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Why You Don’t Have to Meet a Great Candidate to Hire a Great Candidate

by Stacy Pursell, CPC, CERS

The VET Recruiter®

In perhaps what might be the “Understatement of the Year” in 2019, the job market is tight for employers. In fact, the National Unemployment Rate was 3.9% in December.

In a job market this tight for employers, one thing becomes increasingly important: speed.

I can NOT emphasize this point enough. Employers that do not recognize this reality of the employment marketplace consistently miss out on the people they need to hire. Because workers are in such high demand, competition for those workers is fierce. That means if you “drag your feet” too much at any point in the process, then another organization may hire the person that you wanted to hire before you have a chance to do so.

That’s why some employers have started the practice of hiring candidates without first meeting them.

There is no “perfect candidate”

What does that mean, exactly? Does it mean looking at a resume and/or a LinkedIn profile, and hiring the person based on that alone? No, it does not. Typically, it happens in the following three ways:

  1. The employer conducts a phone interview with the person and then makes an offer.
  2. The employer conducts a video interview with the person and then makes an offer.
  3. The employer conducts both a phone interview and a video interview with the person and then makes an offer.

However, at no point does the employer interview the candidate on face-to-face basis. That’s because the employer understands two key factors. First, the job market is extremely tight. Second, because the job market is extremely tight, time is of the essence. And that is why, as I mentioned at the beginning of this blog post, speed is extremely crucial. Speed is how you address the factor of time.

You might be saying to yourself right now, “Wait a minute. Isn’t this a hiring practice that’s done primarily in the retail industry or service industry, since those industries typically have a lot of seasonal work and high rates of turnover?”

If you did say that to yourself, then pat yourself on the back. Because yes, the retail and service industries utilize this practice. However, it is not confined only to those industries. I can say this with 100% certainty because I’ve had clients in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession hire candidates without meeting them in person, as well.

You read that statement correctly. There have been hiring managers who have interviewed a candidate over the phone and then made an offer to that candidate immediately. They didn’t wait to think about it. They didn’t wait to see if the “perfect candidate” might come along. They know, as I do, that top talent is scarce and their best move would be to move as quickly as possible in pursuit of the candidate.

And I agree with their decision to do so.

You can NOT afford to lose talent

As mentioned above, I can’t emphasize enough how tight the job market is for employers in the Veterinary profession. During the past year, I’ve been sharing some startling statistics and predictions about what is happening in terms of the employment marketplace within the profession. And to underscore the importance of speed during the hiring process to combat current market conditions, I would like to present these statistics and predictions once again:

#1—Ultra-low unemployment rate

According to an article published in DVM360 in December of 2017, the unemployment rate in the Veterinary profession fell from 1.5% to 0.5% in 2017, and according to the AVMA Economic Division, it hovered around 1% throughout 2018. To put that into perspective, the national unemployment rate dipped down to 3.7% in the second half of last year. That percentage represented the lowest rate in the country since 1969. Despite that fact, the unemployment rate in the Veterinary profession is far lower. In fact, it’s nearly non-existent.

#2—A lack of qualified candidates

At the 2018 Western Veterinary Conference, I attended an analytics session, during which I discovered that there is currently one veterinarian applicant for every five open posted jobs. Think about that for just a minute. That statistic is almost hard to believe. So if you come across a qualified candidate, you have to assume that other employers out there looking for that same candidate. An assumption such as that one can certainly serve as a source of motivation for hiring managers and practice owners and managers.

#2—Opportunities expected to increase

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, opportunities for veterinarians are set to increase by almost 18% through the year 2026. In addition, opportunities for veterinary technicians will also increase by 20% during the same timeframe. So not only has the number of qualified candidates not increased and doesn’t seem likely to increase in the future unless more schools open up or existing schools graduate more students, but the number of opportunities for veterinarians is also expected to increase. That means the market will become even tighter.

I’m not presenting this information again simply to repeat myself. This information represents the hard realities of the current marketplace. It also helps to illustrate why employers are willing to hire candidates without meeting them face-to-face. They’re doing it because they believe it’s worth it to be proactive and perhaps even a bit strategically aggressive in their pursuit of talent. They know if they hesitate, they could lose that talent. And in this current market, that is something they can NOT afford to do.

This is why you don’t have to meet a great candidate to hire a great candidate. This is especially the case if you’ve aligned yourself with an experienced Animal Health recruiter or Veterinary recruiter. That’s because they can help you to screen candidates and help assess whether or not they would be a fit for your animal health company or veterinary practice.

You can make an offer of employment to a candidate you’ve never met before your competition hires them instead.

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.

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