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 employers find and 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 Animal Health and Veterinary hiring, specifically why top talent is always in demand within these fields. Hello, Stacy, and thank you for joining us today.
Stacy: Hello, Julea. As always, I am glad to be here with you.
Julea: Stacy, we were in a candidates’ job market before the COVID-19 pandemic began. At that time, you could definitely say that top talent was in demand. But you’re saying that’s still the case now, even though we’re in the middle of a pandemic and quite possibly a recession?
Stacy: Yes, that is exactly the case. The challenge is that some employers and hiring managers believe, either consciously or subconsciously, that it is not the case.
Julea: Why do they think that Stacy?
Stacy: Well, you can imagine why they might have thought that way when the virus first arrived on the scene and the pandemic started. After the lockdowns began and millions of people lost their jobs, some Animal Health and Veterinary employers put their hiring plans on hold.
Julea: So, when the pandemic hit, was it true that top talent was not in demand because there were some employers who were not hiring at all?
Stacy: On the surface, that might seem to be true. However, even if employers have a “hiring freeze” or they’re not planning to hire anyone in the near future, there are still hiring managers at Animal Health companies and Veterinary practice owners who would love to upgrade their personnel by hiring better, and more impactful employees.
It doesn’t matter if a company or organization is actively hiring. The managers at that organization still want the best people to work for them. There is still a demand for the best people, the top talent. And since it is unlikely that any organization is 100% staffed with the very best people in the industry, I think it is safe to say that top talent is always in demand in some way.
Julea: So what’s currently happening in the marketplace, now that the lockdowns are over and many of the restrictions have been lifted?
Stacy: There is certainly more Animal Health and Veterinary hiring occurring than there was when the pandemic first hit. However, a challenge has surfaced in the form of perceived leverage.
Julea: Perceived leverage? What do you mean by that?
Stacy: When it was a candidates’ market, candidates had the leverage. Not only did they have the leverage, but there was also a perception that they had the leverage. The candidates definitely had the perception they had the leverage. They knew they were in demand. Unfortunately, some candidates attempted to not only use their leverage, but also to abuse it.
Julea: We have talked about that some on this podcast in the past Stacy. Let us go over this again though. What are some ways that candidates abuse their leverage?
Stacy: One way that candidates abuse their leverage is through “ghosting,” which is not showing up for an interview or even for your first day of work. There were some candidates who would receive an offer of employment, say they wanted some time to think about it, and then they were never heard from again.
There was also a problem with perception on the other end of the spectrum, with employers.
Julea: How is that Stacy?
Stacy: Even though it was obvious that candidates, especially top candidates, had the leverage, some hiring managers did not acknowledge that was the case, nor did they want to acknowledge that was the case. As a result, they made a habit of not treating top candidates like top candidates during the Animal Health or Veterinary hiring process. So they lost some great candidates because those candidates decided to stay with their current employer or they considered the employment opportunity of another employer.
Julea: So what’s the situation now in terms of leverage and the perception of leverage?
Stacy: Well, as you can imagine, things are different in the marketplace than they were at the beginning of the year. However, regardless of the situation or what people perceive about the circumstances, there is one thing that never changes.
Julea: After what we just discussed, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that one thing is related to the title of today’s podcast episode, is that right?
Stacy: Yes, because as I just mentioned, top talent is always in demand. I have two simple reasons why this is the case. One reason is based in logic and the other is based in numbers.
Julea: That sounds intriguing. What are those reasons?
Stacy: The reason based in logic is one that we touched upon earlier, simply that employers always want to hire the best candidates. Or at least, they should want to always hire the best candidates. Think about it. If you’re going through all the trouble of finding candidates and interviewing them to fill a position, why would you NOT want to hire the best?
The fact of the matter is that there is a big difference between the very best candidates and everyone else. In fact, there’s even a discernable difference between A-level job candidates and B-level ones.
Julea: Tell us more about the differences between A level and B level candidates Stacy.
Stacy: You have to picture A-level candidates as being the “complete package” because that is what they bring to the table for an employer. They possess raw skills and talent, but they also possess other, less tangible attributes. They are almost always intrinsically motivated, which means they’re self-starters who do not need anyone else to “light a fire” under them. They also have good instincts and business sense, they have a grasp on situations and circumstances, and they have the ability to change and adapt in the face of challenging conditions.
In the employment marketplace and the world of business, employers need every edge they can get to beat their competition and succeed, and A-level candidates and A-level employees can provide that edge.
Now don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with B-level job candidates and employees. They’re solid performers. They show up to their job and they do it in a competent fashion. But as an employer, if you want to “move the needle” in terms of your business, then you need to hire job candidates who are going to make a true difference in your organization. And I’m talking about A-level candidates, the top 5% to 10% of the candidates that exist in the marketplace.
So that is my first reason, the one that is rooted in logic.
Julea: What is the second reason, the one that you say is based in numbers?
Stacy: To help make my point, I am going to talk in generalities for a moment, meaning that I am going to talk about the marketplace at large and not just Animal Health and Veterinary hiring.
With the number of unemployed people in the market right now, companies that are hiring are probably receiving a larger number of resumes and applications from active job seekers. So for a moment, put yourself in the shoes of a hiring manager. With all of the applications that you’re getting, you probably think that you have all of the leverage and that you have your pick of job candidates for whatever positions you’re trying to fill, right?
Julea: Yes, I would imagine so.
Stacy: The problem is that as a hiring manager, you have your pick of job seekers, many of whom are currently unemployed. The question is how many people in the top 5% to 10% of candidates in the marketplace are among that group of unemployed job seekers?
Julea: I imagine not very many because companies tend to hold on to their A players.
Stacy: That is right, not very many. So while you as a hiring manager may feel as though you have your pick of any candidate you want, the reality of the situation is that you do NOT have your pick of any of the top candidates you want, the very best candidates. And this is where we get to the numbers part of this reason.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic started, there were a certain number of top candidates in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession. To illustrate my point, let’s say that there were 100, even though we know there were many more than that. Using that as our baseline, how many top candidates do you think exist now?
Julea: I would have to say probably close to 100.
Stacy: Yes, that’s right! There is not all of a sudden more highly qualified candidates in the marketplace now that the pandemic is here. There aren’t even more top candidates in the marketplace now even though we’re in the midst of a recession. Just because there’s a recession does NOT mean that there are suddenly more top candidates to choose from. In terms of the marketplace, and especially when it comes to Animal Health and Veterinary hiring, that is a fallacy and a myth.
Julea: That’s part of the perception of the marketplace that you were talking about earlier, is that right?
Stacy: That’s absolutely correct. When perception does not match up with reality, that’s when you can have problems. And not only are there the same amount of top candidates in the marketplace, but the argument could also be made that it’s even more difficult to hire them right now.
Julea: Why is that?
Stacy: For a couple of reasons, actually. First, employers are more aware of how important their most valuable employees are. As a result, they’re increasing their efforts to try to keep them on board. The last thing that organizations can afford right now is to lose top talent from their staff.
And second, some of the top candidates are less likely to consider making a move due to the conditions that exist in the marketplace, specifically the pandemic and the recession. I have spoken with some candidates who have told me, “It’s not a good time to make a move right now,” or “I want to wait until the pandemic is over.”
Julea: So what you’re saying is that not only are there not more top candidates in the marketplace, but those candidates are even tougher to recruit and hire, is that right?
Stacy: Yes, that would be accurate. And that was just for the employment marketplace at large. The situation is even more dramatic in terms of Animal Health and Veterinary hiring, where the unemployment rate is lower than what it is at the national level.
Julea: Stacy, does that mean the perception that employers have all of the leverage and candidates have none is incorrect?
Stacy: Yes, that perception is incorrect. When it comes to Animal Health and Veterinary hiring, not only is top talent always in demand, but even during the pandemic and the recession, the best candidates are difficult to recruit and hire. This is the reality of the marketplace for animal health companies and veterinary practices. It is important for hiring managers to recognize this reality so that you will be to hire the candidates you want to hire.
Julea: Stacy, we’re just about out of time. Is there anything else that you’d like to add before we end today’s podcast episode?
Stacy: Yes, there is. I think what animal health employers and veterinary hiring managers should focus on are results. When you focus more on perception and leverage, you don’t focus on results, and when you don’t focus on results enough, you don’t get the results you want.
When you break it down to its simplest form, if an animal health employer or veterinary employer needs to hire someone, either to replace a departed employee or to fill a newly created position, that employer should want to hire the best job candidate possible. Not only that, but they should also be willing to do whatever is necessary to hire the best job candidate possible. But when you start focusing on whether or not the candidate needs your job more than your organization needs the candidate or who has the leverage and who doesn’t, that’s when you “take your eye off the ball.” And when you do that, you don’t get the results that you want.
And it goes even beyond that. If you focus on results when you’re hiring, then you’re going to hire the right candidates. And the right candidates are those who also focus on getting results. This is why you can’t go wrong always trying to hire the best.
If you’re an employer, top talent and the best candidates will help you to get the results you want as an organization. Sports teams with the best players win. And that is exactly why, when it comes to Animal Health and Veterinary hiring, top talent is always in demand.
Julea: Stacy, thank you for sharing all of this great information about current trends in Animal Health and Veterinary hiring with our listening audience today. For those listeners who are considering a job change, be sure to check out the hot jobs on The VET Recruiter website today. For Animal Health companies and Veterinary practices who need to hire top talent reach out to Stacy. You can reach out to Stacy on The VET Recruiter website at www.thevetrecruiter.com Stacy is a workplace workforce expert in the Animal Health and Veterinary Industry and if you don’t know Stacy, she is someone you need to know.
Stacy: Yes, for those listeners who want to change their current job situation and are interested in exploring Animal Health jobs or Veterinary jobs, I invite you to visit our website at www.thevetrecruiter.com. We post new employment opportunities on The VET Recruiter website on a regular basis.
Julea: Stacy, as always, thank you for joining us today.
Stacy: Julea, it has been my pleasure, and I look forward to our next episode of The Animal Health and Veterinary Employment Insider!
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