Samantha: Welcome to “The Animal Health Employment Insider,” brought to you by The VET Recruiter. In this podcast, executive search consultant and recruiter, Stacy Pursell, founder and CEO of The VET Recruiter, provides insight and practical advice for both companies and job seekers in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession. The VET Recruiter’s mission is to help Animal Health and Veterinary organizations hire top talent, while helping animal health and veterinary professionals attain career-enhancing opportunities that increase their quality of life.
In today’s podcast, we’ll be talking about the value that employers offer to top candidates in the marketplace. Stacy, thank you for joining us.
Stacy: Hello, Samantha. I’m glad to be here.
Samantha: Stacy, you seem rather empathic with the title for today’s podcast. I would guess that you feel pretty strongly about what we’ll be discussing today.
Stacy: That’s right. I do. And one of the reasons is that I believe some people have misconceptions about how the world of hiring and employment operate. Maybe it’s not so much a misconception as it is a lack of knowledge, and I have a story that might illustrate this better.
Once upon a time, I was in my office speaking with a hiring manager on the phone. There was also another person in the office who does not work in executive search.
This guest was listening to my conversation with the hiring manager, and he overhead me ask this question: “Why would someone want to come to work for your organization?”
So my conversation ended and I hung up the phone. My guest said to me, “You really asked that employer some tough questions.” I asked what he meant. He said, “Well, you just asked them why someone would want to work for them.”
Samantha: I have to agree with your guest. And I’m curious, too. Why did you ask the hiring manager that question?
Stacy: It was a really important question. By asking it, I was hopeful that the hiring manager would “sell” his organization to me and provide me with some tools that I could use to “sell” his organization to prospective candidates.
Samantha: So however the hiring manager answered that question, you would use that information when you’re recruiting candidates for that employer’s open positions?
Stacy: Yes, that is certainly the case. I need to know the value proposition that an employer can offer to candidates. That’s because it’s the value proposition that can convince a candidate to resign their current position, pull their children out of school, and move across the country in some cases, to work for another organization.
Samantha: So I imagine that it’s very important for a hiring manager to know the value proposition of their organization?
Stacy: Yes, Absolutely! Officials at any organization that’s hiring should know their employer’s value proposition. So when I ask a hiring manager why someone would want to work for their organization, what I’m really asking them for is their organization’s value proposition.
Samantha: So without value to offer, Animal Health and Veterinary employers have NO chance of hiring top talent in this current market?
Stacy: That’s exactly what I’m saying. Remember, the top candidates are already working for another organization. They already have an employer, and that employer is providing some form of value for them. That form of value is enough to convince those candidates to remain employed there.
So if an organization wants to hire one of those candidates, it will have to offer more value that what the candidate’s current employer is offering. And that’s where the value proposition enters the picture.
Samantha: Stacy, when you say value, are you talking about money, benefits, and other compensation?
Stacy: Actually, I am not. Top candidates expect to be paid well. In fact, they’re almost certainly being paid well by their current employer. If another organization wants to hire a top candidate, it might be able to pay the candidate more, but probably not a whole lot more. As a result, the organization will have to offer more in the way of value than just money.
Samantha: Are you saying that top candidates already have the money, so they want more than the money?
Stacy: I’m saying that they’ll want more than just money to make a move, to take a job with another employer, and make a life and career change. Yes, money is important, but money is not the only thing that’s important to top candidates. Employers must recognize this, and they must offer the type of value that these candidates want. If they don’t, then they will have basically NO chance of hiring them.
Samantha: What type of value do you mean, besides money and other forms of compensation?
Stacy: Well, there are a few things I’d like to discuss in terms of value. The first thing is opportunities for continued growth. This is far and away one of the things that top candidates want the most.
According to a recent report that LinkedIn released by the title of “Why & How People Change Jobs,” opportunity is the #1 reason that employees decide to leave their jobs and choose to work for another organization.
This involves growing in a couple of different ways. One way is advancing through the organization in the form of a promotion and/or new responsibilities. Another way is the chance to add new skills and knowledge.
The second thing in terms of value deals with company culture.
Samantha: Yes, company culture has become more important during the last several years. Stacy, would you say that’s the case?
Stacy: Yes, I’ve been an executive search consultant and recruiter for more than 21 years, and there is definitely more of an emphasis put on company culture than when I first started in the profession. What top candidates want is to join an organization with a culture that is both dynamic and appreciative.
It’s not just about the job, and it’s not just about the company—it’s also about the workplace. People want to work for an organization where there’s an atmosphere of teamwork and unity and where employees are shown appreciation for their hard work and dedication.
Samantha: What’s the third thing on our list?
Stacy: The third thing is the organization’s status within the industry. Everyone likes to “play for a winner,” and that’s certainly the case with top candidates. They gravitate toward organizations that have a proven track record of success.
To use a sports analogy that I’ve used in the past, a lot of players in the National Football League want to play for the New England Patriots. Why do they want to play for the Patriots? Because it seems like they’re in the Super Bowl every single year. Why would a player NOT want to play for them? The same thing holds true in the employment marketplace. People want to work for winners.
The fourth and final item on our list also deals with the management of an organization, and that’s the company’s vision for the future. Working for an organization that is a leader within the industry and also one that has vision is exciting. Top candidates both relish and thrive on a challenge, so they constantly seek those challenges out.
It’s important for employers to remember that top candidates want to be challenged. They don’t shy away from a challenge. They welcome a challenge, and they want to work for an employer that consistently challenges them and then rewards them for meeting those challenges.
Samantha: So what can Animal Health and Veterinary employers do to increase their chances of hiring the candidates they want to hire?
Stacy: An organization and the officials that work for that organization must thoroughly know all of the forms of value that they can offer to top candidates. The reason is simple. If they don’t know what value their organization offers, then how can top candidates know what value the organization offers? Are the officials thinking that the candidates will just figure it out? That won’t happen. These candidates have to be recruited and they have to be convinced. They are NOT going to “sell themselves.”
Once company officials have identified the value that the organization can offer, then they must communicate that value to candidates. That value should be part of the job description. We’ve talked about this before: everything comes down to value.
Employers must use the value to recruit candidates all the way through the hiring process. Not only that, but they must also identify which forms of value are most important to which candidates. One candidate might put a high premium on company culture, while another places more importance on opportunities for advancement.
Samantha: It’s almost like speaking a person’s language, wouldn’t you say?
Stacy: Yes, that’s a great way to put it! You have to speak the person’s language. You have to talk in the same terms that they’re talking. That’s how you understand them, they understand you, and you can make a connection with them. It is vitally important that hiring managers make a connection with top candidates during the hiring process.
So what we’re looking at is basically a multi-step process. The first step is knowing the value that your organization offers. The second step is using that value to recruit candidates for your open position. The third step is making a connection with your top candidates by “speaking the language” of the value that is most important to them.
Samantha: And hopefully, the final step is to hire them.
Stacy: That’s right, the final step is to hire your top choice candidate. You make an offer of employment, they accept your offer, and then they show up for their first day of work.
Samantha: Now that is what I call a good ending to our podcast! Thank you, Stacy, for another great episode and for all of the information that you shared with us today.
Stacy: Thank you, Samantha. I look forward to our next podcast!