Recruiting tactics to improve your ability to hire and keep the best.
When you have an opening on your veterinary team, finding the right person isn’t always easy. But it is well worth the effort—and the time. “Hiring the wrong person can drag down the whole team,” says Melissa Overberg, Manager of Talent Acquisition at Henry Schein Animal Health. Try these planning and prep tips to find Ms. or Mr. “Right”:
- What is the role you need to be filled? Write down a job description. What tasks will they be doing? What skills and abilities do they need? Education requirements and experience? Soft skills?
- What does it take to be successful in that role? Think about the person already performing the job. What did they do that made them successful?
“When you write it all down, it will help you get a better picture in your head of who will be successful in that job,” says Overberg.
Next, think about where to cast your net.
- Repeat resources. Where have you found your best people? “Where did you hire your last excellent performer? Go back to that resource,” recommends Overberg.
- Use employee referrals. Ask your current employees for suggestions. “They typically know other people who are good workers and good performers,” says Overberg. “Sometimes your best resource is the people in front of you every day, but if you don’t ask them, they may think you don’t want those referrals.”
- Offer an incentive (a day off, a gift card) if employees put you in touch with someone you hire.
- Tap into compatible industries. Consider hiring from other industries such as hospitality, human healthcare, restaurants or retail pet stores, particularly for positions that require good people skills. “Carry business cards with you everywhere you go. If you meet someone who provides excellent customer service, give your card to them,” says Overberg.
Check resumes carefully, looking for:
- Tenure at previous positions. “I typically don’t consider a resume if someone has had more than three jobs in the past five years,” says Overberg. “I don’t want someone who is going to leave me.”
- Employment gaps. “These can be okay, but you need to ask why those gaps are there,” says Overberg. “Don’t ignore that elephant in the room because you think it might take you down a path of them talking about a personal situation.”
Finally, run a background check on your preferred candidates, Overberg recommends.
Keep in mind that you may not be able to ask candidates about any criminal record until later in the hiring process, Overberg adds. Check your state, county and city “ban the box” regulations and make sure your application is in compliance. “In some states, you can no longer ask whether someone has prior convictions or felonies until after you have made a conditional offer,” she says. “But you can still perform a background check.”
Seal the Deal
Think you’ve found Mr. or Ms. Right? Make that hire! “We can all find hundreds of people to do a job, but you want the right person for your team,” says Overberg.
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