Episode #156 – What Do Veterinary and Animal Health Professionals REALLY Want from Their Employers?

The Vet Recruiter®
The Vet Recruiter®
Episode #156 - What Do Veterinary and Animal Health Professionals REALLY Want from Their Employers?
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Julea: Welcome to “The Animal Health Employment Insider,” brought to you by The VET Recruiter. In this podcast, executive recruiter and veterinary recruiter, Stacy Pursell, founder of The VET Recruiter and workplace and workforce expert, 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 of the Animal Health and Veterinary Employment Insider, we’ll be talking about what Animal Health and Veterinary professionals really want from their employers. Hello, Stacy, and thank you for joining us today.

Stacy: Hello, Julea. It is great to be here.

Julea: Stacy, we’ve devoted previous podcast episodes to what Animal Health and Veterinary professionals want from their employers. What makes this episode different?

Stacy: Good question Julea.  In today’s podcast episode, we’re going to do a high-level look at what candidates want, more of a big-picture analysis. Also, I think there are some employers who are underestimating how important the intangibles are in terms of attracting and hiring top talent in the marketplace.

Julea: The intangibles?  Tell us more Stacy.

Stacy: Yes, well, money and benefits are certainly important. And opportunities for training and personal development are, too. However, these could be considered tangible factors. Employers definitely have to offer these things to candidates during the hiring process, but they can’t do so at the expense of the intangibles.

In fact, employers must focus even more on the intangibles.

Julea: Why is that?

Stacy: Because top candidates know that in the current market, they can get the tangible things they want from employers. In some industries, like the Veterinary profession, there are typically multiple organizations willing to give these candidates the type of compensation and benefits they’re seeking in exchange for their services.

But when you’re talking about the factors that will really make them consider an opportunity and leave their current job, the opportunity must have all the intangible factors that the candidate is looking for, as well.

Julea: So what are those intangible factors?

Stacy: The first one is that they want a healthy work-life balance with a flexible schedule. In other words, they don’t want to be overworked and they don’t want to be stressed out. This is especially the case with the members of the younger generations, and that includes Millennials and Generation Z. I’ve been a recruiter for more than 20 years, and I will say that I’ve never seen this many candidates asking for a flexible work schedule before.

Second, Animal Health and Veterinary professionals want to feel as though they’re respected by their employer. Our firm, The VET Recruiter, conducts an annual survey of candidates, and as part of that survey, we ask them what is most important to them in a job opportunity and an employer. Every time we conduct the survey, “being treated with respect” is among the top answers.

Julea: What are some ways that organizations can show that they respect their employees?

Stacy: There are a number of different ways. For one, an organization should solicit the opinion of their employees and listen to their input. Another way is to make time for their employees and spend time with them, both formally and informally. And the most important way might be to make sure that everyone within the organization is treated equally and fairly. Employees do not like to see other people receiving preferential treatment.

Julea: So what’s another intangible factor?

Stacy: Animal Health and Veterinary professionals want a clear and evident career path at their employer. They want to know that they’re “going somewhere” with the organization and they can grow in one capacity or another. The bottom line is that they want to feel satisfied with their employment. If they don’t, then they’ll be more likely to seek that satisfaction elsewhere.

Another factor is recognition. These professionals want to be recognized by their employer. They don’t even have to be rewarded constantly with extra pay or fringe benefits, but they do want to know their work is appreciated. Professionals want to know that their employer cares—about them, their work, and the value they provide for the organization.

Julea: It seems as though the employers’ leadership and management teams are responsible for providing a lot of what these Veterinary and Animal Health professionals want.

Stacy: Yes, that is absolutely the case! In fact, these professionals want to work for a strong leadership group that has a clear vision for the future. Simply put, strong employees want to follow strong leaders. They want someone to inspire them to do great things, both for the organization and also for their career.

And that brings us to what I believe is the most important intangible factor, and that’s trust.

Julea: Trust? What do you mean by that?

Stacy: I mean that Animal Health and veterinary professionals must trust their employer. If there is no trust, then there is no future for them at the organization. It really is that simple.

If a professional stays with an employer, it means that professional trusts their employer to give them everything they want. They trust the organization for:

  • A healthy work-life balance with a flexible schedule
  • The feeling of being respected
  • A clear and evident career path
  • Recognition for their accomplishments
  • And strong leadership with a clear vision for the future

 

Julea: It seems as though trust is a big factor in this equation.

Stacy: It IS a big factor Julea. When you think about it, trust is a big factor in any relationship you have, no matter if that relationship is personal or professional. Trust is critical. However, there are still other things that Animal Health and Veterinary professionals want from their employer.

Julea: There are? What things are those?

Stacy: Well, there are three parts to the answer to that question. The first part is that professionals want to feel as though they belong to something, and not only that, but they want to feel as though they belong to something special.

Julea: So you’re saying that Animal Health and Veterinary organizations should make candidates feel like they belong during the hiring process?

Stacy: Close to that. In order for candidates to feel as though they belong, they first have to feel as though they’re wanted. So organizations have to make candidates feel as though they’re wanted. This is especially true when dealing with the top candidates and with members of the younger generations, once again the Millennial Generation and Generation Z.

Julea: What’s the second part of the answer?

Stacy: The second part is that Animal Health and Veterinary professionals want to do good work and feel good about the work they do. In other words, they want to be proud of their hard work and the accomplishments and achievements that result from it.

Julea: Does this include employers recognizing their top employees for their accomplishments?

Stacy: It absolutely does! You have to remember that just about all top candidates and employees have a sense of pride when it comes to their work. As a result, they want to be recognized for that work, as we discussed earlier in this episode. And yes, employers should be proactive about recognizing their employees, especially their best ones.

And it doesn’t have to involve a grand gesture. It can be a private conversation or a simple email message, anything that conveys appreciation both for the employee and for the work they’re doing. That is often enough to convince employees that their efforts are being recognized and are appreciated.

Julea: That makes sense. What’s the third part of the answer?

Stacy: The third part is that Animal Health and Veterinary professionals want to work for good organizations that they feel are making a difference in the world.

Julea: So not only do they want to feel good about their work, but they also want to feel good about their employer, is that it?

Stacy: Yes, and once again, this is especially the case for members of the younger generations.

During the past few years, I’ve talked with more and more candidates who put a premium on working for an organization that is about more than just making a profit. Of course, making a profit is important. After all, you can’t stay in business without one. However, it’s equally important to stand out in the marketplace as an employer of choice. One of the ways that you become an employer of choice is through the charitable things that your organization does.

Julea: So how can an employer accomplish this? How can it give Animal Health and Veterinary professionals what they’re looking for?

Stacy: The answer is the “Power of Why.” Employers must know their “Power of Why.”

Julea: Expand on that Stacy.

Stacy: If you’re an employer, the “Power of Why” involves the question “Why are you in business?”

Julea: Why is that question so important, or I guess, why is the answer to that question so important?

Stacy: If you don’t know why you do what you do as an organization or why your organization is in business, then you can’t expect top candidates in the marketplace to want to work for you.

Julea: I see. That also makes sense.

Stacy:  An employer has to do more than just know its “Power of Why.” It also has to be able to communicate it to candidates during the hiring process. An employer must intrigue candidates with its “Power of Why” so that the candidates want to hear more. It really is a matter of telling the organization’s story.

Now, when an organization tells candidates its “Why,” it’s basically telling them three things.

First, it’s telling candidates its “Why.” Second, it’s telling candidates what the organization does best. This is sort of like the “What” that backs up the “Why.” Third, the organization is telling candidates “How” the organization delivers on its “Why.” These are the specific things that an organization does and what its employees do.

Julea: Stacy, can you give us an example of this?

Stacy: Yes, I certainly can.

Let’s say that your organization is a Veterinary practice. Since that’s the case, your “Why” might be something along the lines of “We believe in the value of a life-long relationship between a pet owner and their furry family member.”

Your “What” would be “We treat your pets like family.” That backs up your “Why.”

Your “How” would be “We offer cutting-edge medicine.”

So if you put all of that together, you’d have something like this:

“We believe in the value of a life-long relationship between a pet owner and their furry family member. We promote this value by offering cutting-edge medicine and treating your pet like it was one of our own.”

Julea: Wow, that’s good! I can see why that would be effective in attracting candidates during the hiring process.

Stacy: Absolutely! When an employer successfully communicates its “Power of Why,” it also successfully engages Animal Health and Veterinary professionals who want to do good work for good organizations that are making a difference in the world. As you can see, offering a competitive salary and employment package will only take you so far.

Julea: Because those are tangible things, and candidates also want intangible things if they’re going to make a move in their career.

Stacy: That’s right! You need a compelling “Why” to effectively position your organization as an employer of choice and successfully hire and then retain the best candidates. The key to hiring the best people is as simple as knowing what they want and then giving it to them.

Julea: Stacy, thank you for all of this great information today. I invite our listeners to join us next time when we address more hiring and employment issues in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession. We hope that you’ll join us then!

Stacy: I look forward to our next episode of the Animal Health and Veterinary Employment Insider. Before we go today I want to remind our listening audience to look at our Hot Jobs on our website at www.thevetrecruiter.com Reach out as well if you are an employer needing to hire for a critical position in the Animal Health Industry or Veterinary Profession.