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What is Your Animal Health or Veterinary Recruiting Plan for 2022?

By Stacy Pursell, CPC/CERS
The VET Recruiter®

There have been a couple of prevalent themes in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession during the past year, especially concerning the latter. Those themes are as follows:

1. Many people have been quitting their jobs as part of the Great Resignation.
2. There is currently a lack of qualified candidates for employers, especially those that are looking to fill their most urgent, high-level positions.

Considering these prevalent themes, you can see how recruiting and hiring would be critical factors for employers. (Retention of current employees would be a third such factor, but for the purposes of this blog post, we will be dealing primarily with the first two.) As a result, you would also think that having a recruiting and hiring plan would be a priority for the majority of employers in Veterinary profession.

However, according to a recent survey, that does not appear to be the case.

Veterinary recruiting and hiring survey

This past fall, analytics company iVET360 surveyed close to 700 practice managers in 49 states. As part of its survey, the company asked these practice managers about the top challenges they face. Below are some of the results of this survey:

  • Practice managers reported that recruiting was their top challenge.
  • A little over 50% of practice managers indicated that they have staff development and training plans.
  • Approximately 60% of managers stated that they have a formalized onboarding process for each role.
  • Only 11% of practice managers said that they have a recruiting plan in place for all open positions.

Think about those numbers for a moment. Considering the current state of the job market, especially in terms of the Veterinary profession, these are startling numbers. In essence, they illustrate that a great many practices are ill prepared and ill-equipped to deal with the Veterinary recruiting challenges that they face. And the results of this survey may represent the “best case scenario” of what is happening in the marketplace.

As we close out this year and get ready to enter a New Year in 2022, it is crucial for employers to have a comprehensive Animal Health and Veterinary recruiting and hiring plan in place. There is one big reason this is the case:

Veterinary recruiting and hiring are forecast to be just as difficult—if not more so—in 2022 as it was during 2021.

Why you might be thinking that it would be impossible to be more difficult next year, it could very well be the case. For quite a few years now, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has been projecting a shortage of workers in the profession, and that was before the pandemic and the Great Resignation. The convergence of those events has conceivably made the shortage of talent even worse than it might have been otherwise.

Essential components of an Animal Health or Veterinary recruiting plan

This is the optimum time to take a close look at your organization’s Animal Health or Veterinary recruiting and hiring plan for 2022. (The truth be told, it is actually a little late in the year to be conducting an audit of your plan, but it is certainly true that it’s better late than never.) There are multiple components involved in any good plan, and below are five of the essential ones:

#1—Identification of talent

As I have stated before in previous articles and blog posts, you cannot hire the best candidates unless you know who the best candidates are. To that end, what is your organization’s plan to identify top talent in the New Year? What ways did you do so in 2021? How successful were those ways?

#2—Engagement of talent

Knowing who the top candidates are is just the first step. Next, you must engage them in a way that will cause them to be open to hearing about your opportunity and your organization. How would you describe the way in which your organization or practice engages talent?

#3—Recruiting of talent

Just because a candidate is open to hearing about an opportunity, it does not mean they will automatically be interested in it. This is especially true of top passive candidates in the marketplace. This is when you must “sell” both the opportunity and the organization to the candidate, continually emphasizing the WIIFM or “What’s In It For Them.”

#4—Hiring of talent

When a candidate accepts your offer of employment, you have hired them—on paper, at least. I say that because until they show up for their first day of work, they have not officially started work with your organization. However, convincing a candidate to accept your offer is a huge step and its importance should not be understated.

#5—Onboarding of talent

This component is as critical as any on this list, and as such, deserves just as much attention. In fact, it probably deserves more attention, due to the number of candidates who have “ghosted” their employer on their supposed first day of work. And remember: the onboarding process starts as soon as the candidate accepts the offer and NOT on their first day of work. (Because if they don’t show up, for whatever reason, then there will be no onboarding.)

As you can see, these components illustrate perfectly how talent is at the core of any successful Animal Health and Veterinary recruiting and hiring plan. The market is driven by talent. Without it, Animal Health companies and veterinary practices struggle to keep up with demand and to reach their goals for growth and profitability. Consequently, it is a good idea to review your organization’s recruiting plan in each of these five essential areas.

And if you had difficulty recruiting and hiring top talent in 2021, consider enlisting the services of an experienced and reputable executive search consultant. By aligning yourself with the right executive recruiter, you can put their years of experience and their expertise to work for you, helping your organization improve its Animal Health and Veterinary recruiting plan and then executing that plan in the pursuit of the best candidates.

The VET Recruiter has both the experience and the expertise to help your organization thrive in 2022. We have helped countless Animal Health and Veterinary employers with their recruiting and hiring needs, and we can help you, as well.

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.