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Episode #298 – How to Hire Veterinarians in a Challenging Job Market, Part 3

The Vet Recruiter®
The Vet Recruiter®
Episode #298 - How to Hire Veterinarians in a Challenging Job Market, Part 3

Caleb: 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 continuing our discussion about recruiting and hiring veterinarians in a challenging job market. Hello, Stacy, and thank you for joining us today.

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

Caleb: Stacy, we’re in the hiring stage of the recruiting and hiring process, and last week, we discussed the difference between orientation and onboarding. What will we be addressing this week?

Stacy: We’re going to talk more about the onboarding process, namely because it’s more important in terms of hiring and retention. Yes, orientation is important, too, but orientation is just one part of onboarding.

Caleb: And if an organization doesn’t onboard correctly, then the candidate might not show up for their first day of work, and if that’s the case, then they’ll miss orientation altogether.

Stacy: That’s right! Onboarding is critical both for hiring and retention. First of all, you can’t hire or retain an employee if they don’t show up for their first day of work, and if they do show up, then you must onboard with excellence so that the new employee wants to be with the organization for the long haul.

That’s why, as an employer, when a job candidate accepts your offer of employment, it’s critical to take immediate action to ensure a smooth transition into their new role.

Caleb: What are some things that employers can do?

Stacy: There is much that employers can do and a lot that they should do, from the moment that the candidate accepts the offer. And yes, there are some logistical and employment-related things that must be done, but there are more intangible things that must be addressed, as well.

Caleb: I imagine that we’ll be discussing both today?

Stacy: Yes, that’s right, and the first item on our list is to send a written offer letter if the candidate has yet to sign one. Once your candidate has verbally accepted the offer, send them a formal, written offer letter outlining the terms and conditions of their employment. This letter should include details such as their start date, compensation package, job title, and any benefits they are entitled to. It should also include any contingencies that need to be met before the start date, such as background checks, drug tests, or licensure verification.

Caleb: This is one of the employment-related things that you were just talking about?

Stacy: Yes, and so is the next item, which is confirming the candidate’s start date. After sending the offer letter, follow up with the new employee to confirm their start date and any other logistical details they may need to know before starting. This could include things like where to report on their first day, what time to arrive, and what to wear.

Caleb: It seems like maintaining communication after the candidate accepts the offer is important.

Stacy: Yes, it’s very important, and it’s not just important for the logistical and employment-related matters. One of the easiest ways to keep a candidate engaged is to provide regular communication. This can be done through phone calls, emails, or text messages. Regular communication can help to keep the candidate excited about the job and to answer any questions they may have. You can provide them with updates on their onboarding process, introduce them to their future colleagues, and provide them with any necessary paperwork and training materials.

Caleb: Do you have an example of a non-logistical matter during the early stages of the onboarding process?

Stacy: I do, and that would be celebrating the candidate’s hiring.

Caleb: Celebrating it? What do you mean by that?

Stacy: This can mean many things. Celebrating the candidate’s hiring is a great way to show them that they’re valued and appreciated, even before they start work. You can send them a personalized message or even send them a small gift. You can also send an organization-wide message announcing that the candidate accepted the offer and is expected to join the team soon.

By celebrating a candidate’s hiring, you can help to reinforce their commitment to the organization and make them feel like they’re part of the team.

Caleb: Should the employer make an announcement on social media?

Stacy: That’s a great question, and that’s where we get into sort of a grey area. Some organizations have strict policies that prohibit employees from sharing company-related news on social media. In such cases, it would be inappropriate to announce a job offer acceptance on social media. However, if the organization does not have any specific policies regarding social media, the decision to announce the acceptance of a job offer is up to the candidate.

Caleb: So the candidate could be the one to share it on social media?

Stacy: Yes, and they often do, especially on LinkedIn. And if they do, then it should be taken as a positive sign, because that means they’re excited about their new position, so much so that they want to tell other people about it.

Caleb: What else can an employer do to keep a candidate engaged and excited?

Stacy: If the employer didn’t give the candidate a tour of the workplace during the face-to-face interview, then they can offer a virtual tour. This can be done through video conferencing or by creating a virtual tour of the facility. A virtual tour can help the candidate to visualize themselves in the workplace, understand the layout of the facility, and get a sense of the organization’s culture.

The employer can also provide additional information about the culture. This can help the candidate understand what it will be like to work there. You can share information about the organization’s values, mission, and goals. This can help the candidate to see how they will fit in with the organization and how their role will contribute to the organization’s success.

Caleb: And this is all done before the candidate’s first day of work?

Stacy: Yes, absolutely. It’s important to do all of this before their first day of work to keep them fully engaged and excited about the position. As we’ve been discussing, this is especially critical in the Veterinary profession, in which veterinarians are in short supply. Veterinarians who are exploring opportunities in the job market are receiving multiple offers, and once they give their notice to their current employer, they’ll probably receive a counteroffer, too.

Caleb: That’s a lot of competition.

Stacy: That’s a tremendous amount of competition, quite possibly more competition than exists in any other industry or profession. Something else that an employer can do is introduce the candidate to their future colleagues.

Caleb: Before their first day?

Stacy: Yes, once again, before their first day. This can be done through a virtual meeting or by scheduling a social event where the candidate can meet their new colleagues. Encourage your team members to welcome the new employee and help them feel comfortable in their new environment. By introducing the candidate to their future colleagues, you can help to build a sense of community and make the candidate feel more connected to the organization.

Caleb: What else can the employer do before the candidate’s first day?

Stacy: An employer can offer mentorship or shadowing opportunities. This can also help the candidate feel more connected to the organization and learn more about their role. You can pair the candidate with a current employee who can answer any questions they may have and provide guidance and support. This can be especially helpful for candidates who are new to the field—such as a recent Veterinary school graduate—or who are transitioning from a different industry.

It’s important, of course, to get buy-in from the employee who will be providing the mentorship and/or shadowing opportunity. You want to pair the candidate with someone who is enthusiastic about what they do and about sharing their knowledge.

Caleb: Can an employer provide training materials in advance of the candidate’s first day, to help them “hit the ground running”?

Stacy: They certainly can. Providing training materials in advance can help to reduce the candidate’s workload once they start working and allows them to “hit the ground running” on their first day. You can provide them with training manuals, videos, or any other relevant materials. By doing so, you can help ease their transition into the new job and reduce any stress they may feel.

More than anything, though, an employer must answer any questions that the candidate may have prior to their first day of work. And it’s not enough to just wait for the candidate to ask questions. You have to ask them if they have any questions. An employer must be proactive about it. These can include questions about their role, their onboarding process, or the organization itself. By answering their questions promptly and thoroughly, you can help to reduce any anxiety or uncertainty they may be feeling and ensure that they are fully prepared for their first day on the job.

Caleb: You were right. There is a lot that an employer should do to onboard its new employee before their first day of work. It seems to me that any employer that is not doing all of these things is putting itself at a disadvantage.

Stacy: Without a doubt, they’re putting themselves at a disadvantage. It’s critical to keep the candidate engaged any way that you can and to keep the lines of communication open as much as possible.

Caleb: Is there anything else that an employer should do before the candidate’s first day of work? It seems as though the list is almost endless.

Stacy: I know, it does seem like that, but that just underscores the importance of a good onboarding process. There are three more things that I want to address.

First, the employer should prepare the new employee’s hardcopy onboarding materials. This could include a welcome packet outlining the company’s culture and values, an employee handbook, training materials, and any other resources they will need to succeed in their new role.

Second, the employer should ensure that the new employee’s workspace is set up and ready for them on their first day. This could include a computer, phone, email account, and any necessary software programs. Make sure their workspace is clean and organized and that they have everything they need to start working right away.

Third, schedule onsite training and orientation. Depending on the nature of the job, the new employee may need to undergo specific training or orientation before they can start working independently. Make sure to schedule these sessions in advance so the new employee knows what to expect and can plan accordingly.

Caleb: So this is the first time that we’ve mentioned orientation, and we’re almost at the end of today’s podcast episode.

Stacy: Yes, this further illustrates how orientation is just one part of the overall onboarding process. Once again, orientation can not take place until the new employee is on-site, and an effective onboarding process helps to ensure that they are actually on-site for their orientation.

When a candidate accepts an offer of employment, it’s important to take immediate action to ensure a smooth transition into their new role. By following the steps that we’ve discussed today, an employer can welcome its new employee, set them up for success, and build a strong foundation for a productive working relationship.

Caleb: Stacy, we’re just about out of time, so is there anything else that you’d like to add before we wrap up today’s podcast episode?

Stacy: Yes, I want to reiterate the importance of having multiple people involved in the onboarding process of a new employee, and there are multiple reasons why this is so important.

First and foremost, involving multiple people ensures that the new employee receives a well-rounded and comprehensive introduction to the organization. Different people within the organization can provide different perspectives and insights into the company’s culture, values, and processes. This can help the new employee gain a better understanding of how they fit into the organization and what is expected of them.

Second, it helps to build relationships between the new employee and their colleagues. By meeting and working with different people from different areas of the organization, the new employee can quickly build a network of contacts, which can be valuable for their future success within the organization.

Third, involving multiple people in the onboarding process can help to reduce the workload of any one individual or team. By sharing the responsibility of onboarding, each person or team can focus on their specific areas of expertise, making the process more efficient and effective.

And finally, involving multiple people can help to ensure that the new employee receives consistent and accurate information about the organization. Different people may have different interpretations of the company’s policies and procedures, but by involving multiple people, any discrepancies or inconsistencies can be identified and corrected.

Caleb: Stacy, thank you so much for joining us today and for all of this great information about hiring veterinarians.

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

Caleb: Before we go, be sure to check out the Animal Health jobs and Veterinarian jobs on The VET Recruiter website at www.thevetrecruiter.com If you are an Animal Health company or Veterinary practice with critical hiring needs be sure to reach out to Stacy Pursell at www.thevetrecruiter.com We will see you here again next week!

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