These 4 factors attract and retain top talent

Why do some practices win and others lose in the war to attract and retain top talent? A new McKinsey report has good news and bad news.

The bad news: to attract top candidates, you have to excel at four different things.

The good news: the same four things will also help you retain them.

Today’s professionals are looking for fair compensation, meaningful work, flexibility, and growth potential. Here’s what all of those mean for veterinary practices–and how you can deliver them.

  1. Compensation

In a highly competitive market like the vet industry, offering competitive pay and benefits isn’t enough by itself, but you can’t afford to skimp on it either. Check your starting salaries against our vet industry pay benchmarks.

The law of supply and demand has increased the cost of retaining veterinary professionals as well as the cost of attracting them. People who are well paid feel more valued and more secure in an uncertain economy, which creates loyalty. If you don’t pay every penny their skills are worth, your competitors will.

  1. Meaning

Veterinary work is inherently meaningful–but that makes it more important to consider this factor, not less. People who choose a career in the vet industry care more about meaning than the average employee, and are less likely to tolerate busywork and drudgery.

This is a particular issue for vet nurses, who are highly skilled yet often relegated to cleaning and other chores instead of using their training to the full. Make sure every person in your practice has a chance to make meaningful contributions to patients’ wellbeing.

  1. Flexibility

Flexibility is a hot-button issue in the vet industry. Sure, vets and nurses can’t take patients home, but they can and should be allowed to take admin, phone calls, and virtual consultations home. Maximum flexibility in hours and on-call times is also crucial in a profession still suffering an epidemic of burnout.

As well as helping you attract and retain top talent, you’ll also find more flexibility boosts performance by giving you happier, healthier, less exhausted employees.

  1. Growth opportunities

Veterinary professionals tend to be ambitious people who want to grow their careers. Offering clear paths for advancement that are laid out up front in your job ads will help you both attract and retain top talent.

It’s not just about actually promoting people (though you should do that!)–it’s also about showing them a structured growth plan they can get excited about. People who can visualise a great future with you will want to join, want to stay, and be motivated to do their best.

In fact, for all four of these factors, you not only need to do what you say, you also need to say what you do. Be transparent about pay and benefits in your job ads. Talk internally and externally about the flexibility, meaning, and growth opportunities you offer.

A healthy practice, like a healthy patient, not only stands firm on four legs, but also knows how to appeal to people by waving all four of them in the air.


Get in touch today if you are looking for talent to join your Veterinary practice.

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