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The veterinary industry is in the grip of a talent drought – and classified ads don’t work the way they used to. Employers are resorting to innovative ways to find qualified candidates.

The candidate you want is probably happily employed and not even looking for work – and if they are, they can take their pick of the opportunities available. How do you find and attract them?

The fastest, easiest, and often most economical way is to leave it to the professionals. You focus on doing your actual work while an experienced recruiter seeks out the top talent for you.

Why should you use a recruiter?

The best candidates – the top 5-10% of the veterinary profession – aren’t looking for work. They won’t see your ad or visit an employment agency. If you want to hire them, you need someone who knows how to find them, because these people won’t find you.

Trained recruiters do this every day, tapping into extensive networks of hidden prospects built up over years of experience. They can help you avoid costly mistakes by screening candidates and giving you objective assessments of them. They can also preserve your anonymity when it matters.

Finding the perfect candidate is not only about skills and qualifications but also about cultural fit. A specialist recruiter will really get to know the candidate and what it will take for them to accept the role. They can also persuade the candidate that you have aligning values, therefore promoting your company.

The bottom line is companies that are struggling to hire don’t know what the candidate is specifically looking for and what it will take for you to hire them. Specialist recruiters build a relationship with the candidates, they know what it will take to make the deal happen. Understanding your goals and needs, they will source a candidate who is a perfect fit, leading to higher productivity and retention rates.

How is a recruiter different from an employment agency?

The main difference between a recruiter and an agency is that your recruitment partner works for you. They also specialise in finding people for higher-status roles and understand that a good cultural fit is just as important as a skillset fit.

With experience in your niche market, a specialist recruiter also has a wealth of knowledge in the role you are looking for and already has a pool of candidates to draw from in a moment’s notice, especially for locum or temporary work.

According to the Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s Recovery 2021 report: Only 10% of companies say that every single worker they have hired is a good fit. Even in a normal year, only 31% of businesses said they found it easy to attract suitable staff.

How much does it cost to use a recruiter?

More statistics from the REC report show that for most companies, replacing workers who have moved on is one of the most expensive ongoing investments they have to make. Independent estimates tend to find that it can cost in the order of £30,000 to replace the average worker – or the same again as the average salary.

On average, businesses estimate that finding every new starter takes up five to ten hours of management time. Unsurprisingly, when asked why they used recruitment agencies, freeing up time and focus for management was an important consideration.

Using a recruitment agency can also save you money if the new starter withdraws or departs. After you have spent time and money hiring a candidate and it doesn’t work out, some recruiters offer a safeguard for the first 12 weeks.

How many recruiters should you use?

In general, it’s best to use just one. It won’t look good to candidates if they hear about you from several different recruiters. It also pays to have a good ongoing relationship with your recruiter, just as it does with your banker or insurance agent. A recruiter who knows your company and your needs can find you the best people faster.

Working with multiple recruiters often means wasting your time receiving duplicated CVs. This destroys one of the main reasons for using a recruiter: saving you time.

How to choose a good recruiter?

There are two important indicators of the quality of a recruiter. The first is the person working with you on the assignment. Are they dealing with you in a professional, helpful and friendly way? And the second is the candidates they’re sending you. Are they the calibre of people you’re looking for? Are they well-prepared for the interview?

Is it important for a recruiter to have experience in the vet industry?

Yes – when it comes to the vet industry in particular, experience is vital. Recruiters with experience in the industry know how to find candidates with experience in the industry. They speak your language and understand your requirements. They also know how to spot a candidate who’s exaggerating or hiding weaknesses – and they know how to make a great first impression on your behalf.

If the role you need to fill is important to your business, it’s vital to use a recruiter. Recruiters specialise in finding high-achieving, career-minded people in your industry.


If you would like to partner with the leading vet recruiters for permanent and locum staff you can submit a vacancy on our website. We will then get in contact with you to find out more about the ideal candidate for your business and you can leave the hard work to us!

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