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From the VetPartners Experts: 7 Ways to Keep Candidates Engaged During the Hiring Process

Oct 8, 2019 at 6:35 pm
Stacy Pursell, CPS, CERS

There are many assumptions that a veterinary employer should not make in regards to hiring. One of those assumptions is that a candidate is going to stay in the hiring process all the way until the end. Candidates in this job market drop out of the process at varying stages, and some of the time they don’t let the employer know that they’ve done so.

Here’s the real problem: The best candidates are those candidates who are most likely to drop out of the hiring process. The better the candidate is, the greater the chance that they’ll drop out. That’s certainly not good news for veterinary practices seeking to hire top talent.

So what can be done? Employers must effectively engage candidates during the hiring process so that those candidates will not abandon it. Below are seven ways to keep candidates engaged:

#1—Write a job ad that’s exciting and full of “sizzle”

You cannot attract and hire top candidates with a dull job ad. In addition to an accurate description of the job and what it entails in terms of duties and responsibilities, you must also entice candidates with the exciting aspects of the opportunity.

#2—Communicate often

When you communicate often with candidates during the hiring process, they’re more likely to stay in the interview process. That’s because they’re more likely to think that they’re still a candidate and that it would be worth their while to continue.

#3—Set expectations for the process

Candidates want to know what the next steps of the process are. In addition to communicating often, you should communicate about these next steps. If candidates know what to expect, they’ll be more engaged.

#4—Respect candidates’ time

It should come as no surprise that top candidates are employed, which means they more than likely have to take personal time from their employers to attend interviews. It’s a good idea to treat their time as just as important as yours.

#5—Respect candidates’ confidentiality

If you interview a candidate three, four, or five times, they have to keep taking time off work. It won’t be long before their boss comes to the conclusion that they’re exploring other employment opportunities. That’s exactly what the candidate does NOT want.

#6—“Sell” candidates on all aspects of the opportunity

To keep a candidate engaged, you must keep them interested. And if you’re going to keep them interested, then you might as well keep them interested in everything that you’re offering. This includes the job itself, as well as the organization, including its company culture and opportunities for development and advancement.

#7—Make a compelling offer of employment

As mentioned above, candidates can drop out of the process at any point, and that includes during the offer stage of the process. (And from the employer’s perspective, that’s the worst time for them to drop out.) If you’ve decided which candidate is the best, make your best offer to that candidate.

Engaging candidates effectively requires a certain amount of time, energy, and effort. However, this is an investment in the future of your veterinary practice. To hire the best talent in the marketplace, you must be prepared to make such an investment.

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Stacy Pursell, CPS, CERS
Stacy Pursell, CPC, CERS, is a workplace/workforce expert and an award-winning executive recruiter serving the animal health industry and veterinary profession for 22 years. Stacy was a National Top Ten Account Executive and Pacesetter for one of the world’s largest executive search firms and the #1 recruiter in the Southwest region of the United States before starting her own firm in 2004. Stacy is the founder and CEO of The VET Recruiter, a globally respected search firm. Known as a trailblazer, Stacy founded the first search firm to exclusively serve the animal health, pet, and veterinary industries. Prior to focusing on the animal health, pet, and veterinary industries, Stacy specialized in placing executives for Fortune 500 companies. She also recruited for human hospitals and placed professionals in the broadcast television industry, including television producers for a major cable TV network. She placed CPA’s with a Big 5 Public Accounting Firm and recruited for a natural gas company, a computer software company, a leading provider of fiber based communications services, and in the fashion industry for one of the biggest names in fashion. She is a certified personnel consultant (CPC) and a member of an elite group of search professionals who have passed this challenging exam to show her commitment to the advancement of professional and ethical standards and to the quality of the work performed in the search profession. Stacy served as a volunteer board member for the National Association of Personnel Services (NAPS) for four years and is a preferred member of Top Echelon. She has won numerous awards in the search and recruiting industry over the years and is in the top 1% of executive recruiters worldwide. She was a 2014 and 2017 Finalist for Pet Industry Woman of the Year recognized by Women in the Pet Industry. In addition to being a certified personnel consultant, Stacy is a certified employee retention specialist (CERS) and a member of an elite group of about 30 search professionals who have passed this challenging exam. Finding and retaining employees is the #1 concern of employers in today’s marketplace and this certification helps Stacy’s clients become better at retaining their employees in order for them to have a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Stacy is a member of Vet Partners and has been an invited speaker to a number of veterinary conferences. She writes articles about the animal health and veterinary job market and career related topics.

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