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Episode #259 – The Critical Role of Desire in Animal Health and Veterinary Hiring

The Vet Recruiter®
The Vet Recruiter®
Episode #259 - The Critical Role of Desire in Animal Health and Veterinary Hiring

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 about the role of desire in Animal Health and Veterinary hiring with Stacy Pursell. Stacy is an Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession Workplace Workforce expert and founder of The VET Recruiter. 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: Well, we’re going to attack this topic from a couple of different angles, but both of them have to deal with Animal Health and Veterinary hiring. As we’ve discussed at length previously, there is a tight market for talent right now, which means that employers are having difficulty finding and hiring the people they want to hire. This is especially the case in the Veterinary profession. The answer to the question, “Why is it more difficult to hire?” requires more than just a surface-level analysis of what has happened and is currently happening in the job market. For example, it’s easy to say, “Well, the reason it’s more difficult is because there aren’t enough of the high-caliber candidates that my organization needs!”

Joel: That sounds like a good answer.

Stacy: Yes, it does. However, it is NOT the only answer to the question. So, if you’re satisfied with only that answer, then it will be difficult to combat the problem with a comprehensive solution. And that’s really what we’re looking for—a comprehensive solution.

Joel: Where would you like to start Stacy?

Stacy: Let’s briefly analyze the problem in a more in-depth fashion, and when I say that, I mean let’s examine all of the reasons that Animal Health and Veterinary hiring is more difficult under current market conditions. And I have six such reasons.

First, and this is the obvious one, there aren’t enough high-quality candidates.

Yes, we’ve already discussed this, but it still bears mentioning. In the marketplace right now, there is there is a lack of top talent, especially technical talent at many different levels. So, it’s difficult to hire the right candidates when you’re having trouble finding them in the first place.

Second, the high-quality candidates who are in the job market have a LOT of options.

Organizations are looking to hire at many different levels right now and that means there are many employment opportunities that exist. So, there is a lack of candidates and an abundance of opportunities, creating a lot of options for top talent.

Third, the Baby Boomer generation is retiring. Here are some eye-opening facts:

  • Baby Boomers make up roughly 25% of the current workforce.
  • According to the Pew Research Center, over the next two decades, 10,000 Baby Boomers will turn 65 years old every day.
  • Most of the Baby Boomers in the United States will be phased out of the workforce during the next 10 to 15 years (if not sooner).

Joel: Wow, that’s a lot of people leaving the workforce. Who’s going to replace them?

Stacy: That is exactly the question. Who IS going to replace them? That leads us to our fourth reason, which is there are more Millennials in the job market than any other generation.

There is no doubt that Millennials are different than other generations, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. After all, they provide value as employees, just like the members of other generations provide value. However, the fact they’re different and there are so many of them has presented unique hiring challenges.

One of those challenges is our fifth reason, which is that Millennials change jobs more often than any other generation in the workforce. With the possible exception of Generation Z, but they’re pretty much neck-and-neck in that category.

Millennials change jobs as frequently as every 18 months to two years, and believe it or not, they don’t consider that to be “job hopping.” They consider that to be job mobility and career advancement.

Joel: And there’s not much of a stigma attached to “job hopping” anymore, is there?

Stacy: No, there isn’t. A company or organization is not going to turn down a top candidate just because they change jobs frequently. With the current state of the job market, employers want to take advantage of top talent whenever and however they can.

All of this leads to our sixth reason, which is that candidates are in the “driver’s seat.” They hold the majority of the leverage in hiring situations, and it’s not even close. This is often an unpleasant reality for hiring managers to accept, but it’s the truth. With the lack of overall talent and with so many options available to those who do have the talent that employers want, candidates are attempting to dictate terms.

Joel: So, what’s the solution to this and how does desire enter the picture?

Stacy: When it comes to Animal Health and Veterinary hiring in this market, considering skills and experience is just one part of the process, although it is an important one. Obviously, when you’re looking to fill an open position, you want someone who has the right skills and experience. We’ve already discussed how difficult it is to find these types of candidates. However, even if you find them, your work is far from over. In fact, when you are able to find them, your work has just begun.

Joel: It has? Why is that?

Stacy: Because now you must convince these candidates to first consider your employment opportunity, then explore that opportunity, and then stay engaged throughout the entire process to accept your offer of employment at the end of the process. And this is where desire enters the picture and becomes a big factor in terms of Animal Health and Veterinary hiring.

If you find a candidate who has the proper level of skill and the right amount of experience, but you don’t know what they desire or what motivates them, then there is little chance that you will successfully hire them.

Joel: Stacy, can you “unpack” that a little bit and explain it further?

Stacy: Certainly. The problem that some hiring managers have is they assume the candidate desires to work for their organization and is motivated to do so. That is a mistaken assumption. The truth is that the candidate has a desire to see what options and opportunities are available to them. Your position is just one of many such options.

With all of this in mind, for successful Animal Health and Veterinary hiring in this market, there are some things that you must do as an employer.

First, uncover the desire of the candidates in your hiring process. You must discover what truly motivates them in both the job search that they’re conducting and also in their career.

Second, highlight and promote what your position and the organization offers and connect those things to what the candidate desires and what is motivating them. If you don’t make that connection, then you won’t hire the candidate.

Third, change their desire from one of seeing what options and opportunities are available to them to a desire to choose your opportunity because they now believe it is the best one for them.

Joel: Stacy, I have a question. What if an employer uncovers a candidate’s desires and motivations and they don’t line up with either the position, the organization, or the company culture?

Stacy: Then what you have is a potential mis-hire, a situation that you certainly want to avoid. Uncovering the desire and motivation of a candidate not only helps you to hire the right candidate, but it also prevents you from hiring the wrong candidate. And both are equally important.

Trying to hire for skills and experience alone only takes you so far in this market. It’s a good starting point, but it certainly should not encompass your entire Animal Health and Veterinary hiring strategy. The desire and motivation of the candidates you’re considering are at least as important, and considering current conditions, it could be said that they’re even more important.

Joel: Stacy, you said that we would tackle the topic of desire from a couple of different angles. What would be the other angle?

Stacy: The other angle has to do with the fact that it’s difficult to find highly qualified candidates in this market. And because that’s the case, there is no reason to hold out for the perfect candidate. First, the perfect candidate doesn’t exist, and those candidates who are as close to perfect as you’re going to get are very difficult to find and even more difficult to engage.

This is why it’s important to widen your talent pool and consider other candidates who have a particular set of soft skills or intangible traits and might be able to grow into the position.

Joel: Stacy, is desire one of the soft skills or intangible traits that you’re referring to?

Stacy: Yes, that’s exactly right. Desire is about more than what you want in a new job or new career opportunity. It’s also about what you bring to that job on an everyday basis. When you have desire, you’re driven to succeed. You’re driven to improve all the time, and when you do that, you increase the amount of value that you provide to your current employer. To put it another way, let’s say that you had two candidates who were exactly the same in terms of skills and experience. However, one of them had a desire to be the best and perform at a high level, and the other one did not. Which one of them would be the better hire?

Joel: The one with more desire.

Stacy: That is correct. Desire is an intangible attribute that is very valuable to employers, and that’s because it speaks to solving problems. And the ability to solve problems is perhaps the best form of value that a person can offer to their current employer or a potential new employer.

Joel: So, in terms of Animal Health and Veterinary hiring, if an organization can’t find the candidate they’re absolutely looking for, then hiring someone who’s a bit short on skills and experience but has a lot of desire could be the answer.

Stacy: Yes, that’s right. That’s because the candidate will make up for their lack of skills and experience with a desire to become better once they’re hired. You can teach skills and you can acquire experience, but you can’t snap your fingers and give someone desire. It’s true that you can be inspiring to someone, but it’s ultimately up to them to determine if they will be inspired or if they have desire to exceed expectations and succeed.

Joel: Stacy, I’ve heard the phrase, “Hire for attitude and train for skills.” Is that applicable to our discussion here?

Stacy: It is, but only to a point. There are some positions that are open in the employment marketplace that are highly technical, which means that an organization can’t just hire anyone for the position, so long as they have a great attitude or a lot of passion. Technical skills do count for something, and in terms of Animal Health and Veterinary hiring, it could count for a lot. But if an employer needs to hire and they have a candidate who comes up just a little short in terms of skill—not a lot, but a little—and that candidate has a great attitude and a lot of desire, then it makes sense to hire them. With their desire and their attitude, they’ll be able to acquire whatever else they need to grow into the role and become a highly productive and valuable employee.

Joel: Stacy, we’re just about out of time for today. Is there anything else that you’d like to add before we end today’s podcast episode?

Stacy: Yes, I’d like to mention the importance of an organization’s core values in the Animal Health or Veterinary hiring process. Desire could very well be a core value for an organization or practice, and even if it’s not, an employer would be smart to communicate its core values to job seekers and candidates during the hiring process.

Just like candidates are looking for a match between their own personal values and the core values of a potential new employer, organizations must also look for a match between what they value and what job seekers and candidates value. Hiring is a two-way street, and there should be a match in both directions. It’s the best way to ensure a good fit and a win-win situation for both the organization and also the candidate that it hires.

Joel: Stacy, thank you so much for all of this great information about the role of desire in Animal Health and Veterinary hiring. And there is additional information on The VET Recruiter website about your services for employers, is that correct?

Stacy: Yes, there are many resources for employers, starting with a complete description of our services and what we offer. You can even download an e-brochure that contains more information about what we can do for Animal Health and Veterinary organizations. In addition, we have a breakdown of the 20 steps that are involved in our recruiting process, so you know exactly what to expect when you partner with us on a search.

Joel: Is it true that you also have a list of the many positions that The VET Recruiter has filled on the website?

Stacy: Yes, that’s right. We’ve placed candidates in a wide variety of roles within both the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession. And if you’re an employer, you can also get a quote on our website, request a free consultation, or even submit a job order. Of course, as we’ve mentioned before, we have an extensive library of articles and blog posts for both professionals and employers. Many of the articles for employer’s touch upon some of the same topics that we discussed today. When you get right down to it, the success of Animal Health and Veterinary employers ultimately depends upon how well they can recruit and hire top talent.

Joel: 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 Stacy, as always, thank you for joining us today.

Stacy: It’s been my pleasure, Joel, and I look forward to our next episode of the “Animal Health and Veterinary Employment Insider”!

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