If you want to drastically improve your hiring results, you need a process that will find the best person with the best fit for the position and your practice.

Preparing for Recruiting, Creating & Posting an Ad

If you want to drastically improve your hiring results and staff your hospital with team members who are right for the job and for your practice, then you need to start with your recruiting and hiring process. When pressed to fill a position, sometimes any warm body starts to look like a potential employee. But you invest too much time, money and effort into recruiting, hiring, and training to settle for less than optimal results. You need a process that will find the best person with the best fit for the position and your practice.

Recruiting in 2019 is much different than it was last year. It is a candidate-driven market. Candidates have far more power during the job search. In this current market, you no longer pick the talent – the talent picks you! Staff turnover is costly, and it lowers staff morale – so you need to recruit effectively.

The first step is to determine your recruiting needs, and these needs should be based on your business goals. Determine the hours required and create a job description for that position. Be clear about the skills they will need and what competencies they should have. A job description is an invaluable tool in the recruiting process, for both the employer and employee. With it, the employer sets expectations and the employee is made aware of the expectations. Be very specific with your requirements and state clearly if you require a degree or certification, previous job experience or expect the position to work evenings, weekends and/or holidays. However, you should avoid listing too many qualifications and requirements – try to limit it to no more than five.

Because you’ve used your business goals to help determine your needs – those goals should also be reflected in your practice culture and brand. Your unique culture and brand send a strong message to potential candidates. A negative brand can sabotage your hiring efforts, making it more difficult to hire talented candidates. While a strong brand will generally help you attract and retain employees with shared values. So take a look at your culture, do you say that flexibility is part of your brand? Then make sure supervisors support that! Determine what makes your practice unique and what you value. You might survey candidates, new hires and long-term employees to find out how they perceive your practice. And make sure your policies and practices accurately reflect your brand. Inconsistency can come across as inauthentic. When you’ve identified what makes your practice unique, develop a strategy for communicating why you are an employer of choice. You might even ask your employees to write a testimonial about why they joined – and stayed – at your practice.

So you’ve determined your practice needs, based on your business goals. You’ve examined your culture and branding to make sure you’re aligned with those goals. Now before you create your ad, you are in a better position to answer the question, “What type of candidate are we looking for?” The skills and behaviors you require are a very important part of the job ad. This information should come from the completed job description. These are the absolute “must have” skills and behaviors for new and current team members to possess. Examples of skills would be maintaining inventory or recording patient histories. Behaviors might be related to communication, problem-solving abilities, and teamwork. And you will want to create a budget for recruiting and determine where the ads will be placed and for how long they will run.

Usually, the job advertisement is not given thorough consideration, but it is an essential component of your recruitment and marketing efforts. Remember, your employees are your most important investment and you want to reach a strong applicant pool in an efficient and cost-effective manner. In today’s tight labor market, you are both the buyer who is seeking to hire a qualified candidate and the seller who is looking to promote your practice as a great place to work. A well-written job advertisement will serve both purposes and save you from wasting valuable time on candidates who don’t fit the bill.

Before creating your ad, you need to complete the recruiting checklist, this will ensure that you have all the information needed and you will be searching for the right candidate. Answering the following questions will assist you in creating and posting the ad:

  1. Who is the audience for this ad?
  2. What are the goals of this ad?
  3. What is my budget for this ad?
  4. Where will the ad be placed?
  5. What is the length of the ad placement?

Keep your ad design simple and clean so that the most important information can be conveyed quickly. Avoid too large or small of print, fancy or scripted fonts and avoid capitalizing all letters. A good advertisement will include an impactful Headline Statement that will make the reader want to know more. The ad will also showcase your brand, describe the job and its qualifications, reveal your culture, outline the requirements, feature any benefits, convey why they would want to work for you, and close with an invitation to apply.

You will want to make sure that you inform your team and get them on board with the recruiting process. There is nothing that will lower staff morale more and lead to dissension within the team faster than posting an ad for a position in the practice without informing your current team members FIRST. Explain why you are looking for a new team member. This would also be a good time to discuss the new team member’s training program and discuss the need for a mentor(s). And don’t forget to hand out the employee referral program information. Ask team members currently in that position to review the ad for accuracy and content. You can’t review your ad too many times. One typo will turn away detailed orientated candidates.

Ad placement is just as important as the ad itself and tracking your ad placement is also important. Tracking will help you see where the most qualified candidates are coming from. If this is your first ad placement, it is important to do a few searches in order to determine the best market for your ad. You can place ads on your Facebook page, the practice website career site, professional sites (such as VHMA and AVMA), Veterinary Career Network (vcnnetwork.org) or other veterinary specific job sites (such as wheretechsconnect.com). Additionally, Google Ads, Twitter, Craig’s List, Indeed, and ZipRecruiter are popular places for posting position ads.

Online posting is the now and future. It offers employers many ways to advertise to a large group of candidates, as well as faster response and hiring times. When using social media for recruiting, be careful not to violate an applicant’s right to privacy or any protected characteristics. In addition, avoid using unsanctioned recommendations on LinkedIn and other social media sites. Inconsistent use of social media in hiring may leave an employer vulnerable to discrimination claims. Separating recruiters from decision-makers can help ensure that employment decisions are not based solely on information available on an applicant’s social media sites.

Social recruiting, to put it simply, is using social media channels for recruiting. The term refers to various ways of using social media networks (such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) and websites (blogs, forums, job boards and websites) to find, attract and hire talent. Social recruiting goes beyond posting current vacant jobs ads on your company’s social network accounts. It offers so much more! You can use social media networks to proactively search for potential candidates, build a relationship with them and encourage them to apply for your vacant job positions. Because of all the possibilities it offers, Social recruiting has become one of the top 2019 recruitment trends. With social recruiting, you can reach passive candidates, get more referrals, and target your perfect candidates.

Other ways of recruiting include an Employee Referral Program – involve all your current team members. Who better knows your practice and can explain the benefits of working for you than your team members?

Next time, in Part II, we’ll look at Reviewing Resumes & Behavioral Interviewing.

All of this information and much much more can be found in the VMC Management Resource Library. Our newly revised Recruiting and Hiring section includes a 76 pages Recruiting Workbook with accompanying forms and sample documents. Get yours today!

Sheila Grosdidier, SCP
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