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Why Animal Health and Veterinary Employers Should Not ‘Ghost’

I’ve addressed the topic of “ghosting” on multiple occasions during the past few years. However, in discussing the topic, I’ve addressed the topic as it pertains to job seekers and candidate “ghosting” Animal Health and Veterinary employers during the recruiting and hiring process. This is happening largely due to the fact we’re in a candidates’ job market, and as a result, candidates have the leverage.

However, there are still employers that are “ghosting” candidates, as well.

To review, “ghosting” is when one party ceases all communication with another person with no warning and no follow-up. When job seekers and candidates are the guilty parties, two prime examples are not showing up for a phone screen or not showing up for a face-to-face interview (whether it’s in person or over Zoom).

On the other hand, when Animal Health and Veterinary employers “ghost,” what typically happens is that they do not communicate with a candidate while that candidate is active in the organization’s hiring process. But that’s where the problem arises. The candidate still believes they’re active in the process, but perhaps the hiring manager or practice owner has decided that they are not. So the decision maker simply ceases all communication with the candidate, perhaps thinking—even subconsciously—that the candidate will “get the hint.” 

‘Ghosting’ and Animal Health and Veterinary employers

This is not acceptable in today’s job market, especially for Animal Health and Veterinary employers, for multiple reasons, including the following three:

#1—The state of the current job market

As much as candidates have leverage in the broader job market, Animal Health and Veterinary candidates have even more leverage. That’s because those candidates are in even greater demand and in shorter supply. That means you need them to fill your open positions more than they need you for career growth and advancement.

The state of the job market and the unemployment rate are both tied to the margin of error that employers have when it comes to recruiting and hiring. The lower the unemployment rate, the lower the margin of error. According to the job search site Zippia, since 2013, the unemployment rate in the Veterinary profession has decreased from 1.0% to 0.2%. Using this correlation, it means that the margin of error for employers in terms of hiring is 0.2%.

You might think this is a drastic point of view, but I assure you that it’s not far from the mark. When the unemployment rate is nonexistent, the margin for error is nonexistent, as well.

#2—The importance of the candidate experience

Never has the candidate experience been more important in terms of recruiting and hiring than right now, and as long as candidates hold tremendous amounts of leverage in the market, it will continue to be this way. Since candidates hold this leverage, it means that employers need them more than the candidates need the employers. Since that’s the case, candidates are less likely to tolerate behavior that they deem to be negative, or at the very least, represents a “red flag.”

“Well, we weren’t going to make an offer to that person, anyway,” you might think to yourself in such a situation. That may be true, but the candidate you don’t want to hire this year might turn into the candidate you do want to hire next year. Or the year after. According to statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and other sources, the shortage of veterinarians is expected to continue throughout the rest of this decade. In fact, the shortage might become even more severe by the year 2030. And if the unemployment rate in the profession shrinks all the way to zero, then your margin for error in terms of hiring will also shrink to zero.

With this in mind, can you really afford to provide a negative candidate experience to any veterinarian who has agreed to join your hiring process to explore your employment opportunity? The answer, of course, is “No.” Even if you don’t plan to make an offer to a candidate, make sure that you consistently communicate with them throughout the hiring process and do not “ghost” them by simply disappearing and hoping that they will understand after the fact.

#3—The role of employer branding in your future hiring efforts

An organization’s employer brand is its reputation and how it is perceived in the marketplace, either through the direct experience of people or the indirect perception of people who have no direct experience. This means that how you treat job seekers and candidates during the hiring process is very important. I’m talking about ALL of the candidates, not just the ones who are a fit for the positions or the ones you’re seriously considering.

Candidates who do not receive an offer of employment are going to take their experience (good or bad) with them forward in their career. They’re going to remember the experience. They’re going to tell their friends, family, and colleagues about it. They might even post about it on social media. In other words, they’re going to become a mouthpiece for your organization. The question is what do you want them to tell other people about you?

If you “ghost” a candidate during the recruiting and hiring process, that’s what they’re going tell other people about you. They’ll tell their family, friends, and colleagues that your organization was unengaging and maybe even disrespectful in the way in which it communicated with you. In such a situation, not only have you guaranteed that this candidate will never consider employment with your organization again, but they’re also actively damaging your employer brand with other professionals in the job market.

That, in short, is a “lose-lose” situation.

Why Animal Health and Veterinary employers use a recruiting firm

Recruiting and hiring can be a very time intensive process for Animal Health and Veterinary employers. Even if hiring managers and practice owners have good intentions, they sometimes leave candidates “hanging in the wind” because they forget to follow up or they don’t have time to do so. This is another reason why Animal Health and Veterinary employers should consider partnering with an experienced and reputable recruiting firm.

The VET Recruiter has been helping Animal Health and Veterinary employers help identify, recruit, and hire top talent for the past 25 years. We are workplace and workforce experts and career agents for some of the best candidates in the job market. We can help your organization engage the top talent in the employment marketplace, communicate with them on a consistent basis, and convince them that your opportunity represents the next best step in their career!

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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