Joel: 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 with Stacy Pursell, an Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession, workplace workforce expert, about the top 10 assumptions that Animal Health and Veterinary employers can not make in this current job market. Hello, Stacy, and thank you for joining us today.
Stacy: Hello, Joel. As always, I’m glad to be here with you.
Joel: Stacy, what can you tell us about today’s topic?
Stacy: Joel, we’ve discussed how tough the job market is for employers that are trying to hire. It would be a mistake for employers to make assumptions when the market isn’t as tight as it is right now, but making assumptions in these current conditions just makes things worse.
I speak with veterinary practice owners and Animal Health industry hiring managers almost every day, and I continually try to get across to them that qualified candidates have the leverage in this market and the way that they did things years ago will not work now. In fact, the things that they did just a few years ago won’t worth, either. That tells you how much the employment marketplace has changed in such a short time.
Joel: So where would you like to start today Stacy?
Stacy: Well, Joel, let’s start at the beginning. We have 10 assumptions to discuss, so let’s get started.
Joel: Sounds good to me Stacy. What is our first assumption?
Stacy: The first assumption that Animal Health and Veterinary employers can not make is thinking that qualified candidates will be interested in their position just because they posted a job opening on the Internet.
Joel: Right. What are the reasons for this Stacy?
Stacy: There are a couple. First, there aren’t nearly as many people looking for a new job as there are open positions in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession. And second, since there are so many job opportunities available in the employment marketplace, employers have to make their position and their opportunity look as attractive as possible.
Joel: Because even if someone is looking for a new job, they won’t be interested in a job that’s not attractive.
Stacy: That’s right! You can’t assume that qualified candidates will be looking for a new job and you can’t assume that they’ll be interested in your organization’s position even if they are.
The second assumption that Animal Health and Veterinary employers can’t make is assuming that the people who do apply for their position represent the best candidates in the job market.
Joel: Is that because of what we just discussed?
Stacy: Yes. These are not necessarily the best candidates that exist in the employment marketplace. They are simply the best candidates who are looking for a new opportunity. Typically, the best candidates in the job market are passive candidates, those who are not actively looking but would be open to making a move under the right circumstances. We’re talking about the top 5% to 10% of candidates, and chances are high that they’re not the ones who are actively applying for jobs online.
And regardless of whether we’re talking about top candidates or not, employers can not assume that candidates will show up for the face-to-face interview.
Joel: Is that our next assumption?
Stacy: Yes, that’s our third assumption, and the reason that it doesn’t matter whether it’s a top candidate or not is because of the job market. It’s not just top candidates who are “ghosting” on the job interview. Candidates of all types and calibers are “ghosting,” no matter how many options they have or even if they have options art all.
Joel: So “ghosting” is a problem with all candidates, not just those who have a lot of options?
Stacy: Yes, that’s correct. And in the Veterinary profession, the unemployment rate is nearly nonexistent, which means that just about all veterinarians have plenty of options. So this is something which employers should definitely be aware of.
However, if a candidate does show up for their interview, there are assumptions that an employer can not make about that stage of the hiring process. And that leads us to our fourth assumption, which is that you can not assume that a candidate actually applied for your position.
Joel: What do you mean by this assumption?
Stacy: If an organization is using a recruiter or executive search consultant, the candidate may not have officially applied for the position. Or the candidate may have been referred by a current employee and has not officially gone through the application process. That’s why you never want to ask a candidate, “Why have you applied for this job?”
Joel: Because they may not have officially applied for the job, right?
Stacy: That’s right. And if you ask that question, you run the risk of putting the candidate off. In this job market, candidates are looking for a reason to not consider an employment opportunity. They’re “screening employers out” much like organizations were “screening candidates” out in droves during The Great Recession. And our next assumption is similiar to this one. You can see how all of these are related and linked to one another.
Joel: Which assumption is that?
Stacy: Our fifth assumption is the assumption that a candidate has made the decision to leave their current employer. Because once again, there is a chance that the candidate has NOT made that decision.
Joel: I imagine that’s another question that you should not ask them.
Stacy: Yes, that’s right. Just as you don’t want to ask, “Why did you apply for this position?” you also do not want to ask, “Why have you made the decision to leave your employer?” Once again, we’re talking about top passive candidates who are simply exploring other opportunities.
That brings us to sixth assumption, which is that you can not assume that a candidate is only interviewing with your organization. The rule is that the better the candidate, the more likely it is that multiple employers are pursuing the candidate.
It’s not a foregone conclusion that the candidate has decided to leave their employer. After exploring other opportunities, they could make the decision to stay right where they are. And even if they do make the decision to leave their current employer, they could decide to accept a job offer from another organization, most likely one of your competitors.
So you can’t assume that a candidate has decided to leave their employer and you can’t assume that even if they do make that decision, they’ll want to work for your organization.
Our next assumption has to do with the employer itself and not necessarily with the candidate.
Joel: What assumption is that?
Stacy: The assumption that your organization provides a positive experience for everyone in the hiring process. Unfortunately, some employers do not take a close look at their process, especially the experience that they give to candidates during that process. In this current market, there’s nothing more important than the candidate experience. You can’t expect to hire top talent if you don’t provide a stellar experience.
Joel: And if you don’t know what kind of experience you’re providing, you can’t improve upon that experience.
Stacy: That’s exactly right. So, what ends up happening is that employers continue to provide the same experience, unaware that they’re losing candidates exactly because of the experience they’re providing. But even if the employer is providing a good experience and none of the candidates drop out of the process, the employer can still make assumptions that can prove harmful to their efforts.
Joel: Like what kind of assumptions?
Stacy: That would be our next assumption, which is our eighth assumption. When an organization makes an offer of employment to a candidate, that employer can not assume that the candidate will accept it. As we discussed, most top candidates are passive candidates and they have multiple options, including simply staying at their current employer. In fact, in this market, if you make an offer to a candidate, you have to assume that the candidate is going to receive a counteroffer from their current employer.
This is why employers must make the best offer they possibly can. You definitely can not low-ball candidates in this market when it comes to the offer. When you identify your best candidate, make your best offer. If you don’t then you increase the chances that offer will be rejected.
And it probably would not surprise you to know that even if you make an offer to a candidate and the candidate accepts that offer, you still can’t make assumptions as an employer.
Joel: Which assumptions do we have at this stage of the process?
Stacy: We have our ninth assumption, which is assuming that a candidate that has accepted an offer of employment will show up for their first day of work.
Joel: Is this “ghosting” again?
Stacy: Indeed, it is. Because this has happened and it continues to happen in the job market. This underscores the importance of a good onboarding program. Without a solid onboarding program, you increase the chances that the candidate will “ghost” and not show up for their first day of work. And as we’ve discussed before on the podcast, the onboarding process begins as soon as the candidate accepts the offer. It does not start on the candidate’s first day of work . . .
Joel: Because they might not show up!
Stacy: Yes, that’s right. And by that time, it’s too late. What you can’t do is nothing after a candidate accepts an offer. You can’t have no communication with the candidate for two weeks and just assume that they candidate is going to show up for their first day of work, even though that’s exactly what they said they would do. In fact, you have to continue to recruit the candidate even after they’ve accepted your offer.
Joel: Is that because their current employer is going to make a counteroffer to them?
Stacy: Yes, that’s right. Just as we talked about earlier. You have to expect that to happen, and you also have to expect that they might receive an offer from another employer. They could even be waiting for another offer to come in, even though they accepted your offer. As crazy as it sounds, that’s become commonplace in the job market these days.
And all of this leads us to our 10th and final assumption.
Joel: Which is?
Stacy: Our final assumption is assuming that the job market is going to get any better for employers.
Joel: What do you mean by that?
Stacy: There is a worker and talent shortage in the country, and it doesn’t appear as though that is going to change anytime soon. “The Great Resignation” is still happening and people are still quitting their jobs at the highest rate in history. The market is especially tight for talent in the Veterinary profession. I’ve been an Animal Health and Veterinary recruiter for 25 years, and I would say that the market is the tightest that I have ever seen it.
Employers can not simply bide their time and wait, hoping that the market will turn and they’ll have the leverage again. That’s not a plan for success or a winning strategy. These are the facts of the marketplace, and the sooner that employers learn to deal with these realities, the better positioned they will be to hire the candidates they want to hire.
Joel: Stacy, we are just about out of time for today. Is there anything else that you would like to add before we end today’s podcast episode?
Yes, I’d like to mention once again that in addition to being a Certified Personnel Consultant, I am also a Certified Employee Retention Specialist. I’m one of less than 50 professionals and search consultants around the world who holds this certification and the only recruiter in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession. I believe this certification helps our clients become better at retaining their employees in order for them to have a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
Joel: Stacy, thank you so much for all of this great information about the candidate and employee experience in Animal Health and Veterinary hiring. And there is additional information The VET Recruiter website about your services for employers, is that correct?
Stacy: Yes, that’s right. We have information about our services for employers, including a detailed breakdown of our recruiting process and testimonials from Animal Health companies and Veterinary organizations that have used our services and continue to use them. And since The VET Recruiter has a long track record of success during the past two-plus decades, we also have a list of positions that we’ve placed in the past. We have filled more veterinarian jobs and more Animal Health jobs than any other search firm in the industry. We were the first search firm to specialize in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession in the United States and we have the most experience.
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.
And of course, you can get a quote of our services, submit a job order, or request a consultation. We would be happy to speak with you about your Animal Health hiring or Veterinary recruiting and hiring needs.
Joel: Once again, 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, Joe and I look forward to our next episode of the Animal Health and Veterinary Employment Insider!