work, especially when working within a group setting. What you want to see is someone who has received recognition for doing things the right way. To find that out, though, an employer must ask a lot of questions and the right questions during the interview.
Yvette: Stacy, when you say that, do you mean conducting a behavioral-based interview?
Stacy: Yes, asking questions associated with a behavioral-based interview is a good strategy. That’s because you want to know the behaviors of a candidate, not just what they’ve accomplished. Once you understand a candidate’s behaviors, you’ll better understand the way in which they’ve reached their achievements. And another way to find out about a candidate’s behaviors is to conduct thorough reference checks. Reference checks should not be dismissed or overlooked. They are an important part of the interviewing and hiring process.
Yvette: Stacy, what is the role of an Animal Health recruiter or Veterinary recruiter in all of this?
Stacy: That’s a good question, and I’m glad you asked. Part of the value a recruiter provides to employers is that they already know the top talent in the marketplace. They already know who the exceptional candidates are. The reason is because they’ve likely been working with those candidates for years if they are in a niche industry and they know the talent in their niche. They’ve probably talked with them on numerous occasions and they’ve built relationships with them. Not only that, but they also know what these candidates are looking for in their career and they know the kind of opportunities for which these candidates would make a move.
As we’ve discussed before on our podcast, it’s not enough to just spot exceptional Animal Health and Veterinary candidates. You have to be able to recruit them and hire them, as well.
Yvette: Stacy, thank you so much for all of this great information. And for those people who are considering a job change, there are plenty of employment opportunities on The VET Recruiter website, aren’t there?
Stacy: Yes, there are. For those listeners who want to change their current situation and are interested in exploring Animal Health jobs or Veterinary jobs, I invite them to visit our website at www.thevetrecruiter.com. We have numerous employment opportunities available on our site, and new ones are posted all the time.
Yvette: Once again, the website address for The VET Recruiter is www.thevetrecruiter.com. Stacy, as always, thank you for joining us today.
Stacy: It is my pleasure Yvette. I look forward to our next episode of the Animal Health Employment Insider!