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With the war for talent in the vet industry heating up, how do you set yourself apart from the competition? While the biggest practices may be showering candidates with huge sums of money, that’s not an option for most animal hospitals and clinics. Happily, it’s also not what candidates want most.

What do vets really want?

While a veterinary career is extremely rewarding, it’s also extremely challenging and comes with a high risk of burnout. In fact, it has the highest rate of turnover of any medical specialty–twice that of physicians–according to new research from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).

What’s worse, a CDC study found that male vets are 2.1 times more likely to commit suicide than the average person, and female vets are 3.5 times more likely.

In this environment, going out of your way to care for your people, invest in their wellbeing and promote a healthy work-life balance is worth more than money.

6 ways to show candidates you care:

  1. Offer more time off. A 2020 AVMA survey found that 30% of vets want to work fewer hours, up from 23-24% in 2017-2019. The main reasons cited were better work-life balance and mental health.
  2. Tell them about your local area. Share information on local attractions, housing and schools. This will show candidates that you’re aware they have a life beyond work–and making it easier for them to imagine living there.
  3. Give interviewees a five-star welcome. Invite them to shadow incumbent vets for the day, to meet clients and patients, and to have lunch with the team. Take them out to dinner and show them around the area. A warm welcome is something money can’t buy.
  4. Reimburse their travel expenses quickly. The average practice takes 4-6 weeks to get around to this, which does nothing to show you care, especially for young vets struggling with student debt.
  5. Show that you give back. Highlight any local community efforts you’re involved in, such as working with animal shelters. This will show caring vets that you’re aligned with their values, something candidates are looking for now more than ever.
  6. Make relocating easy. Offer a relocation allowance if you can, but even more importantly, take the administrative burden off their shoulders by connecting them with professional services and digital tools that simplify the process. Not only will this show you put your money where your mouth is–it’ll also help your new hire settle in and get up to speed quickly.

If you’d like some guidance on how to win candidates over at interview and every other stage of the hiring process, get in touch today to take advantage of our years of experience.

Veterinary salary survey 2022

Our 2022 Salary Survey is the Veterinary industries most comprehensive census on careers, salaries and workplace trends.