Episode #178 – What the COVID-19 Pandemic Has NOT Changed About the Marketplace, Part 3

The Vet Recruiter®
The Vet Recruiter®
Episode #178 - What the COVID-19 Pandemic Has NOT Changed About the Marketplace, Part 3
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Julea: Welcome to “The Animal Health and Veterinary Employment Insider,” brought to you by The VET Recruiter. In this podcast, Animal Health thought leader and executive recruiter, Stacy Pursell 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 Companies and Veterinary practices, 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 continuing our series about what the COVID-19 pandemic has NOT changed about the employment marketplace. Hello, Stacy, and thank you for joining us today.

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

Julea: Stacy, we’ve previously discussed the value that a professional provides to their current employer and also why employers should continue to engage job candidates during the hiring process. Both of those things have not changed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. What else hasn’t changed that we’ll be talking about today?

Stacy: What has not changed is that job seekers and candidates should still be willing to talk with an experienced Animal Health recruiter or Veterinary recruiter and they should still be willing to resign from their current job for a better opportunity.

Julea: Stacy, are professionals more hesitant to change positions right now?

Stacy: Some candidates I speak with during the pandemic are hesitant to make a move right now, but others are not. We are still placing plenty of candidates during the current pandemic.

Julea: What are some of the things that you have heard candidates say?

Stacy: Some candidates have said they are fearful about making a change right now during the pandemic. However, keeping your eyes open and ears to the ground is a good career strategy so that you know what opportunities are out there. Having a conversation with an experienced recruiter is a good investment of time so that you will be on their radar when good opportunities come across their desk so they will think of you. Even if you are not “looking” for a position it is good to have leverage. We all know things can change at any given time, so it is good to have options.

Julea: Stacy, the marketplace really seems to be in flux right now, with a high National Unemployment Rate. Doesn’t that mean some professionals just want to “hunker down” and not explore other opportunities?

Stacy: Yes, and I have encountered some of those professionals. Keep in mind though that the unemployment rate in the veterinary profession is lower than the national unemployment rate. There are benefits to talking with a recruiter, even if we are in the middle of a pandemic or if you have no desire to immediately change jobs. In fact, I have a number of good reasons, and one of which is that a person can collect marketplace intelligence.

Julea: What does that mean, exactly?

Stacy: Marketplace intelligence includes the state of the employment marketplace, the current trends within the profession, and how you can take advantage of those trends. Even if you do not want to pursue a particular employment opportunity, you can still gather this type of information.

Julea: What other information can you gain from talking with a recruiter?

Stacy: All sorts of things, including benchmarking your worth in the marketplace. This is just another way of knowing how much you should be getting paid and whether or not you’re getting paid industry standard in your current job. A good recruiter knows what someone with a certain skill set and a certain amount of experience should be earning. They talk with similar candidates all day.

A person can also learn more about how recruiters and employers operate within the marketplace. Remember, if a recruiter contacts you, an employer has engaged the services of that recruiter. Talking with them can provide some insight into how the employer prefers to operate, especially in terms of its hiring methods. You never know when a piece of information could be important to you—and also to your career.

Julea: What are some other benefits of talking with a recruiter?

Stacy: Another benefit is that a person has the chance to brand themselves in a positive way. We’ve discussed personal branding a lot on this podcast, namely because it’s so important.

In a nutshell, personal branding is the experience that you provide to other people during your interactions with them. This includes speaking with someone over the telephone. By branding yourself in a positive way with a recruiter, you become memorable to them. Specifically, this means the recruiter will be more likely to remember you when a great employment opportunity comes across their desk.

Another benefit to talking with a recruiter is that you have the opportunity to practice your interviewing skills. When a recruiter asks you questions over the phone, it’s essentially a telephone screen. Even if you ultimately decide not to make a move, you’ve probably improved in terms of how you conduct yourself during an interview. Then you’ll perform better the next time you participate in a phone screen or interview.

Julea: Stacy, what about networking? Just like personal branding, we have also talked about that before on the podcast.

Stacy: That’s an excellent point. When you talk with a recruiter, you can improve your networking reach. I’ve said this before, but career success is not just about what you know, but it’s also about who you know. One of the reasons is that you never know who someone else knows, and recruiters know a LOT of people.

And don’t forget that social media is a big part of networking, especially LinkedIn. Unfortunately, some professionals neglect their LinkedIn profiles. Or they don’t have a profile at all. That is a mistake. Showing that you keep up with technology is a good career strategy.

Also, even if you don’t want to pursue an opportunity that a recruiter presents, you can still help the recruiter.

Julea: How’s that?

Stacy: By providing the name and contact information of someone you know who might be interested in pursuing the job that the recruiter has. For all you know, this might be the opportunity they’ve been waiting for, and with your help, they’ll have the chance to advance professionally. You’ll help that person, you’ll help the recruiter, and you’ll help yourself by participating in positive personal branding.

Julea: Professionals really have nothing to lose by talking with a recruiter, isn’t that the case?

Stacy: Yes, talking with a recruiter is basically a no-risk and a no-lose proposition. A good recruiter is not going to waste your time, and the reason is simple: if they waste your time, then they are also wasting their own time, and they certainly do not want to do that. When you talk with a recruiter, your options are simple. If you decide that you want to pursue the opportunity they present to you, then you can do so. If you decide that you don’t want to pursue the opportunity, then tell the recruiter that’s the case. That’s perfectly fine.

But you’re absolutely correct. You have nothing to lose by talking with an Animal Health recruiter or Veterinary recruiter. In fact, you potentially have much to gain. The important thing to remember is that instead of viewing the conversation as an inconvenience in the present, you should consider it a valuable investment in your future.

Julea: What about professionals who are afraid to make a move in this current environment? Or who are afraid to resign?

Stacy: Yes, some professionals have been afraid to make a move or even consider making a move before the pandemic, and others are exhibiting the same type of behavior now. What hasn’t changed is the fact that this approach is a short-sighted one. There have even been instances where candidates have accepted another offer of employment and were afraid to resign from their current employer.

Julea: Really Stacy?

Stacy: Yes, that’s right Julea. The bottom line with all of this is fear and fear is not a good strategy. Some people are afraid of change jobs even during the best of times. But it doesn’t matter what’s going on in the world, basing your decisions on fear, including decisions about your professional life and career, is not a good idea. Fear produces irrational thought and irrational behavior. Fear does not produce sound decision-making.

Julea: Stacy, you have an acronym for fear that you’ve used in the past. What is that acronym again?

Stacy: That acronym is False Evidence Appearing Real.

Fear can appear very real, but in many cases, that fear is often false. This is often the case when it comes to finding a new job or making a career change.

I’ve been an Animal Health recruiter and Veterinary recruiter for more than 20 years. I have seen candidates do things the correct way and I have seen them do things in not the best way. And that’s why I’d to talk right now about the right way to resign. These are guidelines that apply no matter what type of economy we are in or the type of job market we are experiencing, or even if there’s a pandemic or not.

Julea: Okay, that sounds great. What is the best way to resign?

Stacy: The first step is to understand what accepting an offer of employment is and what it isn’t. When you accept another employer’s offer, you are giving your word of honor and making a commitment. You’re committing yourself to work for that organization. It’s not a “maybe,” it’s a “will be.”

The second step is to submit your resignation in written form and give your notice. The typical timeframe for a notice is two weeks, although in the Veterinary profession, the timeframe can be longer. Three or four weeks is not unheard of for veterinarians to need to give notice to their current employer.

Third, do NOT accept a counter-offer from your current employer if one is made after you submit your resignation and give notice. The reasons that you should not accept a counter-offer could fill numerous newsletter articles and podcast episodes. In fact, I have written extensively about this subject during the past several years. You can find some of these articles on The VET Recruiter website.

Fourth, do NOT accept another organization’s offer after you’ve accepted this organization’s offer. And as part of this, make sure that you show up for your first day of work. Do not “ghost” the employer if you’ve accepted its offer of employment. That is the very definition of “burning bridges” and is the absolute worst way to brand yourself.

Finally, work out your two weeks’ notice to the best of your ability and then move on.

Julea: That is sound advice Stacy. Is there anything else that you’d like to add before we end today’s episode?

Stacy: Yes. For those in our listening audience, you’re likely going to change jobs multiple times during your career. In fact, you might have already changed jobs multiple times. And while the world is a different place than it was six months ago, there are many things about the marketplace that have not changed and will not change in the future. One of them is the importance of speaking with an experienced Animal Health recruiter if you work in the Animal Health Industry or Veterinary recruiter if you work in the Veterinary Profession and building a relationship with one. Something else that has not changed is the importance of being willing to consider other employment opportunities and not being afraid of change or resigning from your current employer. It gives you leverage and creates opportunities for your career.

The bottom line is that you cannot allow fear to rule your decisions, even when it appears there is more to be afraid of than usual. I recommend to everyone to be bold in the face of fear and to maximize the opportunities that exist in the marketplace.

Julea: Thank you, Stacy. This is great information.

Stacy: It has been my pleasure Julea, and I look forward to our next episode of the Animal Health and Veterinary Employment Insider!

Julea: That’s all for today’s show. For Stacy Pursell and everyone at The VET Recruiter, thank for listening and we invite you to join us next time when we address more employment issues in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession. We hope that you’ll join us then!