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Employer Branding: the Key to Animal Health and Veterinary Hiring

by Stacy Pursell, CPC, CERS

The VET Recruiter®

There are a number of keys to Animal Health and Veterinary hiring. And when I say hiring, I mean the successful identification, recruiting, and then hiring of top talent in the employment marketplace. (Hiring goes well beyond just the simple act of offering a job to someone and then having that individual accept your job offer.)

I’ve touched upon this topic before in my articles and blog posts. However, I want to focus on it directly with this article. The reason is simple: if you don’t have your employer brand figured out as an Animal Health Company or Veterinary practice, then you are NOT going to hire the people you want to hire to fill your open critical positions.

So what, exactly, is employer branding? Essentially, it’s how an employer is perceived by job seekers and job candidates within the marketplace. And the rule of thumb is this: everything that an Animal Health company or Veterinary practice does and does not do brands it in one way or another. As you might have already guessed, you can brand yourself in one of two ways, either in a positive fashion or a negative one.

However, if you’re not aware of employer branding and you don’t know what’s involved with it, then you may not be aware of how your organization is branding itself. You might think that you have a positive brand in the marketplace, when in reality, you may not have the brand you think you have or desire to have. And a negative employer brand will negatively affect your Animal Health and Veterinary hiring efforts.

The recipe for Animal Health and Veterinary hiring success

I have a case study that illustrates this point. An organization reached out to me to ask for help filling a position that had been open for six months. They had been trying to fill the position on their own without success. Now the hiring manager called and wanted to hire me to help fill it.

I reached out to a potential candidate about the role. When I spoke with the candidate, he asked, “Hasn’t that position been open for six months? Why can’t they fill it? What is wrong with it?” The problem was his perception, and perception is the foundation of branding. In short, the candidate believed there must be something wrong with the job, the employer, or both since the position had remained open for six months.

So, despite the fact that the candidate had never spoken to anyone at the organization, the candidate had a negative perception of it. The organization had branded itself in a negative way, and company officials didn’t even know it happened. The problem was that the organization was not viewed by the candidate as an employer of choice.

The recipe for success is simple. When you brand your organization in a positive way, then professionals will view you as an employer of choice. When you brand your organization in a negative way, then those same professionals will NOT view you as an employer of choice. Branding yourself as an employer of choice is recipe for achieving more Animal Health and Veterinary hiring success.

However, you might be asking yourself right now, “What exactly IS an employer of choice?” Basically, it’s an employer that offers a great workplace environment and company culture, and as a result, it’s able to attract, hire, and retain the top candidates in the marketplace. Professionals will want to join your organization because it is recognized as an employer of choice, and they will continue to work at your organization as employees for the same reason.

For the sake of argument, let’s say that you don’t know what your organization’s employer brand is. Let’s even go a step further and say that you don’t really know what employer branding is and what you should do about it. If that’s the case, you need a starting point, and that starting point involves asking (and answering) the following questions:

  • Have all of the candidates you’ve extended an offer of employment to during the past three years accepted that offer?
  • If they haven’t, what’s the percentage?
  • How many employees have quit working at your organization to pursue another employment opportunity during the past three years?
  • What are the reasons those employees left?
  • How do top candidates currently view your organization in the marketplace?
  • How are candidates treated during the interview process?
  • How do you want your organization to be viewed by job seekers and job candidates?

The role of an Animal Health or Veterinary recruiter

One of the challenges that organizations run into in terms of Animal Health and Veterinary hiring is they don’t manage their brand as well as they could. An initial assessment like this one creates a realistic starting point, especially in regards to which direction you should go first.

In this current market, candidates have the leverage, especially top candidates who possess the premium skills and vast experience that many employers need to fill their most urgent positions. This is why it is critical for you to recognize:

  • The importance of employer branding
  • The current employer brand of your organization
  • The steps you need to take to improve your organization’s employer brand

And this is where an experienced recruiter or search consultant can help to improve your employer brand and your Animal Health and Veterinary hiring efforts. A recruiter talks with professionals and job candidates on a daily basis. They know what these candidates are thinking, and they know what they want in terms of a new employment opportunity and their career.

It all boils down to giving the best candidates in the marketplace as many reasons as possible to want to work for your organization. And a recruiter or search consultant can help you to provide those reasons and communicate them in a way that will improve your employer brand and the quality of your hires.

You can click here to find out more about our 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.

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