• The VET Recruiter
  • TVR Executive Search

Established in 1997

Your trusted partner for Animal Health and Veterinary Recruitment

Select Page

Episode #299 – How to Hire Veterinarians in a Challenging Job Market, Part 4

The Vet Recruiter®
The Vet Recruiter®
Episode #299 - How to Hire Veterinarians in a Challenging Job Market, Part 4

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 am glad to be here with you.

Caleb: Stacy, we devoted four podcast episodes to recruiting veterinarians, and we’ve devoted three to hiring them. Does that mean we have one episode left regarding the hiring of veterinarians?

Stacy: Yes, that is correct. This will be our final episode in our special series.

Caleb: Okay, great. What will we be talking about today?

Stacy: We will be talking exclusively about the onboarding process, including the first 90 days of a person’s employment.

Caleb: Ninety days?

Stacy: Yes, we talked last week about what employers can do and should do immediately after a candidate accepts its offer of employment, especially during the period between when they accept the offer and their first official day of work. We emphasized that for multiple reasons, not the least of which is because you want the candidate to actually show up for their first day of work.

Caleb: So now we’re going to talk about what happens once the candidate officially starts their first day of work as a new employee?

Stacy: Yes, exactly. And although we’re going to touch upon orientation again, keep in mind that orientation and onboarding are not the same thing.

Caleb: Right. Orientation is just one part of the overall onboarding process.

Stacy: Yes, that is correct. While the length of the onboarding process may vary depending on the organization and the position, an onboarding process that lasts up to 90 days is considered ideal. A 90-day onboarding process allows new employees to become familiar with their role, learn about the company culture, and develop relationships with their colleagues.

Caleb: What’s involved in that 90 days? For example, you just mentioned, one thing would be orientation.

Stacy: Yes, orientation can be one day or it can be up to a few days, but it is limited in scope and length of time. It certainly does not last 90 days. However, the first few days of the candidate’s employment should focus on orientation activities. These activities should provide them with a better understanding of the company, their role, and their responsibilities.

Caleb: What do these activities include, specifically?

Stacy: Among the first things can be a tour of the company’s facilities, if one was not given during the onsite interview or a virtual tour was not given prior to their first day of work. Even if a virtual tour was given, giving an actual tour during orientation is recommended.

In addition, the new employee should be given a complete overview of the company’s history, culture, and mission and an introduction to its policies, procedures, and code of conduct.

Caleb: Is this when the new employee typically receives their employee handbook and things of that nature?

Stacy: Yes, unless the organization has already sent these materials to them, which some do in an effort to maintain high levels of engagement immediately following the hire. In addition, the new employee should be given a full explanation of their job duties, performance expectations, and goals. How and when this information is communicated to the new employee varies from employer to employer, but this is all information that must be given to them during orientation.

Caleb: What’s after orientation during the onboarding process?

Stacy: Next is training, and there are multiple forms of training that a new employee may need to undertake in their role. First, there is job-specific training. The employee brings with them a certain amount of technical skills, but there’s training that’s specific to the job that they would not have had before. This could be training on the company’s products and services or training on a specific software program. Of course, different organizations do things differently, so the employee will have to be trained on the methodology and processes of the company, as well.

A second type of training is mentorship or coaching, which some employers offer, including employers within the Animal health industry and Veterinary profession. This can further help the new employee to develop their skills and knowledge.

And a third type of training is soft skills training. This could include training in areas such as communication or emotional intelligence or leadership training, depending upon the person hired and the position that the organization is filling.

Caleb: Is all of this still relatively early in the onboarding process?

Stacy: Yes, I would say that it’s still relatively early, within the first week or two. This is all information that the new employee needs quickly in order to get up to speed. After all, the more quickly that they can acclimate and assimilate, the more quickly they can start producing and providing value to their employer.

Caleb: What else is included in the onboarding process?

Stacy: From this point on, we’ll be discussing things that happen over the course of the next 90 days. The onboarding process does not stop after training. That would be a stunted process that fails to engage the new employee. That is because they now need performance management, including feedback about how they are doing. This helps to ensure that they understand how they are performing, and it provides them with the opportunity to ask questions or seek guidance.

Caleb: What do those activities include?

Stacy: Once again, multiple things, including regular one-on-one meetings with the employee’s manager to discuss their progress, goals, and any concerns. It also includes ongoing performance evaluations to track the employee’s progress and identify areas for improvement. And perhaps most importantly, there should be goal setting and tracking to help the new employee understand what they need to accomplish and how they are progressing.

Caleb: And I see that the thread that runs through all of these things is communication and feedback.

Stacy: Yes, absolutely. Communication and feedback are critical during the performance management stage of the onboarding process. It’s nearly impossible for new employees to gauge how they’re performing and what adjustments they have to make without getting the feedback they need.

Caleb: What else is involved in the onboarding process throughout the first 90 days?

Stacy: There is also an element of socialization and relationship building.

Caleb: Really? What does that entail?

Stacy: Well, there are two sides to this. First, from the perspective of the organization, you want the employee to fit in well with the company culture. Second, from the employee’s perspective, they want to feel as though they fit in well with their coworkers and they have a sense of camaraderie.

Caleb: What kind of activities help with socialization and relationship building?

Stacy: There are a few things that organizations can do, including team-building activities, such as group lunches or after-work events. On a larger scale, you can invite new employees to participate in company-wide events or meetings and you can even introduce them to key team members or stakeholders.

It’s not a good idea to let new employees just “figure it out on their own.”

Caleb: Because they may or may not do that.

Stacy: Right, and there’s no point in taking the risk. Organizations need to provide their new employees with everything they need to be successful.

Caleb: So what else is left during these first 90 days?

Stacy: Providing continuous support and resources. It’s important to provide new employees with ongoing support and access to resources throughout the onboarding process. This helps to ensure that they have everything they need to succeed in their role.

Once again, this can include multiple things, including access to the employee handbook and company policies if there are online versions and changes are made. The employee should also have a point of contact for any questions or concerns they may have, and the organization should always keep them updated about opportunities for further development and training.

By including these elements that we’ve just talked about in an onboarding process that lasts up to 90 days, organizations can set their new employees up for success. This process helps to ensure that the new employee feels welcome, understands their role and responsibilities, has the necessary training and support, and develops relationships with their new coworkers.

Caleb: Stacy, we know the specific things that employers must do during the onboarding process through 90 days. But why do these things make a difference? How specifically do they help new employees onboard with excellence and acclimate to their new position?

Stacy: That’s a great question, and there are many reasons why a comprehensive 90-day onboarding program can have a positive impact on a new employee and their experience at their employer.

First and foremost, it helps the employee feel welcome. Starting a new job can be daunting, and a well-structured onboarding process can help new employees feel more comfortable. As we have discussed, a good onboarding program will introduce the new employee to the company culture, policies, and procedures and provide them with the information and resources they need to succeed.

Caleb: It really is all about engagement, isn’t it? We have talked about this before, but successful recruiting, hiring, and retention revolves around effective engagement.

Stacy: That is right, and I can’t emphasize that enough. An effective onboarding process can help new employees feel more engaged in their work and more committed to the organization. By providing them with the support and resources they need to succeed, new employees are more likely to feel valued and appreciated, which can increase their job satisfaction and reduce turnover. There is literally no substitute for engagement, both during the recruiting process and also during the onboarding process after the candidate has been hired.

Caleb: How else does this comprehensive onboarding process help?

Stacy: It helps to set clear expectations, and it’s critical that new employees know what to expect. And there are two facets to this. New employees want to know what is expected of them, but they also want to know what they should expect from their boss and their coworkers. If they do not know, then they’re not going to feel connected to the company or feel like they’re truly a part of the team. A clear understanding of expectations can also help new employees feel more confident and motivated in their new role.

A thorough and comprehensive onboarding process also accelerates the learning curve for the employee. This includes providing them with training, mentoring, and support to help them get up to speed. By accelerating the learning process, new employees can become productive more quickly, which can have a positive impact on the company’s bottom line.

Caleb: Because the employer wants its new employee to provide value as soon as possible so it can receive a return on the investment it made in hiring the person in the first place, right?

Stacy: That is right. That’s why it makes sense for the organization to make sure that the employee is onboarded with excellence from the very beginning, all the way to the 90-day mark and beyond, if necessary.

And finally, a thorough onboarding process can help align the employee with the company’s values and culture. This can help them integrate more seamlessly into the organization and contribute to the company’s success. Culture is very important, both from the point of view of the organization and the employee, so it should not be overlooked.

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’ve talked about this before, but I want to touch upon it again, and that’s the “validation of experience.” What that in means in the context of today’s topic is that what a job candidate is promised while they’re being recruited must be reflected in what they experience after they’ve been hired. This is the “validation of experience.” If a new employee does not experience what they expect to experience—or what they believed they were promised during the recruiting process—then they’ll automatically be a “flight risk.”

So even if an organization onboards a new employee properly, company officials must be aware of everything that the candidate was told and everything they were promised prior to being hired, especially if it’s a high-ranking or prominent position. Because failing to come through on those promises can have a devastating effect on the new employee’s experience and their prospects for staying with the organization for the long haul.

Caleb: Stacy, correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the new employee wondering whether they’ve made the right decision joining the organization? I would imagine they wonder that until they decide that they did make the right decision or they didn’t—and the organization has a big hand in helping them make that decision.

Stacy: Yes, that’s a great way of putting it. The onboarding process is ultimately designed to help convince a new hire that they made the right decision in leaving their previous employer to take a new job opportunity with another one. It’s up to their new employer to convince them that they did make the right decision, and it’s in the best interests of the organization to convince them of that as quickly as possible. And a thorough and comprehensive onboarding process will help to accomplish that objective.

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

Stacy: You’re very welcome, Caleb, and thank you. It’s been my pleasure, and I look forward to our next episode of the Animal Health and Veterinary Employment Insider!

Learn More About This Hot Candidate

"*" indicates required fields