by Stacy Pursell, CPC, CERS
The VET Recruiter®
I’ve addressed the topic of employer hiring mistakes before. I’ve also discussed how the mistakes that Animal Health and Veterinary employers make are magnified because of current market conditions and how the margin for error is razor-thin, especially in the veterinary space.
Basically, any mistake made by an employer during the hiring process can reduce the likelihood that it will hire the candidate it wants to hire. That may not seem fair and it may not seem practical, but it is the reality of the situation. I can say this because I have seen it happen time and time again. That’s why I’ve returned to this topic. Actually, I’ve returned to this topic for two reasons:
- To stress the important of reducing (or possibly) eliminating employer mistakes during the hiring process
- To address the topic more fully with a big-picture perspective and comprehensive analysis
One of the biggest problems is that some employers don’t recognize hiring mistakes as mistakes. They simply don’t see them as such. And when you don’t see a mistake as a mistake, then it’s impossible to take the steps necessary to correct that mistake. This is especially troublesome in a candidates’ job market, one in which the best candidates—the ones you want to hire—have the most leverage.
If you’re an Animal Health employer or Veterinary employer and you’re making mistakes that you don’t even realize you’re making, then you’re losing top candidates during the hiring process and you may not even be aware that it’s happening. At the very least, you probably don’t know WHY it’s happening.
With all of this in mind and to help remedy the situation, below are the top 10 mistakes that employers make when hiring in this current market:
#1—Not knowing who or where the best candidates are
This one might also seem slightly unfair, but it is absolutely a crucial point. You simply can not hire the best candidates if you don’t know who they are. This becomes more of a problem if you commit the second mistake on our list, which is . . .
#2—Only relying upon online job postings to source potential candidates
The best candidates (typically passive candidates) are not looking at online job postings. That’s because they’re not conducting an active job search because they are likely gainfully employed and highly regarded. As a result, if you’re relying upon online job postings to find the best candidates, then you’re not going to find them. For example, we are hovering around a 1% unemployment rate for veterinarians right now. That means about 99% of veterinarians are employed. This means there is a low percentage of veterinarians who are unemployed and in the job market in need of another job.
#3—Assuming that potential candidates will automatically be interested in your opportunity
Let’s say that you do identify and locate a top candidate. Most likely, they are not going to be automatically interested in your organization’s opportunity. You will have to convince them that they should be interested. This is the recruiting stage of the process, and it is critical. Recruiting is selling and marketing your company as an employer and the position to prospective candidates. It takes an active approach, not a passive one. In this job market if you are posting a job ad and waiting for someone to respond you may be waiting a long time.
#4—Underestimating the importance of employer branding
What a candidate thinks of your animal health organization or veterinary practice is a factor in determining whether or not they’ll be interested in your opportunity. If you have no brand at all or if you don’t know what your brand is, then that is definitely a problem. That’s because the candidate won’t know, either.
#5—Not communicating enough and not setting expectations with candidates
The majority of candidates, especially top candidates, are not going to keep themselves engaged during the hiring process. You, as the employer, must keep them engaged. This means communicating on a consistent basis and setting expectations about the next steps of the process.
#6—Not following through
If you tell a candidate that you’re going to do something by a specific time, make sure that something is done by that specific time. When you fail to follow through, then you appear to be untrustworthy. Top candidates do not want to work for an employer that they feel is untrustworthy. How do you treat them during the interview and hiring process is how they anticipate you will treat them once they become an employee. You want to make the best impression possible.
#7—Not respecting candidates’ time nor confidentiality
This is a big one. You can not conduct three or four rounds of interviews with the same candidate. You also can not hold all-day interviews. These candidates have jobs and they are conducting a confidential search if they are conducting a job search at all. If they have been recruited they were likely not looking for a job at all and were convinced to consider you. If they see that you don’t respect them during the hiring process, then they’re less likely to believe that you’ll respect them once they become an employee.
#8—Dragging out the process
Even when a candidate is engaged, if the hiring process drags out too long, then they become at risk for dropping out of it. And keep in mind that the reason they’re dropping out is not necessarily because they’re interviewing with another organization. Many times, it’s because they’ve simply decided to stay with their current employer.
#9—Low-balling the candidate on the offer
If you believe that you have the best candidate and you’re ready to make an offer, then make your best offer. As I’ve stated before, you’re not shopping for electronics. You’re making an investment in your organization. So make a solid investment to help guarantee a solid return. If not, then the candidate might reject your offer and could quite possibly be offended, as well. Don’t offer them the same or less compensation than they are making now. Offer them an incentive and make the offer compelling. Send the message that you really do want this candidate to join you organization. If you make a lowball offer they will have doubts about your intentions.
#10—Not onboarding properly
You can definitely lose candidates during the onboarding process. Remember: the onboarding process begins as soon as the candidate accepts the offer of employment. It does NOT start on their first official day of work. So if you believe that onboarding starts on their first day of work, then you’re already not onboarding properly.
Hiring well in this current candidates’ job market is not easy, including for those organizations in the Animal Health industry and especially the Veterinary profession. The unemployment rate is extremely low and qualified candidates are in short supply. That’s why it’s important to recognize mistakes as mistakes, take the steps necessary to correct them, and do everything you can to streamline and improve the hiring process for maximum results.
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