It took over three months for Stacy, the practice manager, to get an applicant for her full-time veterinary assistant position ad. It took another month to interview and determine the candidate’s fit for the job. The job offer was extended to Johnathan and accepted two days later. A start date was set for 14 days in the future and the new team member was requested to arrive on a Monday to start their training. Everything seemed to be moving along smoothly. Until, well, until Johnathan didn’t show up for his first day at the practice. What happened? After getting no response to phone calls, Stacy sent an email and then a text. A response was texted back, “Got a better offer with someone who wants me to work for them.” What is that all about?
Jonathan was kind enough to speak with me when I called to seek his feedback. These are the three points he made:
- He never got the job offer in writing (or by email) to confirm that he had the job
- He got a message on his phone to come to the clinic on Monday at 8AM (that’s all it said)
- When he called the practice to talk to the manager about the specifics of the job, his call was never returned.
Not knowing if this job was really going to pan out, he took another offer.
It’s hard work to fill positions with qualified, productive team members. It’s even more difficult if you go through the whole interviewing process and don’t secure the new employee. Get them to stop looking elsewhere and commit to your practice. Here are six tips to increase your success in locking in that new team member:
- Show your enthusiasm when you call – give them solid reasons why they are the best candidate and how they will fit with the team. Reinforce their good decision to work for you.
- Send them a follow up email to confirm what is included in the job offer. It’s easy for a job candidate to get so excited about the job offer that they don’t ask all the questions about the job and don’t even hear what was reviewed with them over the phone or in person. Include a compensation statement and a job offer letter to confirm what is included. Be sure to include the shift, training time, and benefits to get them revved up to work for you.
- Ask their supervisor or one of their trainers call them a couple of days after the offer, to welcome them to the team and let them know they made a good decision to work at this practice.
- Invite them to come for a couple of paid hours to do some introductory training even before their start date. Have them complete the basic paperwork at that time, only what they need to get started, and then get them mixing with the team. It’s the team, the pets, and the clients that assist to strongly bond new employees to the practice. Even better, send them the paperwork electronically – to be filled out before they begin. Be sure to pay them for their time.
- Share a picture of the team holding a sign welcoming them to the practice. It’s nice to know that everyone looks forward to your arrival.
- Send over the training plan and an invitation to the first-day reception you are holding in their honor.
The investment you make in finding and securing new employees is significant: make sure your new hires know that the welcome mat in front of the practice is for them, as well. Let them know they can stop looking – they found the best job for them! What does your practice do to assure new employees will feel welcome?