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 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 will be talking about one of the biggest keys to Animal Health and Veterinary hiring during the COVID-19 pandemic. Hello, Stacy, and thank you for joining us today.
Stacy: Hello, Julea. It is great to be here.
Julea: Stacy, we have been focusing on the employer side of things these past few weeks, and we are going to talk about employers again this week. Last week, we discussed what employers may not realize about Veterinary hiring during the pandemic.
Stacy: Yes, and I would like to recap those things right now, if you do not mind.
Julea: I do not mind at all. Please do.
Stacy: The first thing is that the best candidates are still in the marketplace. Second, these candidates more than likely did not lose their jobs, even though there have been many layoffs in the employment marketplace at large. Third, these candidates are most likely not actively seeking other employment opportunities. And fourth, how an organization engages candidates during the Animal Health and Veterinary hiring process has a direct impact on its employer brand.
Julea: So, we established that hiring top talent in the Veterinary profession is still difficult, even though we are in the midst of a pandemic and a recession.
Stacy: Yes, that is right! That is why I want to talk about one of the biggest keys to Animal Health and Veterinary hiring during the pandemic. And yes, this pertains to the Animal Health industry just as much as it does to the Veterinary profession.
As an executive recruiter and veterinary recruiter, I spend each day “in the trenches” of the employment marketplace. As a result, I see first-hand what is happening. I know what is working and what is not working for both for job candidates and employers.
And because of that, I can say without a doubt that one of the keys to Animal Health and Veterinary hiring success during COVID-19 is communication! In fact, I would say that effective communication during the interviewing and hiring process is more important than ever for employers looking to hire top talent.
Julea: Communication, that makes sense! Tell us more Stacy.
Stacy: Well, there are two big reasons why this is the case. First, communication is often inadequate during “normal times.”
Unfortunately, effectively communicating with job candidates has been a challenge with some employers, including Animal Health and Veterinary employers. This was certainly the case during the candidate-driven market that we were experiencing until recently. When an employer does not communicate well with candidates, it means they are not properly engaging those candidates. And when you do not properly engage candidates, you diminish your chances of being able to successfully hire them.
And the second reason is pretty much self-evident, and that is the fact the pandemic has added a layer of uncertainty to everyone’s life.
Julea: You can certainly say that again Stacy. That is unfortunately the situation.
Stacy: The COVID-19 pandemic initially resulted in a number of restrictions, including restrictions involving travel. Even though the lockdowns and a number of the restrictions have been lifted, there are still certain guidelines to which employers and job candidates must adhere. As a result, employers’ interviewing process now includes additional steps that it did not include previously. This is why it is critical for an employer to communicate its process and procedures to job candidates, preferably before they start participating in the process.
There is almost no end to the benefits of communicating—or overcommunicating with candidates during the Veterinary hiring process.
Julea: What are some of those benefits, Stacy?
Stacy: There are three main ones. The first one is the health and safety of everyone involved in the process. If you are conducting in-person, face-to-face interviews, then you must make sure that every person follows the protocol. In order to ensure that happens, you must clearly communicate that protocol.
The second benefit is an equally practical one. If you as an organization effectively communicate to candidates, then those candidates will be less focused on the details of the process and more on the interview itself. You want all candidates to “put their best foot forward.” If they are worried about the process itself and the protocols involved, then they might be distracted, and because of that, you might miss out on a great candidate.
And third, by communicating in an effective and engaging way, you will impress candidates and will stand out as an employer. This is an opportunity to make a great impression on job candidates and truly engage them. You want to show them that your organization is “on the ball” and would be a great place for them to work. On the other hand, you do not want to brand yourself in a negative fashion and put doubt in the mind of candidates.
Julea: And we have talked about employer branding recently and how important it is. If an employer does not communicate information well, then they run the risk of branding themselves the wrong way, isn’t that right?
Stacy: Yes, absolutely! And employers still have to impress job candidates in today’s marketplace. The pandemic has not changed that, especially when it comes to the very best candidates.
Julea: Stacy, this seems like something that an employer could use to gain an advantage over its competition. Is that true?
Stacy: Yes, it is. There is competition for the best candidates, and this is especially the case in the Veterinary profession. In fact, competition is as fierce as I have ever seen it, and that includes before the pandemic and the recession began. That might come as somewhat of a shock to some people, but it is absolutely the case.
While some other Animal Health organizations and Veterinary practices may be taking a defensive posture and not seeking the top talent in the marketplace, you as an organization can be pursuing that talent. Investing in the right candidates and hiring them is one of the best ways to achieve growth and to continue sustaining that growth.
You might think that doing so is not that big of a deal, but hiring officials often underestimate its importance. Interviewing was a stressful situation for job candidates before the pandemic. Now, it is even more stressful. By communicating the right information in an effective manner, not only do you relieve some of that stress, but you also impress the candidates and quite possibly stand out from other employers.
Julea: Stacy, what are some of the things that employers should communicate?
Stacy: It can be a lot, depending upon a number of certain factors. The first involves what kind of interviews the employer will be conducting. If they are going to be virtual or video interviews, the employer must communicate all of the information regarding these interviews. This includes the software used, the logistics, what the employer expects from the candidate, and what the candidate can expect from the employer.
If the employer is planning to conduct in-person interviews, then it should be prepared to communicate even more information. That, of course, is a direct result of the pandemic. Candidates should know all of the protocols involved with the interviews, what they should do, and when they should do it. In fact, if an employer is conducting in-person interviews, they should be prepared to over-communicate information. In this current climate, that is really the only way to put people’s minds at ease.
Julea: And even that might not do the trick.
Stacy: That is right! Considering everything that is going on, it is very difficult to give people peace of mind. However, that does not mean that employers should not try. Think about it. If you want to hire the best candidates in the marketplace right now, then you should be prepared to do everything to you can to put them at ease first. If you cannot do that, then how can you expect to successfully hire them? If you do not make them feel at ease during the hiring process, the candidates will not believe they will feel at ease if they work for you as an employee.
Julea: And Stacy, correct me if I am wrong, but this seems like a simple thing to do.
Stacy: You are not wrong. It is a simple thing to do. However, not all employers devote the time and energy necessary to get the job done. But as is often the case in the marketplace, the simplest things, which can have the biggest impact, are done the least. And that is a shame, because with something like this in these types of conditions, communication should definitely be a top priority for Animal Health and Veterinary organizations. This is the case both with candidates and also with their current employees.
Julea: Stacy, we are just about out of time. Is there anything else that you would like to add before we end today’s episode?
Stacy: Yes, there is. While it is true that there are challenges and obstacles in the marketplace right now, both for candidates and for employers, those who view these challenges as opportunities are the ones that will truly thrive and be successful. Even though the country and the world is enduring a pandemic, there is still opportunity. However, you must recognize it as such, and you must pursue it and seize it.
This is yet another reason why working with an experienced animal health recruiter or veterinary recruiter during the Animal Health and Veterinary hiring process is a good idea. An experienced recruiter can help you to effectively communicate with job candidates and ensure they have the appropriate information for every step of the process. Now, more than ever, it is important to stand out and to brand yourself as an “employer of choice.”
Julea: Stacy, thank you once again so much for all of this great information. I also want to let our listening audience know about the newsletter that The VET Recruiter sends out once or twice per month. The VET Recruiter’s newsletter contains career advice for both employers and for animal health and veterinary professionals. You can sign up to receive the newsletter on The VET Recruiter website at www.thevetrecruiter.com
Once again Stacy, thank you for sharing this valuable information today for Animal Health and Veterinary Employers who want to enjoy greater success when it comes to hiring top Animal Health and Veterinary Talent.
Stacy: Julea, it has been my pleasure, and I look forward to our next episode of the Animal Health and Veterinary Employment Insider!