Why You’re Not Just Competing Against Other Employers for Animal Health and Veterinary Talent

by Stacy Pursell, CPC, CERS

The VET Recruiter®

For the past several years, it was a candidates’ job market in this country. This means there were plenty of employment opportunities, and by and large, a lack of qualify job candidates to fill those positions.

Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Then the recession hit. You would be tempted to think that because of these things, candidates no longer have the leverage in the employment marketplace. While you might be tempted to think that, it’s not exactly the case, especially with Animal Health and Veterinary talent.

I’ve chronicled in recent articles and blog posts that there is still plenty of opportunity for professionals in the Animal Health Industry and in the Veterinary profession. This opportunity can be tied directly to the pandemic itself, as more people are adopting pets and more of them are in tune with their pets’ health needs since they’re spending more time with them. As a result, Veterinary clinics have been busy, with business growing in many cases. As a result, the Animal Health industry has been busy in its effort to keep up with this growth.

So while Animal Health and Veterinary talent may have less leverage than they did a year ago, it’s not a whole lot less. There is still a lack of quality candidates, especially on the veterinary practice side.

Animal Health and Veterinary talent vs. the virus

As an employer, you’re accustomed to having competition from other companies and organizations in terms of hiring. When the candidates you want to hire are scarce, that’s competition enough. However, now you’re not just competing against other employers for Animal Health and Veterinary talent.

You’re competing against the COVID-19 virus itself.

How is this the case? The answer is that the virus and the pandemic resulting from it have changed the way that people view the job market and the employment landscape. In short, it has caused them to view the job market with more fear and apprehension. And here are a few of the ways in which it has caused them to do so:

  • Those with children in a school district that is teaching all or partly in a remote fashion are struggling with childcare concerns.
  • Those with children in a school district that is teaching in-person are worried, to one degree or another, about the safety and welfare of their children.
  • They’re worried about how safe it is when they go to work.
  • If they’re not worried about how safe it is when they go to work, then they’re worried about how safe it would be for them if they were to take a job with another employer.
  • They’re worried about how safe the interviewing and hiring process will be if they were to explore other employment opportunities.

And this is just a sampling of how apprehensive people are. You can see how easy it is for them to transition into “hunker down mode” as they ride out the pandemic. For example, there are some people who are adamant about not exploring other career opportunities until a vaccine has been created and successfully administered to most of the public. The bottom line is that the COVID-19 pandemic has created new challenges for employers seeking to hire top Animal Health and Veterinary talent.

And unless you know that you should count the virus among your competitors, you won’t be able to overcome those challenges and effectively combat it.

Branding, engagement, and communication

Speaking of which, what can you do to combat the virus and the challenges that it presents to your organization’s personnel needs? The good news is that the answer is a familiar one. That is because it is what organizations should have been doing during the recent candidates’ job market. The only difference is that the current situation calls for increased efforts in those same areas.

Below are five main areas on which to focus:

  1. Create a dynamic employer brand that attracts the top Animal Health and Veterinary talent in the marketplace.
  2. Be more proactive and aggressive in your efforts to identify and recruit top talent. (More on this in a minute.)
  3. Over-communicate to candidates during the recruiting and hiring process to both effectively relay information and also to allay their fears and concerns.
  4. “Sell” the opportunity to candidates throughout the entire process, as well, and do so regarding the aspects of both the position and the organization itself.
  5. Plan and execute a thorough and engaging onboarding process, ensuring that once hired, the candidate-turned-employee does not have a “change of heart” and fails to show up for their first day of work.

The reason these areas of focus are the same as they were during the candidates’ job market is that the reason it is difficult to hire top Animal Health and Veterinary talent is the same: fear. Before, job seekers and candidates were afraid of making a move for a variety of reasons, including fear of change, fear of the unknown, and the desire to maintain the status quo. Now, all of those same reasons are still at play, and we have another, much larger factor, as well: the COVID-19 virus and pandemic.

Back to number #2 on the list above, being more proactive. One of the ways in which to accomplish this is to leverage the experience and expertise of an Animal Health recruiter or Veterinary recruiter. A search consultant can help with all of the steps outlined above and even more.

Using a recruiter gives you an edge over the competition—and it doesn’t matter if that competition includes other organizations . . . or the COVID-19 virus itself.

You can click here to find out more about The VET Recruiter’s services for employers. Click here to learn more about our recruiting process.

We help support careers in one of two ways: 1. By helping Animal Health and Veterinary professionals to find the right opportunity when the time is right, and 2. By helping to recruit top talent for the critical needs of Animal Health and Veterinary organizations. If this is something that you would like to explore further, please send an email to stacy@thevetrecruiter.com.

Copyright © 2020 The VET Recruiter 

The VET Recruiter is The Animal Health Executive Search Firm and The Veterinary Recruiting Firm

Stacy Pursell is an Animal Health Executive Recruiter and Veterinary Recruiter and Workplace/Workforce expert for the Animal Health Industry and Veterinary Profession.