Episode #186 – How and Why Candidates Are Not Taking Advantage of Opportunity in This Market

The Vet Recruiter®
The Vet Recruiter®
Episode #186 - How and Why Candidates Are Not Taking Advantage of Opportunity in This Market
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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 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 organizations acquire top talent, while helping professionals attain career-enhancing opportunities that increase their quality of life.

In today’s podcast episode, we will be talking about how and why some job candidates are not taking advantage of opportunity in this market. Hello, Stacy, and thank you for joining us today.

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

Julea Stacy, I imagine that you’ve encountered some professionals recently who have contributed to the topic of today’s podcast episode.

Stacy: Yes, it is. And it’s one of the reasons why I wanted to address this topic today.

Julea Can you tell us about these encounters?

Stacy: Yes, I am going to highlight a few that illustrate the mistakes that some Animal Health and Veterinary professionals are making right now when it comes to their careers.

Julea: Stacy, in our most recent podcast, we talked about the opportunity that exists in the market right now, especially for those in the Veterinary industry and profession. Despite that fact, some candidates aren’t taking advantage of the opportunity, is that correct?

Stacy: That’s right. And yes, I understand that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a tremendous effect on everyone, both personally and professionally. And yes, I understand that because of that, people are intrinsically more fearful than they might otherwise be. However, fear is fear. It doesn’t really matter what you’re afraid of. Fear can hold a person back from making decisions that could ultimately benefit them in the long run.

Julea: What have you been seeing in the marketplace Stacy?

Stacy: I’ve seen a wide range of things. In one instance, a candidate turned down a job that they had not even been offered yet.

Julea: They did? Is that even possible?

Stacy: Technically, it’s not, but this person tried to do it, anyway. He was in the hiring process of one of my firm’s clients, and he was getting closer to the end of the process. The client had not yet made a decision about which person in the process was their top candidate. Before they had a chance to make that decision, this person declared that they did not want the job.

Julea: Before anyone offered them a job?

Stacy: Yes, before anyone offered them a job. So essentially, they were refusing something that didn’t exist.

Julea: It is interesting Stacy when you think about it.

Stacy: It is, but it is also puzzling on a number of levels. First is the fact that the candidate refused something that didn’t exist, which really doesn’t make any sense. Second, if the candidate was going to receive an offer from my firm’s client, he turned it down before even knowing what it was. That’s almost more perplexing than refusing something that doesn’t exist.

Julea: Right, because he could have waited to see what the offer was, and then turned it down at that point?

Stacy: That’s right, and that would have made the most sense. If he didn’t want to accept the offer, that’s fine. But it’s mind-boggling to turn something down without even knowing what it is.

Julea: Very true. For all he knew, the offer might have been a very generous offer, even more than what he thought it would be. It might have changed his mind.

Stacy: Yes, absolutely. And if it didn’t change his mind completely, he could have started the negotiation process. But he didn’t give himself the chance to do either of those things.

Julea: What’s another example that you have for us?

Stacy: I had a candidate tell me recently that if she interviewed with another organization, it would feel like she was “cheating” on her current employer.

Julea: What? Really?

Stacy: Yes, really. And what was even more perplexing was that her mentor had told her that she had to be the CEO of her own career and that her allegiance should be to herself instead of to any one employer.

Julea: And she still didn’t want to interview?

Stacy: No, she did not. Now, loyalty is a fine trait to have. But as I’ve written about on numerous occasions, misplaced loyalty can have unintended consequences. Basically, this person was turning down an opportunity to interview for a higher-level role with one of my firm’s clients because of her feelings about possibly working for the competitor of her current employer.

I told this candidate that I thought she was selling herself short. This was an opportunity that had the potential to propel her career forward, and she wasn’t even giving it a chance, much like the first candidate we discussed. Like that first candidate, she didn’t even have a job offer, so there was really no decision for her to make.

Julea: And loyalty is a two-way street, isn’t it? I mean, there are tens of millions of unemployed people in the country who don’t feel as though their employer was loyal to them.

Stacy: That’s right, and I mentioned that to her, as well. I said that organizations don’t make decisions whether to keep employees or to let them go based on whether or not they feel loyalty to them. They do what is in the best interests of the organization, plain and simple. The company’s top loyalty is to itself, and that’s why this candidate’s top loyalty should be to herself.

I also told her that one executive of a major Animal Health company once told me that his mentor told him to never turn down the chance to listen to an opportunity when another company calls him, and that’s why he’s now at the top in a leadership role within the industry.

Julea: And that was the same advice that her mentor gave her.

Stacy: Yes, it was.

Julea: And she still didn’t explore the opportunity?

Stacy: Sadly, she did not. And keep in mind that this is just one instance of this. I have a number of examples of basically the same thing happening, over and over, with candidates who are not taking advantage of the opportunity that exists in the marketplace.

Julea: What other examples do you have for us today?

Stacy: I have another one, and it involves a candidate who was actually afraid to resign in order to accept an offer of employment with another organization.

Julea: Afraid to resign? How did that happen?

Stacy: Well, once again, this has happened more than once. This case study that I’m about to relay is not an isolated incident. I’ve noticed a pattern of behavior, and it’s usually when I notice a pattern of behavior that I decide to address the topic in my newsletter or on my podcast.

Now when I talk about candidates who are afraid to resign, I’m talking about candidates who have already interviewed with another organization. In fact, they have impressed the hiring manager of that organization and they have been offered the job. Despite that, they’re having second thoughts about moving forward. And the reason they’re having second thoughts is they have to resign. The moment has come to resign, and they can’t bring themselves to do it.

Julea Was this the situation in your case study?

Stacy: Yes, it was. The boss of one of my candidates had a bad temper. As a result, the candidate was afraid to resign. She was experiencing fear about her resignation. So she wasn’t afraid of the act of changing jobs or any uncertainty she might feel in her new position. She was afraid of her soon-to-be former boss.

Julea Why was she afraid of him?

Stacy: She was afraid that if she formally submitted her resignation, her boss would lose his temper and become angry and then she would not actually resign or leave her job. She would stay with her current employer, basically against her will. And the reason she would do that was fear.

Julea I hope that the candidate actually resigned and started her new job?

Stacy: She eventually did, but as you can imagine, this case study produces plenty of talking points.

Julea What points are those?

Stacy: For one thing, if the candidate was that afraid of her boss and his temper, isn’t it obvious that she made the right decision in pursuing another employment opportunity?

Julea I would say yes!

Stacy: Me, too! And not only that, but if the candidate had submitted her resignation and then changed her mind because her boss lost his temper and got angry, would she ever leave the organization for any reason? When would she leave? After her boss retired or left the organization himself?

Julea That sounds ridiculous.

Stacy: I agree. By being afraid to resign because of her boss’s temper, the candidate was actually giving control of her life over to someone else. She was essentially allowing someone else to make her life’s decisions for her. And that is not the way to enjoy career success and satisfaction, by allowing someone else to make decisions for you.

Julea Stacy, I know you’re a big proponent of not allowing fear to dictate your decisions, so this incident probably struck a chord with you. Is that right?

Stacy: It struck a big chord with me! If that candidate had allowed fear to hold her back, then that could become a habit. The next time, it would have been even easier to allow fear to hold her back. If a person wants to enjoy rewards, especially in their career, then they must be willing to take risks, and that includes the risk of making someone else angry with the decision you make. You can’t please everyone and you have to do what is best for your career and your family.

Julea: Stacy, we’re just about out of time. Is there anything else that you’d like to add before we end today’s episode?

Stacy: Yes, I’ve said this on multiple occasions, but it definitely bears repeating. You have nothing to lose by considering and even pursuing other employment opportunities in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession. If you decide at the end of the process that the job is not for you, then you can turn down the employer’s offer. That is, of course, if an offer has actually been made to you. If it hasn’t, then there is no decision to make.

And that’s really where the problem lies. People allow fear to push them into making a decision when there is no decision to make. And when you make a decision when there isn’t one to make or you make one without having all of the information you need, then you increase the chances that the decision you make is a poor one. Success in your personal life and professional life is all about making the right decisions. And the more opportunities you have, the more leverage you have, and this helps further your career.

There is plenty of opportunity in the marketplace right now, even with the pandemic and the recession that we are dealing with. And it might turn out to be even more of a mistake, if the pandemic and the recession continue for an extended period of time, because some of the opportunities that exist right now might not be available later and then these candidates might regret the hasty decisions that they made to not utilize the leverage they have to their advantage.

Julea: Stacy, thank you once again so much for all of this great information. And for those people who are considering a job change, be sure to check out the Hot Jobs on The VET Recruiter website.

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. Also, if you are an employer with a critical hiring need in the Animal Health Industry or Veterinary Profession reach out to me.

Julea: That’s right Stacy. The website address for The VET Recruiter is www.thevetrecruiter.com. Stacy, as always, thank you for joining us today.

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