If your veterinary practice is struggling to attract and retain quality employees, we have some hiring tips that can give you a leg up over your competitors. In today’s cutthroat hiring climate, you’ll need to do more to get the attention of top talent and persuade them that you’re the best veterinary employer out there. Your branding plays a huge role in the hiring process, but your practice may not be focusing on the right type of branding to bring in more applicants.
So, what is the “right” kind of branding? That would be employer branding, which we’ll explain below.
What is Employer Branding?
Employer branding is different from consumer branding, which is geared towards your clientele. As you’ve probably already guessed, employer branding is meant for a different audience—employee prospects.
Employer branding includes several key things:
- Your practice’s reputation as an employer
- Your practice culture (core values, mission statement, protocols, team activities, etc.)
- The work environment you cultivate
- Benefits you provide your employees
- Value proposition for potential employees (what’s in it for them?)
Why is It So Important?
Hiring good quality employees is never easy, especially now, with so many positions being available and so few people to fill them. With strong employer branding, your practice will have a better chance of reaching quality job seekers, and holding onto quality employees.
6 Hiring Tips for Attracting Quality Applicants
Whether you’re starting from scratch or trying to place a little more emphasis on recruiting, here are some hiring tips you can use to get more quality candidates applying to your practice:
Elevate Your Reputation
Approximately 84% of job seekers believe a company’s reputation as an employer is important. Like it or not, your reputation says a lot about you, and it can make or break your practice.
Reputation building takes time, but it’s definitely worth it. Here’s what you can do:
- If you’re low on reviews or want more positive reviews, ask your clients to leave a review on Google, Yelp, etc. (check out these tips on how to ask for reviews)
- Make sure you’re active on Google, Glassdoor, and other sites where people post reviews and comments, responding consistently and cordially to both positive and negative reviews
- Keep your profiles up-to-date, and share any and all new developments at your practice on social media and on your website (this shows that you care, and it makes you more visible to people who are searching for veterinary jobs)
- Create a website that’s dedicated solely to recruiting employees (here’s why it’s important)
Develop Your HR Dream Team
Every practice should have an HR team to handle the hiring process, from promoting open positions and acting as brand ambassadors to fielding candidates and retaining stellar employees. Many successful veterinary practices have full-time HR teams dedicated solely to employee hiring and retention.
If this is an area of your practice that’s lacking, consider hiring HR staff if you are able; it’s a crucial investment.
Promote Your Practice Culture at Every Opportunity
Another crucial hiring tip is to be loud and proud about promoting your practice culture. If your practice has an outstanding culture that treats its employees well and offers more than just the typical benefits, you should promote it every chance you get! Sharing custom photos, stories about team members and their accomplishments, celebrating birthdays, exchanging gifts, and supporting one another through thick and thin—these are qualities that make your practice an ideal place to work, and are what make your current employees want to stick around.
Reinforce the camaraderie and mutual respect your team members have for one another.
Practice culture is everything—we can’t stress this enough. The culture you create at your practice can really make it stand out, and make people excited at the prospect of working for you. Many job candidates are willing to overlook the fact that a veterinary practice might pay less than another, if its culture resonates with them and has something special to offer.
Provide Compelling Reasons Why People Should Work for You
Ask yourself this: Why should applicants choose to work at your practice, and not the one down the street? What can candidates expect when they work for you?
In addition to compensation, continuing education, and other general benefits that everyone expects, zero in on some of your more unique offerings, like the camaraderie of your team, after-work activities, allowances, paid scholarships, and other perks that add to your value proposition for employees.
This can help you set expectations about what it’s like to work at your practice, and can also help you retain employees, as they’ll know what to expect and be able to meet your expectations.
Be Clear About the Types of Candidates You’re Looking For
To get the candidates you want applying for jobs at your practice, you need to be up-front about the qualities you’re looking for. This can save you trouble and make the hiring process easier for your team and your applicants. Plus, the better an employee fits into your organization, the more likely they are to stay with your organization.
You might be eager to fill positions at your practice, but hiring unsuitable candidates can cause more problems than it solves. Every vet practice is unique in some way, with its own personality and culture. Keep in mind that while a candidate may look good on paper, they might not be the best fit for your organization.
You need to ask yourself if they fit into your practice culture, not just the role for which they’re applying.
Research Your Competition and Do Better
Our final, last-but-not-least hiring tip—research! What are your competitors doing to catch the attention of job seekers? Are they employing any strategies that you haven’t tried? Study successful practices near you and use what you learn to your advantage. Observe how they respond to questions and reviews, and consider the approach they take to recruiting.
If they do a great job of promoting their team and the special perks their practice offers, consider how you can do the same (but better) to position your brand.
Need More Hiring Tips? Get InTouch
Lots of veterinary practices are coming to us for hiring tips and assistance with their recruiting strategies. At InTouch, we’ve worked with many such practices to fine tune their branding and build incredible recruiting websites to pull in top-tier employees.