Veterinarian Recruiting Tips: How to Find the Best Talent

Trying to hire a great new veterinarian, but not finding much success? You’re not alone. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that a whopping 4,000 veterinarian jobs are going unfilled each year—a trend that will continue at least until 2030. 

But what can veterinary clinics do about it? How can you not only recruit successfully, but find the best talent for your particular practice?  

After all, in such a fiercely-competitive market, there’s always another clinic out there offering higher compensation and a bigger signing bonuses. Most clinics can’t compete on a strictly financial basis, and if yours is among them, it’s time to get more strategic.

To borrow a marketing term, it’s time to target the talent you really want, identify who you want to attract, what you have to offer and create a plan for drawing these candidates to you.

Not much of a marketing whiz? That’s okay—we’ve broken it down for you.


Define What “Best” Means to You 

The first step of any marketing initiative is to define your target market. Chances are, your ideal veterinary talent is somewhat unique to your practice.

So, beyond great credentials and experience, what makes a vet an asset to your particular practice? Is your perfect vet one who can treat a wide variety of pets and problems in a single, hectic day? Or one who is unfailingly kind and willing to spend time talking to pet parents?  

Once you have a detailed profile of your ideal candidate, you can plan your job posts and interviews around them.


Identify Your Brand and Culture

Your best applicant is someone who is in sync with your organization and culture—someone who has the same goals and philosophy as you. 

Maybe having a great sense of camaraderie is essential to you—you value team players. Or perhaps you’re passionate about staying abreast of emerging medical technologies and seek a new hire who does, too. 

Either way, the better you can describe your culture and values, the better you’ll attract candidates who share them.


Recraft Your Job Post  

Now it’s really time to think like a marketing pro. Beyond the essential job requirements, your job post should “sell” your practice in its essence—your philosophy, culture, work environment, etc.

Job posts are also your first opportunity to highlight the perks you have to offer as an employer—including qualities you may take for granted. For example, you may not be able to offer the highest-level salaries, but perhaps you operate in an area where the cost of living is lower and the pace of life slower. To a growing number of vets, this is what really matters! 

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Address the Elephant in the Room

You know better than anyone that veterinarians are under tremendous stress—that today, they face an unprecedented risk of burnout, depression and even suicide.

Rather than gloss over it, let potential candidates know that you prioritize your staff’s well-being. If you offer flexible schedules and more time off—something many vets crave—make sure your candidates know. Similarly, if you hold weekly wellness or team-building sessions with your staff, that’s something your prime candidates want to know about, too.


Appeal to Long-distance Candidates 

If you have yet to expand your recruiting efforts from a local or regional basis to a national scope, now’s the time. After all, in the wake of the Great Resignation, a full 40% of Americans are pondering a move. 

What are the advantages of living in your community—from features like climate and cost of living to amenities and quality of life? These are real selling points!  

Furthermore, when you bring long-distance applicants in for face-to-face interviews, make every effort to wow them. Show them the town. Reimburse them quickly for their travel expenses; it’s a common oversight that leaves a bad impression. 

If you’re not set up to do this well—and many practices aren’t—hire a service to handle it for you.


Be There to Smooth their Move

That long-distance candidate is far more likely to accept your offer if they know you have their relocation covered. Don’t just cover their moving expenses—simplify the entire process by partnering with a relocation provider that does the heavy lifting on their behalf.

When you do so, you’ll not only show them that you truly care about their welfare, you’ll speed their relocation, so they’ll be on the job faster, tending to your patients. 

Think a relocation service is outside the scope of your budget? Think again. Today’s tech-based relocation solutions—pioneered by UrbanBound—are designed to save employers money while making new hires happy. 

For more veterinary recruiting tips, check out our ebook—and for more information about our relocation services for veterinary practices, just ask.  

Human Resources Today