Episode #137 – Why It Never Hurts to Have a Conversation with Animal Health or Veterinary Employer

Yvette: Welcome to “The Animal Health Employment Insider,” brought to you by The VET Recruiter. In this podcast, executive recruiter and search consultant 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 why it never hurts to have a conversation with an Animal Health or Veterinary employer. Hello, Stacy, and thank you for joining us today.

Stacy: Hello,Yvette. As always, I’m glad to be here. I have been looking forward to today’s podcast. We have an interesting topic today to discuss and an important one as well.

Yvette: Stacy, you talked about a similar topic on this podcast, did you not?

Stacy: That’s right. On a previous podcast episode, I talked about how it never hurts to have a conversation with an Animal Health recruiter or Veterinary recruiter.

Yvette: I imagine there are some similarities between these two topics, is that right?

Stacy: Yes that is right. What I’m doing today is taking things a step further with this podcast episode. As we’ve mentioned before, I’ve been a executive recruiter and have worked in search for more than 20 years. During that time, I’ve reached out thousands of professionals about job opportunities. Sometimes when I have approached someone they have said to me “I’m happy where I am” or “I’m not looking for a new position.” Then, after I presented the opportunity to them, they made the decision to consider the opportunity because they acknowledged that the position was better than the job they currently had.

Some of these people who initially balked when I contacted them about the opportunity ended up interviewing and then accepting the offer of employment once it was made. Not only that, but afterwards, they thanked me for convincing them to consider the opportunity when I first contacted them.

Yvette: Stacy, they thanked you for convincing them to move forward and consider the job opportunity after it was all said and done but when you first contacted them they said they “were happy” or “not looking” for a new job?

Stacy: That’s right. They said if it wasn’t for me, they would not have known that the job existed and even if they did, they would not have taken the time to explore it or consider it. That is because they were busy and gainfully employed and happy working somewhere else. However, since it happened the way that it did, where I contacted them and convinced them to at least speak with another employer,  they’re now in a better employment situation, and that situation has made both their personal and professional life better.

And that’s why I want to talk about why it never hurts to have a conversation with an Animal Health employer or Veterinary employer. Because it certainly did not hurt these people. In fact, it helped them tremendously to move forward in their career.

Yvette: Stacy, what made the difference for these people whose lives you changed?

Stacy: What made the difference is that they realized they had nothing to lose by first, having a conversation with a recruiter, and second, having a conversation with an employer.

Yvette: When you say “having a conversation,” do you mean a face-to-face interview?

Stacy: Yes, that’s right. They did have a face to face interview but the first step was to do a phone interview in most cases.  Many hiring managers both in the Animal Health industry and the veterinary profession screen candidates first over the telephone before asking them to come onsite for a formal interview. But yes, that’s what I mean by “having a conversation.” I mean having a conversation with an employer to explore the opportunity further. You never know if there could be opportunities in the marketplace that are better than what you have now unless you are willing to explore what is out there and have a conversation.  Again, you have nothing to lose by doing that and much to potentially gain.

Yvette: And when you say they had nothing to lose, what do you mean by that?

Stacy: I mean there was very little risk involved. They simply made the decision to explore the opportunity. They didn’t make any sort of commitment to the opportunity until they accepted the organization’s offer of employment. As a candidate, you can go all the way through the hiring process, receive an offer of employment, and then simply decline that offer. You have not made a commitment of any kind until you’ve made a commitment. There is no decision to make unless you have a job offer in hand. That’s one of the things that these professionals understood, and they benefited greatly because of that understanding.

We’ve done this before, but I’d like to look at the situation once again through the lens of the “best case-worst case scenario.”

Yvette: Okay. Where would you like to start?

Stacy: I’m going to switch things up and start with the worst case, since that’s the case people usually dread and the reason they don’t consider other employment opportunities in the first place.

In the worst-case scenario, the person would decide that the employment opportunity is not that much better than what they currently have. Even if they had a phone screen with the hiring manager or had a phone screen and a face-to-face interview, they simply decide that they do not want to continue pursuing the opportunity. And that’s it. That’s the worst-case scenario: they find out the opportunity really isn’t that much better than the job they currently have and they drop out of the running for it. How bad is that?

Yvette: That’s really not too bad as far as worst-case scenarios go.

Stacy: No, it’s not. The problem is that people often conjure up worst-case scenarios in their head, scenarios that usually never happen. Then they use these imaginary scenarios as a reason to not consider or pursue a new employment opportunity.

Yvette: Can you give some examples of these imaginary worst-case scenarios?

Stacy: I certainly can. For instance, the person could believe that their boss or employer will somehow find out that they’re talking with a recruiter. Or worse yet, they’ll believe their boss or employer will find out that they’re talking with another Animal Health company or Veterinary practice. Pretty soon, they think that just having a conversation with a recruiter or participating in a phone screen is going to get them fired.

Yvette: But that doesn’t happen?

Stacy: No, that doesn’t happen. In fact I do not recall a time when I have seen that happen.  I’ve not personally received a phone call or an email from a professional who said they were fired just for talking with me or going on an interview with one of my clients. This is more than 20 years of experience talking here. Despite that, people still conjure up all sorts of worst-case scenarios in their minds.

Some people are also under the mistaken assumption that just because they talk with a recruiter or talk with a hiring manager at an animal health company or veterinary practice owner that they’ve made a commitment of some kind. I addressed this earlier. Just talking with someone is not a commitment.

Yvette: What about the issue of loyalty? Do some people feel as though they’re being disloyal simply by considering another employment opportunity?

Stacy: That’s an excellent point. Yes, believe it or not, some people think they’re being disloyal even thinking about another employment opportunity. Unfortunately, these people have a disproportionate sense of loyalty. They feel like they must have a sense of loyalty to their employers, but most of the time, their employers do not feel the same sense of loyalty to them. It’s really unfortunate.  I have seen people be so loyal to a company only to be let go when there is a downturn in the company or a merger and acquisition. Then they realize the loyalty didn’t go both ways.

I tell Animal Health and Veterinary professionals that they need to be loyal to themselves and do what is best for their family, and their career. Loyalty is an admirable trait. But misplaced loyalty can have unintended consequences, and missing out on a great new employment opportunity that could be better for you is one of those consequences.

Yvette: What about the best-case scenario?

Stacy: Essentially, the best-case scenario is exactly like the real-life instances and case studies that I referenced at the beginning of today’s podcast episode. First, the person learns about an employment opportunity that turns out to be better than the job they currently have. It could be a position that gives them significant career growth. It could also provide them with more compensation and better benefits. The job might be with a more prestigious employer with a great reputation within the industry. It could be all of those things.

In this best-case scenario, the person is offered the job and they decide to take the job. And quite possibly, they’re so happy that they pursued the job and accepted the offer of employment that they thank their recruiter for helping to make the whole thing happen.

Yvette: So in terms of a best-case scenario, that’s a rather good one.

Stacy: It absolutely is! It is the best best-case scenario that you could hope for. It is a “win win”. And that’s why I tell animal health and veterinary professionals that it doesn’t hurt to have a conversation with an Animal Health recruiter or Veterinary recruiter and it doesn’t hurt to have one with an employer. It’s a low-risk, high-reward proposition and it’s one that could change your career and your life dramatically for the better.

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 in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession 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 on a regular basis.

Yvette: Once again, the website address for The VET Recruiter is www.thevetrecruiter.com. Stacy, as always, thank you for joining us today.

Stacy: You’re very welcome, Kennedy, and thank you. Once again, it’s been my pleasure, and I look forward to our next episode of the Animal Health Employment Insider!