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 of The VET Recruiter, provides insight and practical advice for both employers and job seekers in the Animal Health and Veterinary industries. The VET Recruiter’s focus is on solving talent-centric problems for the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession. In fact, The VET Recruiter’s mission is to help Animal Health and Veterinary companies 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 how Animal Health and Veterinary employers can enjoy more success in 2021. Hello, Stacy, and thank you for joining us today.
Stacy: Hello, Julea. As always, I’m glad to be here with you. What a year it has been and now we are finally coming to the end of 2020!
Julea: Yes, Stacy, I think many people are glad about that and are hoping for a better 2021! Stacy, in our two most recent podcast episodes, we’ve talked about how Animal Health and Veterinary professionals can grow their career. Specifically, we talked about how Animal Health and Veterinary professionals can assess what has happened in their career during 2020 and what they can do to grow and develop in 2021. Since we devoted time to Animal Health and Veterinary professionals, including job seekers and job candidates, we are now going to pivot to addressing Animal Health and Veterinary employers with today’s episode, isn’t that right Stacy?
Stacy: Yes, that is what we are going to do today Julea. Just as there are things that Animal Health and Veterinary professionals can do to reach their goals in 2021, there are also things that Animal Health and Veterinary employers can do to reach their hiring and talent management goals, as well. And those are the things that I’d like to talk about today. There are just a few days left in 2020, and the New Year will be here before you know it.
Julea: Yes, it absolutely will! I am looking forward to the new year with hope and anticipation of good things to come. So where would you like to begin today Stacy?
Stacy: First, I’d like to say that just as the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc with many professionals in 2020, it’s done the same thing with Animal Health and Veterinary employers. It is true that certain industries have suffered more than the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession—the Hospitality and Travel industries being two of them—but the pandemic has still had an impact. With that being said, there has been a bit of a recovery in the Animal Health and Veterinary space since the virus first caused states to lock down.
What this means is that Animal Health and Veterinary employers still have a desire to hire. They still need to find, recruit, and hire the best candidates in the marketplace. You remember, of course, that the unemployment rate in the Veterinary profession was extremely low before the pandemic. While it might not be 0.5% anymore, it’s certainly not as high as the National Unemployment Rate. So with that in mind, every organization wants to hire better than it did the year before, and every organization wants to continually improve the quality of its employees and its workforce year after year.
Julea: That does make sense Stacy. How can Animal Health and Veterinary employers accomplish these things so that they have more success when it comes to hiring in the new year?
Stacy: Believe it or not, the steps are actually simple. It’s how you approach the steps that are important. Those organizations that approach the steps in the correct fashion are the ones that typically enjoy the most success, and there are three main steps involved.
Julea: What are the three steps Stacy?
Stacy: The first step is to retain your best employees. That makes sense, doesn’t it?
However, there is quite a bit involved here. That’s because you must identify those employees first. Once you’ve identified them, ask the following questions:
One of the biggest mistakes you can make as an Animal Health or Veterinary employer is taking your best employees for granted. You must show these employees that you appreciate them. Unfortunately, some organizations focus too much energy on addressing other needs. Retaining your best employees is definitely a top priority.
Julea: What’s the second step that you have to share with us Stacy?
Stacy: The second step is one that some Animal Health hiring managers and some veterinary practice owners don’t think about as often, and that’s replacing underperforming employees. But this step also makes sense, when you take a moment to think about it.
It might be difficult to let these employees go, but if they’re not contributing in a positive way to the organization—if they’re not providing value—then why are they working for the organization?
Julea: Stacy, what do you mean by underperforming employees?
Stacy: That’s a great question. These employees could be underperforming for any number of reasons. For example, they might not even enjoy what they’re doing. Or there might be something happening in their personal life that is affecting their work. Considering the current climate in the country and around the world, that could very well be the case. If it is, then the employee’s supervisor needs to explore the situation and get to the bottom of it.
Julea: Stacy, does it seem a bit insensitive to discuss replacing underperforming employees during a worldwide pandemic?
Stacy: I know it might seem like that’s the case, and I will say that it’s beneficial to work for a caring organization that is understanding and flexible in the face of trying personal circumstances. However, there is a flip side to that coin, as there always is. During a pandemic and especially during a recession, it’s even more important to provide value to your employer. What an employer wants are employees who can solve problems and help the organization make money, save money, or both. The bottom line in this situation is, quite literally, the bottom line. The company has to stay in business in order to survive so that can continue to provide products or services to their clients and provide value to the stakeholders they represent.
This is why I’m a big proponent of focusing on the value that you as a professional can provide to your current employer. Everything comes down to value. The goal is to provide as much value as you possibly can, regardless of whether or not there’s a pandemic. If you’re providing enough value to your employer, then it’s less likely that you will lose your job or be laid off. Notice that I didn’t say it’s impossible, because there were many people who lost their job this past year who were providing plenty of value to their employers. Instead, I’m saying that it’s less likely that you’ll lose your job or get laid off.
Julea: Stacy, what is the third step that you’d like to discuss with our listening audience today?
Stacy: The third step is to recruit A-level candidates for your organization. And it doesn’t matter why or the circumstances under which you’re looking to hire. You might be replacing an underperforming employee. You might be looking to fill a position vacated by an employee who left the organization. Or you might be looking to fill a newly created position.
Whatever the case may be, you want an A-level job candidate to fill the position. You want someone who is the best at what they do, and you want that person working for you.
Julea: And Stacy, would you say that it’s more difficult to hire top candidates during a pandemic than it was before the pandemic started?
Stacy: You might think that it’s easier, but in many cases, it’s actually not. That’s because some of these candidates are in “hunker down” mode. First of all, they’re more than likely employed, and second, Animal Health and Veterinary employers are probably doing everything in their power to hold onto them. That’s because if these are the top candidates and professionals in the marketplace, then they are probably providing a tremendous amount of value to their employers, and we just talked about how important value is. Some people are scared to make a move right now due to the pandemic. I’ve recently addressed people who are afraid to make a move about not letting your career be placed on hold due to the pandemic. I think that is important to remember. Life still goes on.
For employers, top talent and the best candidates must be identified, first and foremost. After they’re identified, they must be recruited. These highly regarded people are rarely actively looking for a new opportunity, and that’s especially the case now, during COVID-19. A premium employment opportunity must be presented to them and they must be convinced to consider it.
Julea: Stacy, with as crazy as things are right now with the pandemic and everything else going on, do Animal Health and Veterinary employers have the time and energy to do what is necessary to hire top talent? I can see how some employers could get overwhelmed, considering how many other things they have to do on a daily basis.
Stacy: That’s a great question Julea, and it brings me to my next point, which is that an Animal Health recruiter or Veterinary recruiter can help. They have the knowledge, expertise, and experience to identify top talent for the critical needs of an organization.
That’s why I firmly believe that another strategy for hiring success for Animal Health and Veterinary employers in 2021 is to partner with an experienced Animal Health executive recruiter or Veterinary Recruiter who has a track record of success. That’s because a good, experienced recruiter can help with all stages of the recruiting and hiring process.
First, they can identify the best candidates in the marketplace, including “diamond in the rough” candidates who have an impressive soft skill set with tremendous upside and potential.
Second, they can recruit those candidates to consider your employment opportunity.
Third, they can keep the candidates engaged throughout the hiring process.
And fourth, they can negotiate effectively with the candidates to successfully close them so they accept an offer of employment.
Julea: Stacy, I believe we’ve also discussed this before, but doesn’t having an important position open for an extended period of time cost an organization a lot of money?
Stacy: Yes, that’s right. The longer that an important position remains unfilled at your organization, the more money it typically costs. There is the opportunity cost of not having someone in the role, especially someone who is a producer. An Animal Health recruiter or Veterinary recruiter, on the other hand, does not cost money when you look at it as an investment to hire top people rather than an expense. That’s because a good recruiter can help you fill the position as quickly as possible with the most qualified person possible. And once that person is hired, their production should represent a return that you should expect to receive on the investment you made in the recruiter. I’ve had many clients over the years tell me the cost of not having someone in the role cost them more money than paying a recruiting fee to get the right person.
Julea: That makes sense Stacy. We are just about out of time. Is there anything else that you’d like to add before we end today’s podcast episode?
Stacy: Yes, I do have something else to ad before we go. We talk quite a bit on the show about the importance of being proactive, and when we do, we’re usually addressing job seekers and candidates. However, it is just as important for Animal Health and Veterinary employers to also be proactive, and that includes hiring managers who are looking to add employees or fill important positions. In fact, it’s even more important for them to be proactive during this pandemic.
Julea: Is that because professionals are “hunkering down,” and some are scared to make a move like you mentioned earlier?
Stacy: Yes, that’s exactly right. I know a lot of people have lost their job this past year, but that doesn’t translate into there being an influx of highly qualified job candidates in the marketplace, especially in the Animal Health Industry and Veterinary profession which are doing well right now. All it means is that it’s even more difficult to find, recruit, and hire the best candidates. And that is exactly why a proactive approach is required on the part of Animal Health and Veterinary employers. Top candidates were scarce before, and they’re just as scarce now, if not more so. The pandemic has not changed that.
Julea: Stacy, thank you for all of this great information. Before we end today’s podcast episode, I have a question for you. Not only have you been an Animal Health executive recruiter for more than 20 years, but you’re also considered an Animal Health key opinion leader and Veterinary key opinion leader, is that right?
Stacy: Yes, that’s correct.
Julea: Why is that so important and why does that set you and The VET Recruiter apart from other recruiting firms in the marketplace?
Stacy: My experience as an Animal Health Executive Recruiter has helped me to become an Animal Health and Veterinary thought and opinion leader, and that is a role that I’m proud to fill and one that I take seriously. Not only does The VET Recruiter offer this podcast, but we also have a newsletter for both professionals and employers and I conduct presentations and webinars within the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession on a regular basis. You can read past newsletter articles on The VET Recruiter website, and you can also see recorded versions of my webinars and presentations.
It’s important to me to be able to share my expertise with others. Wisdom does come with experience, as the saying goes, and what’s the point of gaining wisdom if you don’t share it with other people so they can use it to increase their quality of life?
Julea: For more information about The VET Recruiter and the services that it provides to both Animal Health and Veterinary employers and professionals, we invite everyone listening to visit www.thevetrecruiter.com. If you are an Animal Health employer or Veterinary employer needing to hire top talent reach out to Stacy. If you are an Animal Health professional or Veterinary professional ready to make your next career move reach out to Stacy. Stacy is an Animal Health and Veterinary Workplace Workforce expert.
Stacy, as always, thank you for joining us today.
Stacy: It’s been my pleasure, Julea, and I look forward to our next episode of the “Animal Health and Veterinary Employment Insider”! Happy New Year everyone!
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