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 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 Animal Health and Veterinary video interviews for employers and candidates. Hello, Stacy, and thank you for joining us today.
Stacy: Hello, Julea. As always, I’m glad to be here.
Julea: Stacy, this is the first time that we’ve addressed this on our podcast, but the COVID-19 virus is definitely affecting the job market and the employment marketplace, is it not?
Stacy: Yes, you are absolutely right. It is affecting, especially when it comes to employers who have open positions they want to fill. Typically, of course, an employer would interview job candidates on an in-person basis to determine which person is right for the job. But now, that’s not exactly an option for some companies and candidates right now.
Julea: And that’s because of the lock-downs in several states and the social distancing guidelines from the Center for Disease Control isn’t it Stacy.
Stacy: Correct. However, as I said, there are employers that are still looking to hire and have critical positions they need to fill. The good news is that we live in the Technology Age. Because of that, we can use various technology tools to overcome what’s happening right now. One of those tools is the video interview. With fewer and fewer people willing to fly due to the virus, video interviews are a great solution.
Julea: So Stacy, what do you have for us today?
Stacy: I have some best practices for Animal Health and Veterinary video interviews, and I have them for both employers and job candidates.
Julea: Where would you like to start?
Stacy: I would like to start on the employer side, and I’d like to say something before I begin. I know that conditions are challenging, but employers are definitely continuing to interview right now. In fact, a candidate of The VET Recruiter recently completed a drive-through interview.
Julea: They did? A drive-through interview? What’s that?
Stacy: It’s just what it sounds like. The employer conducted an interview with a job candidate through what was basically a drive-through window. Where there’s a will, there’s a way, as they say. And I applaud this type of approach and this mentality. You have to get creative in this type of environment, and that’s exactly what some organizations are doing right now.
Julea: What are some best practices for Animal Health and Veterinary video interviews on the employer side?
Stacy: Well, I have five things that I want touch upon, and the first and most important one is choosing the platform for conducting the interviews.
Julea: When you say platform, you’re talking about the software program, is that right?
Stacy: Yes, that’s right. The good news is that there many platforms or programs to choose from, and because of what’s happening with the virus, some of them are offering deals on their product.
Julea: What are some of the programs that are available in the market?
Stacy: There are Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, Skype, Zoom, and Webex. Most employers are already have an account with one or more of these platforms. My personal favorite is Zoom, because it’s so easy to use. I would have to say that it’s one of the most popular among our clients, as well.
You have to do more than just choose a platform or a software, though.
Julea: What else do you have to do Stacy?
Stacy: As an employer, you have to test your system multiple times before conducting Animal Health or Veterinary video interviews. There are many things that can affect the quality of an interview. One of those things is the strength of your wireless Internet signal. You must also check the quality of both the sound and the video picture. Unfortunately, there are many things that can go wrong, and you have to account for all of them before you begin the interview.
Julea: That makes sense. What’s another best practice?
Stacy: This next best practice is actually similar to what you would do with a regular in-person interview, and that’s to build a plan and share it with everyone involved in the process. The difference here is that since this is an Animal Health or Veterinary video interview as opposed to a regular in person interview, your hiring team may not be as accustomed to the process involved with such an interview.
Julea: This is especially the case if some of your employees are working from home, is that correct?
Stacy: Yes, the COVID-19 virus has already created plenty of confusion and uncertainty. You don’t want to add to it by sabotaging your video interviewing efforts before they’ve even begun.
This is important because you want job candidates to sense and to see that your organization “has its act together.” The last thing you want to do is brand yourself as disorganized.
Julea: So employer branding is still important during this time?
Stacy: Absolutely! Employer branding is always important in a hiring situation. Organizations should not think that just because there’s a pandemic that they should not put on emphasis on branding themselves correctly.
Julea: What’s next with our best practices?
Stacy: Next is choosing an appropriate space and settings for the Animal Health and Veterinary video interviews. This is also part of employer branding. This is where candidates will see you and the members of your team. What they see will contribute to their opinion of you and your organization.
Julea: What’s important when it comes to choosing a setting?
Stacy: Employers should choose a site that is clean and uncluttered and also one that is well lit and professional looking. Not only that, but there should be no sources of loud noises nearby. That’s another thing to consider when choosing a location.
Our next best practice for Animal Health and Veterinary video interviews is communicating well and setting expectations.
Julea: That’s something employers should always be doing during the hiring process, right Stacy?
Stacy: That’s right, and with the video interview situation, there is more information that a hiring manager or practice owner has to communicate with job candidates. These candidates need to know which platform you’ll be using, how to connect to the platform, what is expected of them during the interview, what they can expect from you, a timeline for when things will happen, and a phone number to call in case things don’t go as smoothly as planned.
Our fifth and final best practice for employers is also a best practice for a regular in-person interview.
Julea: What is that?
Stacy: It’s focusing on engagement. The problem is that successfully engaging candidates during Animal Health and Veterinary video interviews is more difficult than it is during a regular in-person interview. That means it will require more energy and effort on the part of those people conducting the interview. As an employer, you still have to “sell” at all levels. You have to “sell” the opportunity itself, as well as the organization, the company culture, and everything else that comes with the opportunity. It is easier I think to have more engagement in an in person setting.
One of our clients recently moved our candidates from in-person interviews to video interviews. These are veterinary hospitals. The hiring manager is getting people in their company, inside their veterinary hospitals to record a video of the inside of the veterinary practices to show our candidates where they will be working during the upcoming video interviews. This is an excellent strategy because they can still see the place where they will be working without having to travel there during this time of uncertainty. They are hoping the video will create more interest in the opportunity since they candidates will be able to see where they will be working.
Julea: Stacy, what about candidates? What advice would you give to them regarding Animal Health and Veterinary video interviews?
Stacy: Actually, much of the advice that applies to employers also applies to job candidates. That advice includes knowing which interviewing platform the employer is using and running tests with that platform and choosing an appropriate space and setting for the interview. Have a professional backdrop for example. Candidates should also be aware they should dress professionally for the interview. A video interview is not an excuse to wear something inappropriate or to be too casual with your attire. Just like employer branding is still important right now, so is personal branding. As a candidate, you want to brand yourself in the right way and you want to give a positive impression of yourself to those who are conducting the interview. And it doesn’t matter if it’s an in-person interview or a video interview?
Julea: What other advice do you have for job candidates?
Stacy: Since this is a video interview, candidates must speak loudly enough and clearly enough. If you’re typically a soft talker, then you may have to make adjustments. But be careful, though. You don’t want it to appear as though you’re shouting at the people on the other end of the line. This is another reason why testing and practice is so important.
Speaking of which, job candidates should not only be testing the software they’ll be using for the interview, but they should also practice with a friend or colleague. Have the other person ask you questions. You can conduct a mock interview. And as you would with any interview, candidates must practice answering questions they might be asked and also come prepared with questions of their own. And also like an in person interview, they should turn their phone off or just put it in another room, if they have to. The last thing you want to happen is your phone going off because someone called or texted you at the wrong time.
And once the interview is over, candidates should send a thank-you email to the hiring manager 24 hours. Or you can send a handwritten thank you note. This is common etiquette, and you should do it regardless of whether it’s an in-person interview or a video interview.
Julea: Stacy, thank you so much for all of this great information about Animal Health and Veterinary video interviews. We’re just about out of time for today. Is there anything else that you’d like to add before we wrap up today’s episode?
Stacy: Yes, there is. This is an unprecedented time in our nation’s history. We are all being tested and we are all under pressure, and that is perfectly understandable. I saw something this past week that I agree with. Someone sent me a marketing email and in that email, they asked if I was a worrier or a warrior. I think that perfectly sums up how people should react to the adversity in our nation and in the employment marketplace. Instead of worrying and panicking, we should all be doing what needs to be done to move forward and make progress. I am going to choose to be a warrior and not a worrier. It’s a challenge at times but worrying doesn’t do any good. We need to take action and not worry about the things we have no control over but let’s do what we can do. Let’s focus on what we can control. We can control our attitude and how we respond to adversity. Yes we may not be able to do in person interviews but we can move forward by doing video interviews. Companies should not be afraid to hire a candidate without meeting them in person and candidates should not be afraid to accept a position without meeting the employer in person. This is the reality we are in today.
The key is to understand what you can control and what you can’t control, and address what you can control without worrying about what you can’t.
Julea: Stacy, thank you so much for all of this great information about engaging and hiring top Animal Health and Veterinary job candidates. And for those people who are considering a job change, there are employment opportunities on The VET Recruiter website and companies are hiring so I encourage you to take a look at www.thevetrecruiter.com
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.
Julea:. Stacy, as always, thank you for joining us today.
Stacy: It has been my pleasure, and I look forward to our next episode of The Animal Health Employment Insider.