Episode #241 – A Limit to the Leverage in Veterinary Hiring: the Bigger, Better Deal (BBD)

The Vet Recruiter®
The Vet Recruiter®
Episode #241 - A Limit to the Leverage in Veterinary Hiring: the Bigger, Better Deal (BBD)
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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 there is a limit to the leverage when it comes to Animal Health and Veterinary hiring and why job seekers can not do anything they want during the recruiting and hiring process. Hello, Stacy, and thank you for joining us today.

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

Julea: Stacy, I can’t remember if we’ve mentioned the phrase “limit to the leverage” before on the podcast, but can you refresh my memory and the memories of those in the listening audience?

Stacy: I certainly can. We are in a candidates’ job market right now in terms of Veterinary hiring. In fact, I would say that this is the tightest market for talent in the profession that I have witnessed in my 24 years being an Animal Health recruiter and Veterinary recruiter. When it’s a candidates’ market, typically when the economy or the job market is good, then candidates have the leverage in hiring situations. This is especially the case for the best candidates, the top 5% to 10% of professionals in the marketplace. On the other hand, when it’s an employers’ market, typically when the economy or job market is not good, employers have the leverage.

Julea: So right now, candidates have the leverage in Veterinary hiring situations.

Stacy: Yes, they definitely do, and this has been the case in the Veterinary profession for the past several years. So it’s nothing new, per se, but as I just mentioned, the shortage of qualified candidates and top talent is as severe as it’s ever been. This means that although top professionals had leverage in the past, they have even more of it now.

Julea: But as the title of today’s podcast indicates, there is a limit to the leverage that candidates have.

Stacy: Yes, that is correct, Julea, although I have encountered many instances in which candidates did not think that was the case.

Julea: Really? Why is that Stacy?

Stacy: Well, for one things, most candidates realize they have the leverage in Veterinary hiring situations right now. They’re well aware of what’s happening in the job market overall and within the Veterinary profession specifically. Of course, once they decide to explore other employment opportunities, they can find themselves quickly being recruited by not just, but multiple employers. This can all “go to their head,” so to speak, which is human nature.

Julea: I can understand, especially if these employers are making attractive offers to them.

Stacy: Exactly. And of course, they’re going to be motivated to select the best offer, the one that gives them the best chance of growing their career and changing their life for the better. But there is a point at which there is a limit to the leverage that a professional or candidate has during the Veterinary hiring process.

Julea: What point is that Stacy, where the leverage ends?

Stacy: The point at which the candidate is at risk for damaging their professional reputation, compromising their integrity, or both.

Julea: What are some of the things that professionals do when they think they have all of the leverage in a Veterinary hiring situation?

Stacy: Unfortunately, there are a lot of things. Many of them deal with not being forthright or honest, including about whether or not they’re entertaining multiple offers. Then, of course, there is “ghosting,” when a newly hired professional simply does not show up for their first day of work without letting anyone know that they won’t be there. What usually happens in that case is that the professional ended up accepting another offer after accepting the first offer.

Julea: So they decide to just not show up for work at the organization that made them the first offer?

Stacy: Yes, that’s what happens. It would be bad enough if they contacted the organization the day before and said they wouldn’t be showing up, but these candidates just don’t show up at all. I think that shows that they know what they’re doing is not professional and not an accepted practice. So instead of putting themselves in a position where they feel they’re being held accountable for their actions, they simply decide to avoid the situation altogether.

Julea: Wow, Is that because of the conditions in the job market, the fact that it’s a candidates’ market?

Stacy: Yes. They believe, consciously or subconsciously, that they don’t have to face the consequences of their actions because they have all the leverage in Animal Health or Veterinary hiring situations. That even if the job offer they actually accepted does not work out, there will always be another great employment opportunity in their future. Not only that, but they believe there will be so many of them that they can afford to “ghost” this one employer and “burn bridges” with it.

Julea: Yes, I can imagine. The employer that they “ghosted” would not entertain hiring them again.

Stacy: No, they would not. And, if a recruiter was representing them, they would not want to work with them again either.

Julea: So they’re “burning bridges” twice as fast?

Stacy: Yes, they are. Not only are they acting unprofessionally and sacrificing their integrity, but they’re also damaging their personal brand and their reputation. While the Veterinary profession is growing, it’s still not one of the biggest industries in the job market. People talk to one another, and if you “burn bridges” with a veterinary practice owner or hiring authority, there is a good chance that they’ll tell other people about the experience. And then your reputation will be tarnished with those people, too.

But there are Veterinary hiring situations in which the candidate does not even leave their current employer and still manages to damage their career, all because they believe they have the leverage.

Julea: Which situations are those?

Stacy: Let’s say that there’s a professional who conducts a job search while they are employed. Eventually, they interview in the Veterinary hiring process of another employer. As a result of that interview, the candidate receives an offer of employment from the organization.

However, instead of either a.) accepting the offer or b.) declining the offer, which may have led to a negotiation of the terms of the offer, the candidate does something else.

Julea: What do they do?

Stacy: They turn around and tell their boss that they received an offer from another employer.

Julea: Without accepting or declining the offer?

Stacy: That’s correct, and there problems with what this professional is doing. First, the person in this situation has not decided that they’re going to leave their current employer, nor have they decided if they’re going to accept this offer from a new employer.

Instead, they’ve decided to try to use this new offer to get more money out of their current employer. After all, they didn’t give their two-week notice to their boss. They simply told their boss that they received an offer from another organization.

Julea: So what’s their motivation for doing that?

Stacy: The candidate is hoping that their boss will think something along the lines of this: “I can’t afford to lose this person right now! Maybe I can convince them to stay if I give them a raise. I should make a counter-offer so that we can keep them!”

That’s what the candidate is hoping their boss thinks. That way, if their boss makes them a counter-offer, perhaps they’ll stay. However, if the boss doesn’t make a counter-offer, then they’ll leave. Either way, the candidate is going to opt for the BBD, which is an acronym for the bigger, better deal.

Julea: Is the person in this scenario even conducting a job search? I mean, an actual one?

Stacy:. Not necessarily.They’re actually looking for a way to use another employer to make their situation better. Now, I’ve discussed the dangers of accepting a counteroffer before on our podcast. But you’ll notice that the candidate in this situation is not trying to avoid a counteroffer. Instead, they’re actually trying to create one!

There are a number of things that can go wrong in a situation like this one.

Julea: Like what?

Stacy: Well, the candidate could receive a counteroffer from their current employer, accept it, and lose their job shortly thereafter. That has happened before, and it happens more often than you might think. This is because their boss now obviously knows that the candidate has been exploring other employment opportunities and could be seen as a “flight risk.” They might not want to deal with that, so after buying time by making a counteroffer, they could look for the person’s replacement, whom they would view as a better long-term solution.

Second, the candidate could receive a counteroffer, accept it, and then not receive their next raise. That’s because, in the mind of their boss, they already received their next raise in the form of the counteroffer.

Third, candidate’s boss could take too long to make a counter-offer, and by the time the candidate goes back to the other employer, its offer is “off the table.”

Julea: Ouch, that sounds like a worst-case scenario.

Stacy: It can be. First of all, the candidate lost their new offer of employment, which might very well have been a job clearly better than the one they currently have. Then there’s no guarantee that their boss is going to make a counteroffer to them. Let’s say their boss comes back and says, “Sorry, we don’t have any money in the budget to give you a raise. Good luck at your new job.”

Julea: Wow, that would put them in a tough spot.

Stacy: Yes, it would. Not only do they no longer have a new offer of employment, but they’re also not getting a raise and even if they manage to stay at their current employer, their boss is going to be suspicious that it’s only a matter of time before they leave again or try to leave. That’s pretty much the epitome of “burning a bridge” while you’re still standing on the bridge!

Another thing that could happen and I’ve seen it happen is the candidate accepts the counteroffer and then the other company buys their current company and lays them off due to consolidation of employees. That’s another worst-case scenario. I saw this happen with one of my colleagues. I was working with another executive recruiter who placed bank presidents. He placed a president of a bank, who didn’t show up for his first day of work at the new bank because he accepted a counteroffer with his current bank. The bank he accepted the offer with bought his existing bank 6 months later and fired him because of the unprofessional experience he left them with 6 months ago when he decided not to show up for his first day of work.

Julea: What should professionals do instead of what the candidate did in this situation?

Stacy: They’re rather simple. In fact, you could almost call them common sense. First, don’t tell your boss that you have an offer from another employer unless you’re actually ready to resign. You should be submitting your letter of resignation at the same time you tell them that you’ve accepted another position. Telling your boss that you have an offer is not a resignation. It’s a risky attempt to gain leverage in a situation that has a high probability of going absolutely nowhere.

And second, do NOT use an offer of employment from another organization to try to get a better deal from your current employer.

I understand the temptation of current market conditions for job seekers and candidates. You’re attempting to leverage these conditions for everything they’re worth. Obviously, you want to do what is in your own best interests, but when your focus is continually on the BBD or the “bigger, better deal,” you can have tunnel vision. You lose sight of the big picture and how your actions now can affect your career in the future.

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

Stacy: Yes, I want to reiterate that personal branding is a big part of this discussion. Your personal brand is the experience that you provide for other people, and you’re branding yourself every day, all the time, with the way in which you interact with others. It’s a never-ending process, so you’re either branding yourself in a positive way or a negative way, regardless of whether or not you’re aware that you’re doing so. The Animal Health and Veterinary industry is too small to brand yourself in a negative way.

Professionalism and integrity should be part of every person’s personal brand, or at the very least, everyone should aspire to make these things part of their brand. That means speaking and acting with professionalism and integrity all of the time. It doesn’t mean acting with professionalism and integrity when it suits your interests, but not doing so when you believe it doesn’t suit your interests.

The degree or the extent to which you act with integrity should not be determined by the amount of leverage that you believe you have in an Animal Health or Veterinary hiring situation or how much you think you can get away with. I know that people have a right to do what they believe is in the best interests of their career, but after 24 years as an executive recruiter, I can say that doing what is your own best interests while sacrificing your personal integrity is a short-sighted strategy that can backfire and have a negative effect on your future professional prospects.

Julea: Stacy, thank you for sharing your experience and expertise about the Animal Health and Veterinary hiring process and why there is a limit to the leverage for candidates in the job market. Stacy, of course, is the founder and CEO of The VET Recruiter. And Stacy, there’s more information about the Animal Health and Veterinary recruiting process on The VET Recruiter website, for our listening audience to learn more about the recruiting services that The VET Recruiter offers to employers who need to hire top talent for their Animal Health or Veterinary business. There is also plenty of information on The VET Recruiter site for candidates, or professionals who are looking to advance their Animal Health career or Veterinary career.

Stacy: Yes, we have information for employers about our recruiting process, and we also have information about counteroffers. In fact, we have an entire page of the website devoted to it called “Should I Entertain a Counteroffer?” I encourage everyone in the listening audience to check out that page to learn more.

Julea: Once again, 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. 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”!