Episode #146 – The Importance of a Value Proposition for Animal Health and Veterinary Employers

The Vet Recruiter®
The Vet Recruiter®
Episode #146 - The Importance of a Value Proposition for Animal Health and Veterinary Employers
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Julea: Welcome to “The Animal Health Employment Insider,” brought to you by The VET Recruiter. In this podcast, Animal Health 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 employers 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 the importance of a value proposition for employers. Hello, Stacy, and thank you for joining us today.

Stacy: Hello, Julea. As always, I’m glad to be here.

Julea: Stacy, the topic of value has been a popular one on this podcast. However, we haven’t talked a lot about it from the point of view of the employer, have we?

Julea: No, we haven’t. However, value is just as important for employers as it is for job seekers and candidates.

Julea: And why is that Stacy?

Stacy: Because we’re in a candidates’ job market. It’s critical for employers to have value to offer to candidates, especially top candidates. If employers do not offer value, then they are not going to hire the people they want to hire. It’s as simple as that. The problem is that some people do not think in these terms. They believe that only job seekers and candidates have to prove their value and their worth in the marketplace, and I have a story illustrating this.

Julea: Tell us the story Stacy.

Stacy: I was speaking to the hiring manager of one of my clients on the phone in my office. There was also another person in my office who does not work in executive search or the recruiting profession.

This guest was listening to my conversation with the hiring manager, and he overhead me ask the hiring manager why would someone want to work for their organization. After my conversation was over and I hung up the phone, my guest commented that I had asked the employer some really tough questions. I asked him what he meant, and he referenced the question I asked about why someone would want to work for the organization.

I told my guest that this was a really important question. By asking it, I was asking the hiring manager  to “sell” the organization to me and provide me with some tools that I could use to “sell” the organization to top candidates.

Julea: So whatever it is that you “sell” or offer to candidates, that’s the value proposition?

Stacy: Yes, in a nutshell. Simply put, a value proposition for employers is whatever an employer can offer that a candidate would consider to be valuable. It’s also what the organization offers to their current employees. That’s because an Animal Health company or Veterinary practice wants to turn the best candidates into employees. So it makes sense that the value proposition would be the same for both groups of people.

In the case of my story, I needed to know the value proposition this employer could offer to candidates. It’s the value proposition that will convince a candidate to resign their current position, pull their children out of school, and move potentially hundreds of miles across the country to work for my client’s organization.

It’s important for hiring managers at Animal Health companies and veterinary practices to know their organization’s value proposition, which is what would compel a candidate to join the organization and do those things I mentioned.  So when I ask a hiring manager why someone would want to work for their organization, I’m really asking them to give me their value proposition.

Julea: Stacy, what is attractive to top candidates when it comes to an organization’s value proposition?

Stacy: That’s a great question, and it’s very relevant to today’s discussion. If employers don’t know what’s attractive to top candidates in today’s market, then they’re less likely to have a value proposition that will actually attract those candidates. Specifically, there are four things that an organization’s value proposition should include.

The first thing is a dynamic and appreciative company culture. During the past several years, what an organization offers in this area has become increasingly more important to candidates. It’s not just about the job and it’s not just about the organization, but it’s also about the workplace. It’s about where the person works on a daily basis and the type of environment in which they operate.

Specifically, people want to work for an organization where there’s an atmosphere of teamwork and unity and where employees are shown appreciation for their hard work and dedication. But it’s not just appreciation, though. What is most important for a lot of job seekers and candidates is respect.

Julea: Respect? What do you mean by that?

Stacy: I mean that people want to be treated with respect. They want to be treated with respect by their coworkers and their peers. And that includes their boss. The VET Recruiter conducted a survey of professionals in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession. According to that survey, one of the top things that professionals want from their employer is to be treated with respect. If their employer does not treat them with the respect they believe they deserve, then they will make plans to go elsewhere.

Julea: I don’t blame them. Stacy, what else is attractive to today’s top candidates?

Stacy: The second thing that’s important to job seekers and candidates in terms of a value proposition is an organization’s status within the industry. Let’s face it: everyone likes to play for a winner, and that includes within the employment marketplace. Top candidates gravitate toward the organizations that have a proven track record of success and have positioned themselves as employers of choice. This includes within the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession.

Julea: What do you mean in terms of status?

Stacy: I mean the reputation that the organization has. Candidates want to work for organizations that have stellar reputations. This can mean a variety of things—a reputation for excellence, a reputation for giving back to the community, a reputation for treating its employees well, etc. This crosses over into the topic of employer branding, which we’ve also discussed on this podcast.

The third thing that’s important or attractive to job seekers and candidates is a vision for the future. Working for an organization with vision is exciting, especially for the top talent in the marketplace. Top candidates both relish and thrive on a challenge, so they constantly seek those challenges out. If an employer hopes to land a superstar candidate, then that employer must challenge the superstar with an enticing vision for the future.

Julea: Stacy, I would imagine that communicating that vision during the hiring process is important, correct?

Stacy: Yes, it’s very important. The problem is that some organizations don’t communicate their vision to their current employees, much less to candidates during the hiring process! This is a huge mistake. Not only should an Animal Health company or Veterinary practice have a well-defined vision for the future, but it should also clearly communicate that vision to both its employees and also to job seekers and candidates.

With that in mind, the fourth thing that’s important or attractive to top candidates in terms of a value proposition is the opportunity for growth. In study after study, opportunity—or the lack of opportunity—is the #1 reason that professionals decide to leave their job and choose to work for another organization. This includes the opportunity for advancement through the organization in the form of promotions and more responsibility and also the opportunity to add new skills and knowledge.

Julea: Stacy, I noticed that you didn’t mention money or compensation at all.

Stacy: Yes, there’s a reason for that. It takes more than money to convince a passive superstar candidate to not only consider an opportunity, but also to convince them to accept an offer of employment if one is made. This is especially the case if there is relocation involved with the job. Then an employer’s value proposition must be even more attractive to the candidate.

Julea: Stacy, once again, employers should be emphasizing these things all throughout the hiring process, is that correct?

Stacy: Yes, that’s correct. These are things that candidates value to a high degree, and since they value them to such a degree, organizations should use them to “sell” both the opportunity and itself as the employer. This is especially the case during the interview stage of the process, and also during the offer stage.

Julea: Is that because you want to recruit the candidates first and then close them second?

Stacy: Yes, that’s correct. And that’s one of the reasons employers must keep selling all throughout the process. You can’t just sell once and then stop. That’s not going to take you very far. As an employer, you have start selling and keep selling. In fact, you can’t stop selling.

Julea: So what you’re saying is that it’s not enough just to have a value proposition?

Stacy: That’s exactly right. What good is it to have a great value proposition if no one knows about it? You must promote that value proposition. You must promote the value that you offer as an employer. If you don’t, then you reduce the chances that you will hire the people you want to hire.

Julea: Stacy, thank you for all of this great information.

Stacy:  It is my pleasure Julea.  For our listeners today who would like more career tips or hiring advice I encourage you to sign up for our newsletter blog on our website. You can sign up by going to www.thevetrecruiter.com and go to the Blog tab and sign up. We email out our Hot Jobs. You can also check out the hot jobs posted on our website with new hot jobs being posted on a regular basis.

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

Stacy: Julea, once again, it’s been my pleasure, and I look forward to our next podcast episode of the Animal Health Employment Insider!