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 four keys to hiring Millennials and members of Generation Z in this current market. Hello, Stacy, and thank you for joining us today.
Stacy: Hello, Joel. As always, I am glad to be here with you.
Joel: Stacy, what prompted you to talk about this topic today?
Stacy: A number of things starting with the fact that it’s more difficult than ever to hire right now, especially in the Veterinary profession. In fact, it is so difficult that Veterinary students are receiving multiple offers of employment before they even graduate. In fact, we are already talking with 2023 graduates about job opportunities.
Joel: Wow, you are already recruiting 2023 graduates?
Stacy: Yes, we are. And many of these job opportunities come with six-figure salaries. I would say most of them come with six-figure salaries. In fact, I haven’t seen many job offers for veterinarians for less than $100,000 recently. And of course, recent Veterinary graduates are all members of Generation Z. Gen Zers have been in the job market for a while now, and although there are more Millennials than any other generation, more Gen Zers enter the workforce on a daily basis.
Joel: At exactly the same time that Baby Boomers are retiring.
Stacy: Yes, that is right. According to the American Association of Retired Persons, 10,000 Baby Boomers reach retirement age every single day. That means almost seven Baby Boomers turn 65 years of age every single minute. And this is expected to continue into the next decade, which is still eight years away.
Joel: Every single minute? I knew there were a lot of Baby Boomers, but that is a large number of people retiring every day.
Stacy: The Baby Boomer generation was a large generation, and they are exiting the workforce in droves. And Generation Z is replacing them.
Joel: So, employers need to be in position to hire this new generation of workers, including in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession.
Stacy: That is right. And not only do Millennials represent the largest generation in the U.S. workforce, but by the year 2025, 70% of the workforce will be either Millennials or Generation Z. That further illustrates the importance of being able to hire members of the younger generations.
Joel: And Stacy, all of that stuff about Millennials being soft, lazy, and entitled . . . that’s no longer a thing, is it?
Stacy: There is no doubt that there are some distinct differences between the generations, including between Millennials and Generation X, but yes, that is no longer talked about much, if at all. And even if some people do hold certain opinions regarding the younger generations, what good does it to hold those opinions. As I mentioned, Millennials and Generation Z are going to comprise 70% of the workforce in just a few years. That is a fact. So, if you want to hire these workers, you’re going to have to put personal opinions aside and do what is necessary to attract, engage, and hire them.
And another reason is that there are other factors at play, as well.
Joel: Which factors are those, Stacy?
Stacy: Let us start with the fact that the National Unemployment Rate is very low at the moment. In fact, it was 3.6% in March of this year. Then, on top of that, the unemployment rate in the Veterinary profession is even lower than the national rate. We discussed this in our podcast episode last week. According to Zippia, since 2013, the unemployment rate in the Veterinary profession has decreased from 1.0% to 0.2%.
Joel: And it might even become lower in the future.
Stacy: Right, although it is almost non-existent now. The other factor at play is the Great Resignation, the fact that so many people are quitting their jobs in pursuit of better opportunities. For example, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a record 4.5 million people quit their jobs during the month of March. That shows without a doubt that the Great Resignation is still happening, and in light of these numbers, you could even say that it is accelerating.
Joel: I would say so! And don’t the members of the younger generations change jobs more frequently than the older generations?
Stacy: Yes, and that was going to be my next point. As I have pointed out on the podcast before, employee retention is every bit as important as hiring, because what’s the point of hiring great candidates if you can’t retain them as employees. And right now, employers, have two things working against them. The first is the current job market and the shortage of qualified workers, which has contributed to the Great Resignation. The second thing is that the members of the younger generations are more likely to change jobs frequently.
Joel: So, you put those two things together Stacy, and . . .
Stacy: And it has become very difficult for organizations to retain their best employees, which represents another challenge for employers, especially when it comes to the younger generations.
Joel: So, what’s the key to the whole thing?
Stacy: The key is to understand the members of the younger generation better, and that includes understanding what they want in an employment opportunity and in their career. That understanding will help employers both hire these candidates and also help to retain the candidates as employees for a longer period of time.
Joel: Because they are not going to stay with their new employer forever?
Stacy: That is right, they’re not. The days of staying with one or two employers for the length of your career are far gone. The best that you can hope to do is hire the best candidates that you can and then keep those candidates as employees for as long as you possibly can. You might not keep them for their entire career, but if you can get them for five years of their career, then you are doing well. If you can keep them for longer than five years, then you are ahead of the curve. That is the current reality of the employment marketplace.
Joel: What must employers understand about the members of the younger generations?
Stacy: There are four things they must understand, and these are the four keys to hiring Millennials and Gen Zers in this current market.
Joel: Okay, great! What is our first key?
Stacy: Our first key is to forget about the job-hopping stigma. Millennials were the first generation to change jobs more frequently, and Gen Zers are now changing jobs more frequently than Millennials.
Joel: How frequently are we talking about?
Stacy: Millennials change jobs about every two to three years, but Millennials are now changing jobs every 12 to 18 months if you can believe it. Whereas 20 years ago, that would have labeled you as a “job hopper” and considered a bad thing, that is no longer the case. Now it is considered normal and a reality of the current job market. And as we discussed earlier in today’s podcast episode, the Great Resignation is accelerating this trend even more. It does not appear as though it will ever go back to the way that it was.
Joel: So, if an employer sees the resume of a great young candidate and that candidate has a history of changing jobs frequently, they should still consider that candidate?
Stacy: Absolutely, they should. Top talent is so scarce these days, the mindset of a hiring manager or veterinary practice owner is to try to hire the best candidates and then worry about retaining them once they are part of the team. Who knows? Maybe you can convince them to stay longer than they stayed at their previous employers.
Joel: That makes sense, especially in this job market. What is our second key?
Stacy: Our second key is emphasize purpose and not just profit.
Joel: What do you mean by that?
Stacy: For Millennials and Gen Zers, it is not just about the money or the benefits or the perks. They want personal fulfillment and satisfaction from their job and their employer, and part of that is working for an organization that they believe is making a difference or giving back to the community.
So, when you’re “selling” an opportunity to a candidate, you must highlight all the ways that your organization emphasizes purpose over profit. Or at the very least, you must highlight all the ways that it gives back to the community or does charitable work.
Joel: Does this have to do with core values, too?
Stacy: Yes, and I am glad that you brought that up. Members of the younger generations want to work for an organization that has the same core values that they do. That is where they feel connected to their employer and to the work that they do for the employer. If they do not feel connected, then they won’t want to work for the organization. Sure, these candidates want a good starting salary and benefits, but they want intangible things, as well. If employers do not offer these things, then they won’t stand much of a chance of hiring top talent from among the younger generations.
Joel: Stacy, what is the fourth key on our list?
Stacy: The fourth key is to learn to speak their language. Millennials and Gen Zers use different terminology, including different slang and jargon.
Joel: But isn’t it unprofessional to use slang and jargon during a job interview?
Stacy: Yes, that may be true, but there are times when a person uses slang or jargon. There are two things to keep in mind about this in terms of Animal Health and Veterinary hiring.
First, if a candidate “slips up” and uses jargon in this area, it is not as big of a deal as it used to be. With talent as scarce as it is right now, I doubt that an employer is going to pass on making an offer to a great candidate if that candidate makes an honest and harmless mistake during the interview.
And second, if you speak their language, then you will share a common point of reference with younger candidates. It is about communication as much as it is about anything else. The members of different generations communicate differently. That should not come as any surprise, nor is there anything wrong with it. However, in a professional setting, effective communication is critical, and it is even more important if that professional setting is an Animal Health or Veterinary hiring situation.
Speaking of which, our fourth key deals with the hiring process.
Joel: What would that be?
Stacy: Provide feedback more consistently. This points to another difference between the generations. I just referenced the fact that Millennials and Gen Zers want to feel connected to their work. If they are exploring other employment opportunities, then they want to feel that connection during the hiring process. In fact, a prospective employer wants them to feel that connection, too!
Part of being connected is knowing what is happening during the hiring process, including what the next steps are in the process. These candidates want to feel as though they are moving forward and making progress. If they don’t feel like they are doing that, then they won’t feel engaged. And if they don’t feel engaged, then they will not feel connected. And if they don’t feel connected, then they will drop out of the hiring process altogether.
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?
Stacy: Yes, I would like to add one more thing to today’s discussion, which is that the burden to change and conform is not on Millennials and Gen Zers. That is not the problem. Instead, the problem is that employers and managers are reluctant to change with the times, rework their strategy, and adjust their expectations.
After all, when you look at the situation from a purely numbers perspective, Millennials and Gen Zers certainly have the upper hand. And as more Baby Boomers retire, the percentage of the workforce that they represent will continue to grow.
As a result, the onus is NOT on them to change. They have the numbers, and time is on their side. The onus is on the employers that want to tap into the value that this talent pool offers.
Specifically, the onus is on employers to reframe their reality, shift their focus, and strive to see the world from the perspective of the younger generations. Only by doing this can employers adopt the mindset of the members of these generations, and once they do that, they will be able to more easily identify what motivates them.
Joel: Stacy, thank you so much for all of this valuable 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 is right. We have information on our site for employers, starting with a library of articles and blog posts about Animal Health and Veterinary hiring best practices. We also provide a detailed breakdown of our recruiting process for employers, as well as testimonials from Animal Health companies and Veterinary organizations that use our services and are familiar with our firm. And since we have been in business for 25 years, we also have a long list of the positions that we’ve placed in the past with top-tier talent.
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 or Veterinary recruiting and hiring needs.
Joel: And website visitors can sign up for your newsletter, too, right?
Stacy: Yes, you can sign up for our career newsletter on our website. We have resources for job seekers and passive candidates, hiring managers veterinary practice owners. And last but not least, 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.
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 Joel, and I look forward to our next episode of the Animal Health and Veterinary Employment Insider!
For more information on our services please visit The VET Recruiter website. Stacy Pursell, founder of The VET Recruiter is a workplace workforce expert for the Animal Health Industry and Veterinary profession.