Episode #236 – Why Experienced Animal Health and Veterinary Recruiters Are More Important Than Ever

The Vet Recruiter®
The Vet Recruiter®
Episode #236 - Why Experienced Animal Health and Veterinary Recruiters Are More Important Than Ever
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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 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 to solve 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.

Today, we’ll be talking about why experienced Animal Health recruiters and Veterinary recruiters are more important than ever. Hello, Stacy, and thank you for joining us today.

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

Julea: Stacy, it’s been a while since we’ve talked specifically about recruiters on the podcast. Let’s talk about why we are addressing recruiters on our podcast today.

Stacy: Well, I believe the title to this podcast episode says it all. Animal Health recruiters and Veterinary recruiters ARE more important than ever right now. We’ve discussed recently the conditions that currently exist in the employment marketplace. Top talent is in short supply, and that is especially the case within the Veterinary profession. Because top talent is in such short supply, it is more difficult to hire the best candidates. An experienced recruiter or search consultant can definitely help with that.

Julea: Stacy, where would you like to start today with our discussion about recruiters?

Stacy: I’d like to start with what is basically a recap of the value that recruiters provide to employers. And before I begin, I want to outline what we’ll be discussing today. We’re going to discuss recruiters in general, but also two other categories of recruiters. The first category is experienced recruiters, because not all recruiters are experienced and they don’t all have the same level of experience. The second category is what are known as “niche recruiters.” These are recruiters who work exclusively in a particular industry or discipline, as opposed to a generalist, who works in multiple industries.

Julea: So what we’re going to discuss right now, at this point in the podcast episode, relates to recruiters in general?

Stacy: Yes, that’s right. And there are three big pieces of value that recruiters provide for employers, and this value revolves around three facts of the marketplace.

First, top candidates are difficult to find. We’ve covered this before, but top candidates are not applying for jobs online. They probably do not even know that the jobs exist. This is because they’re “passive” candidates. Recruiters can help to find these types of candidates.

Second, top candidates still need to be recruited. Just because you find a superstar candidate does not mean they’re automatically going to be interested in your job opening. When you go fishing, the fish do not jump into your boat. Once you find a good candidate, you must engage them, and once again, this is something that a recruiter can do.

Third, top candidates are more likely to be engaged by multiple employers. This is most definitely the case in the Veterinary profession. The demand for Veterinary talent is as big as I have ever seen it. Without a doubt, the best candidates are receiving attention from multiple employers, so if they are in the hiring process of one organization, chances are good that they’re in the hiring process of multiple organizations. A recruiter can help an employer navigate a tricky situation in which a candidate is being wooed by multiple organizations and might even receive multiple offers of employment.

Julea: This is all value that online job postings, job boards, and social media cannot provide, isn’t that right Stacy?

Stacy: Yes, that is absolutely correct. Only a recruiter can provide the value needed to deal with the three facts of the marketplace that we just outlined. However, as I mentioned a few moments ago, there is a difference between experienced recruiter and one that is not experienced.

Julea: Obviously, I would think that an experienced recruiter would have an edge.

Stacy: Yes, but sometimes employers are not aware of which recruiters have experience and which ones do not. When I started out as an Animal Health recruiter and Veterinary recruiter, there was not another recruiter I could find who specialized in the Animal Health industry or Veterinary profession. These days, it seems as though a new Veterinary recruiter is appearing every week. This can be dangerous for employers, though, if hiring managers are unaware of the inexperience of new recruiting firms. That’s why, if you choose to use a recruiter to fill your most urgent, high-level positions, you must conduct research to determine which recruiting firms have experience and which ones do not. At the very least, you must determine the level of experience that makes you the most comfortable.

Julea: Stacy, we’ve also discussed this before, but you really created the niche for Animal Health recruiting and Veterinary recruiting in the United States. You were the first recruiter to specialize in this niche and have really been a pioneer in this space. There were no other recruiters working in the Animal Health industry or Veterinary profession who devoted themselves exclusively to this niche before you began specialize in this space.

Stacy: Yes, that is true Julea. I’ve been a recruiter in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession for 23 years. I worked for one of the world’s largest executive search and recruiting firms and we had thousands of recruiters and there was not a single recruiter in our firm that specialized exclusively in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession. I built a search practice within that firm devoted to the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession. I then bought it out and went on my own in the early 2000’s.

Julea: So, Stacy, tell us, what can an experienced recruiter do for their clients? What is the value that they can provide?

Stacy: I’m glad you asked Julea, because I have three big reasons why an employer should work with an experienced recruiter.

First, they have knowledge of current and emerging trends in the marketplace. Hiring does not exist in a vacuum. What’s happening in the marketplace can definitely affect an organization’s hiring efforts, especially if that employer does not recognize them or take them into consideration. And it’s not just about current trends. Emerging trends are also important, because they can dictate what is going to happen in the future.

Second, an experienced recruiter has knowledge of what organizations have been doing, are doing, and might be doing to achieve more growth. I have an example that illustrates this value. Once, I was speaking with a company official, and during the course of our conversation, I realized that I knew more about what was happening not only with their competition, but also what was happening within his own company than he did! In addition, one of their competitors had just been purchased, and he was not aware of it. I was also aware of other competitors in their space that he was not.

Julea: Wow, that is a lot of important information to not know about!

Stacy: Yes, it is! And that is far from the only time that has happened. As a recruiter, it’s my job to know these things, and this is information is valuable for clients as I help them fill their important and critical positions.

Third, an experienced recruiter has hundreds of conversations with candidates every single week. Because of this, they know which candidates are the top candidates, they know which candidates are likely to make a move, and they know what it would take for those candidates to make a move. This is all critical information to have during the recruiting and hiring process. It can mean the difference between hiring the candidates you want to hire and having that candidate drop out of the process long before you reach the offer stage.

Hiring managers and typically do not have the time to make hundreds of phone calls every week with candidates and other people. As a result, it is almost impossible to obtain the kind of crucial information and insight that an experienced recruiter has.

And that brings us to our third category of recruiter.

Julea: Is that the niche recruiter?

Stacy: Yes, it is, and an Animal Health recruiter or Veterinary recruiter falls into that category. So while it’s important for an organization to work with an experienced recruiter, it’s even more important for that organization to work with a recruiter who has experience in its niche.

A few years ago, Scout, an analytics company conducted a study in which they analyzed more than 333,000 candidate submissions over a 12-month period. As a result of that study, Scout discovered that 90% of all jobs filled by third-party recruiters were filled by a specialty, or niche, recruiting firm.

Julea: So if a job is filled by a recruiter, it’s more than likely that recruiter is a niche recruiter?

Stacy: Yes, that’s right. And there are four main reasons why a niche recruiting firm has more success in filling employers’ open positions than a generalist firm or one that doesn’t work within the industry 100% of the time. Some of these we’ve already touched upon.

First, these recruiters have already built relationships with the top talent in the industry. This is especially the case if the recruiters are experienced and have worked in the industry for years.

Second, they’re familiar with the terminology and jargon associated with the industry. This allows them to communicate more effectively during the hiring process and help employers make decisions more quickly.

Third, these recruiters are able to stay on top of new trends and developments within the industry, which is something we addressed earlier.

And fourth, their familiarity with the industry translates into more speed and efficiency during the hiring process.

Julea: It seems as though a lot of this value hinges on speed.

Stacy: It does, but it also hinges on accuracy. An experienced recruiter should be able to fill their client’s job opening with the best candidate available in the marketplace in the shortest amount of time possible.

Julea: I’m just curious, how long should that take?

Stacy: When an organization has a job opening, it should take no more than six weeks to not only fill the position, but also fill it with the best candidate available in the marketplace. That’s what a niche recruiting firm can do. But I will say in this tight competitive job market, especially in the Veterinary profession right now, it can take longer.

Julea: So we’ve discussed the value that a recruiter can provide, as well as the value that an experienced recruiter and a niche recruiter can provide. Where do we go from here?

Stacy: The final form of value that I’d like to explore is how an experienced and quality recruiting firm can help an organization to “sell” a job opportunity. We touched upon this topic recently with our previous podcast episode, which was titled, “Strategies and Tips for Hiring Animal Health and Veterinary Talent in This Market.”

Julea: So an employer should be selling to the candidate, and a recruiter can help the employer do that?

Stacy: Yes. First and foremost, the act of recruiting is a form of selling. When you’re attempting to attract and hire the best candidates available in the marketplace, you’re selling not just the position, but the opportunity and the company, as well. It doesn’t matter if you’re a hiring manager, a veterinary practice owner, or a recruiter. You’re selling.

Julea: And the better the candidate, the more you have to sell, is that right?

Stacy: That’s right. Active job seekers don’t have to be sold that much, if at all. A-level candidates, on the other hand, are passive candidates. They must be sold. These candidates are more than likely being treated and compensated fairly well at their current employer. In order for them to make a move, they need to be convinced that the move is the best thing for them to do.  And that is why recruiting is a sales function.

The information and the facts of the situation only go so far. It’s how that information and those facts are presented that ultimately makes a difference. A high-quality recruiting firm excels at presenting this information in a way that effectively sells the position, the opportunity, and the company to A-level candidates.

Julea: So what specifically can a recruiter do to help an employer sell to top candidates?

Stacy: There are five ways that an experienced and quality recruiting firm helps their client to sell throughout the hiring process.

First, they pitch the opportunity to candidates. You have to get the attention of A-level candidates first.  Job postings and advertisements don’t do that.

Second, they overcome objections. A-level candidates have plenty of reasons not to pursue a new opportunity, and they will voice them. A recruiter can overcome those objections.

Third, they negotiate offers of employment. Negotiation involves “give and take,” and candidates often must be convinced of what’s worth giving and what’s worth taking.

Fourth, they pre-close the candidate. It’s important to make sure that the candidate is committed every step of the way and that nothing has changed. Recruiters know which questions to ask, and more importantly, when to ask them.

And fifth, they close through the candidate’s start date, and sometimes, even beyond that. Candidates must be convinced that the decision they made was the best one for them, up until and including their first day of work.

Julea: And if they’re not convinced, they could “ghost” the employer, is that right?

Stacy: Yes, “ghosting” is something that is still happening in the job market, including in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession. This is a perfect example of why an employer must sell to a candidate all the way through the process, and includes even after a candidate has accepted an offer of employment and has agreed to join the organization!

Julea: Stacy, these are all great tips and strategies, but we’re just about out of time for today. Do you have anything else that you like to add?

Stacy: Yes, I want to reiterate that Animal Health recruiters and Veterinary recruiters are more important to employers than ever. First, of all, they’re recruiters, and we’ve just covered the value that niche recruiters provide. But once again, if a hiring manager or practice owner has decided to partner with a recruiter, they should make sure that recruiter is experienced. They should have experience placing exactly the same type of professionals that the organization is looking to hire. I can’t emphasize enough how important that is.

If you’re an Animal Health company or Veterinary organization and you work with the wrong recruiter, you could waste time and lose money instead of saving both. Not only that, but you won’t hire the candidate you want to hire, which was the point of using a recruiter in the first place.

Julea: Stacy, thank you for all of this great information. Before we end today’s podcast episode, I have a question. Obviously, you are an experienced recruiter and The VET Recruiter is an experienced recruiting firm. But are there sub-niches in which you recruit? What are all the areas in which you and your recruiters specialize?

Stacy: That’s a great question. VET Recruiter is the leading executive search and recruitment firm based in the United States with a focus on Animal Health and Veterinary Medicine. We work across the Pet Health and Animal Ag Tech Ecosystems, and the market sectors we serve include Animal Science, Animal Nutrition, Pet Food, Pet Tech, Pet Products, Pet Specialty, Animal Ag-Tech, and Veterinary Medicine.

We serve Animal Health Industry suppliers, feed ingredient and feed manufacturers, manufacturers of trace minerals and feed additives, Animal Health distribution companies, genomics and genetics companies, emerging technology development companies, veterinary hospitals, and privately and corporate owned and veterinary pharmacies.

We also handle many different functions, including executive-level positions, management, Sales & Marketing, Research & Development, Regulatory Affairs, Quality Assurance, Professional Services, and Pharmacovigilance.

Julea: The VET Recruiter is very specialized!

Stacy: It is, and actually, what I’ve mentioned is just the “tip of the iceberg.” There is so more information on our website, and there are also other resources on the site, as well, for both employers and also for professionals.

I also recommend that those who visit the website also sign up for our monthly newsletter, which also contains hiring tips and strategies. You can also follow The VET Recruiter on the various social media channels, including LinkedIn, and you can do that right from The VET Recruiter website.

Julea: For those in our listening audience who may not know, the website address for The VET Recruiter is www.thevetrecruiter.com. 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!