Getting ghosted by veterinary applicants?
Your hospital’s relationship status: It’s complicated. You’re hopeful and a little scared, and you know the current market definitely favors job seekers.
The upside: Hiring gives you the opportunity to bring fresh ideas into the practice. It also strengthens your existing culture and moves the practice into new directions. Your challenge: Potential employees are telling you whether they want to work for you, not the other way around. This means that what worked for your organization in the past may be tired and not working anymore. Let’s examine some things you can do to make your organization attractive and truly competitive in this market.
It’s time to DTR—define the relationship
Beauty isn’t only skin deep. To become the most attractive clinic in the market, you have to offer potential hires more than a pretty clinic to work in. Start by letting them know before they meet you what you have to offer. For instance, here are some additional, highly appealing items in ads:
• Signing bonuses (state a specific amount)
• Credentialing or renewal fees, association memberships, Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE) fee assistance
• Continuing education or paid time off for CE as well as onsite CE opportunities
• Specialization support
• Realistic uniform allowance
• Relocation expenses
• Comprehensive training and orientation processes
Those are a great start, but you’re probably thinking you can do better. I get it. That’s why I’ve come up with more unusual, but extremely appealing items to add to those ads:
• Short-term disability coverage (maternity leave coverage)
• Total Administrative Services Corporation (TASC)—HRA or FSA, pre-tax dependent support
• 100-percent healthcare coverage
• Profit sharing or incentive program
• Personal financial planner
Are you easy to find? You can’t get away with simply taking an ad out in the magazine and hoping for the best. You need to be available, where people can always find a way to reach you. Here are a few of my favorite sources for outreach:
• Social media personality and website appeal
• Client and team member referral programs
• Corporate responsibility efforts
• Internships, student jobs, scholarships and tuition reimbursement
• Events at local veterinary technology schools
• Company culture and word-of-mouth network
Don’t offer breadcrumbs
Pay well enough for your team members to live. Any good financial planner would advise that a person not spend more than 30 percent of their gross wages on living (rent or mortgage). Yet most practices don’t pay enough for this to be true. Consider the following: In Dallas, Texas, the average cost for a 1-bedroom apartment is $997 per month. So the annual salary for veterinary team members in the Dallas area should hover around $39,880 (take average rent and divide by 0.3 and then multiply by 12) or $19.17 per hour (total from previous equation divided by 52 weeks and then by 40 hours per week).
Many of your team members are parents or are taking care of elderly family members. Alleviating some financial stress will do wonders for their productivity and mood. Be sure to use figures from your area of the country when determining this number, as cost of living varies quite a bit.
How to move from just talking to FBO—Facebook official
A good orientation process is critical. There are three stages of employee orientation: pre-arrival, encounter and metamorphosis. It’s during the encounter stage where we lose people most often because we have a poor training program in place or we don’t get buy-in from the entire team to make the new employee feel welcomed and supported.
There certainly aren’t any guarantees when hiring and working with people, but I encourage you to take a proactive and creative approach to attracting (and retaining) new talent and look at the hiring process as an opportunity to improve the practice and solidify your culture.