Talent Wars: Competing for Top Veterinary Talent

Veterinary recruiting is a tough job. Despite the impact of COVID-19 (and in some ways because of it), the veterinary and animal health industry has continued to experience growth in revenue, while overall unemployment rates have declined. With 6 jobs available for every veterinarian, you need to stand out from the competition now more than ever.  That also often means moving them to where they’re needed, and selling them on the entire opportunity. To help you do just that, we’ve created a playbook with tips on competing for top veterinary talent.

Show your company culture

The best hire is always going to be one with a strong cultural fit. You need to make sure you’re highlighting your company culture in everything you do in order to attract the right talent - and get them excited about working with you. Your workplace environment is a key piece - do you offer remote or hybrid work options? Do you host social events (virtually) for your team? What about professional development - do you connect new grads with mentors, or offer training incentives? Your approach paints a picture of your overall company culture and shows candidates how you value your employees. Today’s veterinary talent is looking for innovative, exciting, and even “fun” places to work. Focus on tech & innovation to set yourself apart as a forward-thinking organization. That’s what will help you stand out from the crowd in veterinary recruiting. From your website, to your social media, and of course your job postings - make sure your culture shines. 

Highlight your employer brand

Your “image”, or company brand, is too important to attracting and signing veterinary talent to ignore. Although they sound similar, your culture and your brand aren’t the same - however, your company culture is absolutely a part of your employer brand. Every company has an employer brand - whether you built it on purpose...or by accident. Your employer brand includes every experience that a job candidate has with your organization during the recruiting and hiring process. From the job posting itself, to the initial contact, to the interview and even the job offer - how you present yourself as an employer to your potential candidates is a critical piece of attracting talent. Poor communication during the application and interview process will kill your brand. So will an unnecessarily long recruiting process. Keeping candidates informed (and excited) throughout the process will go a long way to differentiating you as a top employer. 

Beautiful dog dressed up as as a vet

Focus on Candidate Experience

Veterinary residents (new grads) are typically broke - the AVMA reported that in 2020 the average educational debt for all US veterinary grads was over $157,000. This means that reimbursing job candidates for interview-related expenses (for example if they need to travel for a final in-person interview) is very attractive. And doing it as fast as possible will set you apart from the competition, since typical reimbursement times are 5-6 weeks for non-employees. When relocating veterinary talent, use a relocation management partner as an extension of your team to provide a winning experience to residents and lead vets. This is also critical for internships and externships. Providing an excellent relocation experience is a great marketing tool that you should use in your recruiting efforts to show candidates you truly care about them. Not only will this help you hire better candidates, it will also help you retain top veterinary talent.


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Show off Your Location

When top talent has to relocate for the job, it often means your people are moving to cities they don’t know anything about. Whether it’s a short-term assignment like an internship or externship, a rotational program, or a long-term placement, this can cause a lot of stress for your veterinary professionals. Stress doesn’t make for a good employee experience. Educate your people on the location(s) they’ll be moving to in order to alleviate that stress and reduce the fear of the unknown. You can even start this education during the recruiting phase, to appeal to candidates who might not even apply due to the uncertainty of the new location. Promote local attractions, neighborhood features, transportation and school districts to give candidates a sense of the area ahead of time. Offering city tours when candidates come to interview (or virtually as needed) is also a great recruitment marketing tool.

Offer Choice & Flexibility

Provide ultimate choice & flexibility to your veterinary talent. If you’re continually recruiting for multiple locations and can offer positions in more than one area, give them the option of where they want to work. If you’re able to offer remote work opportunities, promote that option as well. As part of your relocation program, let your candidates and employees choose between lump sum or managed budget packages. Not only will this give them the opportunity to choose the solution that works best for them, it shows people that you’re an organization that cares about them and values their unique needs. An added bonus - providing both options bakes in automatic cost savings and ROI for you as the employer every time someone chooses lump sum.


In the competitive veterinary recruitment industry it's more and more important to stand out from the crowd. Get more top tips on competitive recruiting in our popular eBook:

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