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Veterinarians are inundated with work, and have lots of choices when picking a job. How do you make your clinic shine out amounts all the job ads they have to choose from?? HINT: Clever Vet can help!
In today’s veterinary world we are in a recruitment crisis. This means that there are way more jobs than employees to fill them, and often clinics are taking 1-2 YEARS to fill a role. Filling a role is important to not only the financial health of the clinic, but also it’s emotional health. Employees, and clients, like stability, consistency and security.

Job vacancies costs money. It costs money to pay locums, to train new people, to close clinics or not fill consult slots when you can’t fill shifts. It costs in higher staff turnover in other roles (nurses, assistants, etc.), and it costs in clients that will switch to a clinic where they feel consistency and stability.

Therefore, hiring someone FAST, and KEEPING them, is imperative to a clinic.

These are the top 10 KICK ASS TIPS for managers when hiring staff, that will help you get more applicants, and the right applicants:
There is nothing more infuriating to an employee than when something is promised and not delivered. It not only makes the employee angry that that piece of equipment, that support, that schedule, that salary, that whatever, isn’t available or present, it also creates a feeling of distrust to the clinic as a whole. “What else is a lie?” will be the resultant feeling and will lead to distrust in management, and distrust in the clinic by employees.

Don’t oversell equipment that you ‘have’ but doesn’t work or is so bad you don’t use it, or the staff are not allowed to use it. Don’t tout mentorship and support when that vet that is supposed to be supporting the new vet is quitting, or there is no time designated for mentorship or support, or that mentorship or support doesn’t actually exist!

These are quick ways to get your fresh new employee dissatisfied, disgruntled, and ready to quit…leading you right back into the employee hunt!
There are a million and one job ads out there for vets that boast a “family feel” work environment, “great clients”, “well scheduled work days” or “lots of support.” These all get lost in the waves and waves of job ads. Be very specific about as much as you possibly can.

“Lots of support” is better written as “We have 2 full-time vets with 7 and 15 years experience that are here to help you with cases, and there schedule time each day for case discussion/clinical rounds.”

“Well scheduled work days” is better written as “30min routine consults and 45min for more complex/sick animals, with 30min scheduled off prior to lunch and 45min scheduled off at the end of your day to catch up, write notes, and get home on time.”
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Low-balling a salary on a job ad is one of the most detrimental things you can do, because it limits your applicants and completely puts off anyone that truly values themselves, and vets that value themselves, are more profitable to your clinic! Play ball and put your best possible salary out on your ad, and then you will have CHOICE of your applicants, and you’ll get the best ones!
So many clinics either don’t want to post a salary, or post a salary that is the lowest part of the range they are willing to pay, hoping someone will take the job for ‘less’. So many possible vets write off applying for jobs because the salary is too low… and are amazed when I tell them to apply and then ask for more!

The jobs that get applicants are the ones that show they are willing to invest in their employees! The more you show you are willing to invest, the more applicants you will get, and then you will get to CHOOSE the best fit, instead of just taking whoever you get. Evening putting “up to $$(your max possible offer)$$ depending on experience” is better because then even less experienced vets will see there is room to grow, and room to be valued!
Saying “above award” means nothing! “Award” is pitiful and not representative at all of what vets are financially contributing to clinics. “Above award” reads as “we will technically pay you above the minimal legal requirement, but will try to get away with as little as possible.” If you don’t have the guts in your job ad to show you value your potential staff, no applicant will have any faith you will value them in practice!
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“The devil is in the details” as they say! Having details is so important to keep potential employees looking through your ad. Clever Vet has done this by making it easy for you to provide information that it converts into metrics that potential employers can easily assess- making them more likely to click on your awesome ad!
Every vet has an idea of what the perfect job involves. Some want to be in and out of consults and have higher turn-over, and others want more time in consults. If you want an applicant that will more likely turn into someone that will work with your clinic, provide details!

Also, the more details you provide, the longer an applicant will look at your job ad.. which leads to clicking onto the rest of your ad… clicking through to your website… and genuinely checking out your clinic. This all means that if you have a good clinic, the longer you can get job seekers to look at your ad, the more likely they are to apply! Give potential staff information to have them pause on your ad, instead of just scrolling along.

Details that vets care about include:
- Caseload breakdown of species (especially for large animal practices)
- Consult length time
- Built-in breaks to catch up on phone-calls/records
- Number of consults/day
- Number of surgeries/day or number of surgery days
- Work-hours/week
- Schedule/hours
- On-call details (how often, average number of calls/night, compensation)
- Exact location
- Support staff
- Veterinary staff and experience
- Mentorship/support
- Salary
- Equipment
- Continued Education allowance
- Provided ‘Perks’ (car, accommodation, etc.)
In this vet world, so much attrition and stress comes from lack of support staff, and an inability to get work done. So many vets leave the profession because they feel they cannot provide the patient care they desire, due to lack of support staff or poor clinic infrastructure. Having a clear indication of the amount of support staff you have, and the vet:nurse ratio, is helpful. An ideal and efficient clinic will have 2 nurses to every vet. Showing the number of nurses and assistants you have, and if you have a designated receptionist, is a massive indicator for potential vets. They want to know that there is the infrastructure present to allow them to perform to their best ability, and focus on patient health and care.
Veterinarians are hungry for knowledge, and hungry for advancement in their professional careers! Showing what CE allowance you provide shows a dedication to continued learning, and indicates a clinic that is progressive and desires ongoing learning, and continually improving medicine! It also shows that the clinic is less likely to have the “ Do as I say” mentality for new grads, and will support progressive medicine.
If you state a minimum level of experience required, if any applicant is ‘slightly off’ that level they won’t apply. You will limit your applicant pool and cut out potentially amazing applicants.
This is a common concern for new grads especially. They are afraid to apply to jobs that don’t specifically say “new grads welcome.” Also, if you say “3 years experience,” you need to understand that someone with 2.5 years that could be AMAZING, is much less likely to apply. Having a minimum level of experience required is good for more specialized roles, however having a cut-off will limit your applicant pool. Sometimes a new grad or someone with 1 year experience is amazing, and you will cut them out. Always being willing to meet with and interview anyone, especially in today’s recruitment crisis. Try to avoid putting a minimum number of years of experience required, or at least adding “but open to those with less experience depending on the applicant.”
In this current veterinary climate, the applicant is interviewing your clinic more than you are interviewing them! So, why not be like an applicant and show your references! Having staff listed on your ad that potential employees can contact, or at the very least have an up-to-date website that lists your current employees. The vet world is small, and word-of-mouth is HUGE. If you have an applicant that knows one of your employees, they will likely contact them and ask what it’s like to work for you, so make sure your current staff is listed, and ideally contactable (make sure you ask them first!).
Showing potential applicants that you are determined to find a good fit, shows the employee that you are concerned and dedicated to creating a good work culture. Paying for an employee to come and work for a week or two to check out your clinic, putting them up in a hotel, paying for travel… all of these things are showing that you are dedicated to your current employees, and potential new employees. This is a minimal cost compared training a new employee for 2 months only to have them either quit, or having to fire them as not a good fit and start again!
This cannot be stated strongly enough. Being professional, answering emails promptly and politely, having your website up to date, having accurate details, and ensuring you are available and present for interviews and clinic visits is so important. Nothing says “oh ya, your working days are going to be a sh*t show” like a boss that can’t meet you when you arrived because they are stuck in consults because the other vet didn’t show up, and they are busy, and have no back-up. If a possible new boss can’t set time aside in the schedule for an interview, it tells the applicant that any meeting, any “phone call slots,” and any dedicated mentoring, support, learning, etc. time is not prioritized. Disorganization or disrespect during communication regarding interviews and negotiations are huge red flags for applicants.
In this employment climate it is imperative to make your ad stand out amongst the crowd. Showing details and providing clear and concrete metrics in which potential staff can evaluate your clinic is the way to do it! If you provide clear information, and more data (aka. metrics), your ads will get more ‘look time’, and this is way more likely to lead to an application!
Clever Vet is a completely novel style of veterinary employment that allows clinics to provide details that are then converted into the metrics that potential employees really care about. They remove the a huge part of the guess-work and therefore the frustration when applying for jobs!
Clever Vet has taken all of this on board, and created a novel style for veterinary employment that allows clinics to quickly and easily provide these desired metrics. Clever Vet is dedicated to improving the industry by helping job seeking vets and nurses more easily evaluate job ads, which will help them find the job that makes them happy!

The attrition rate is HUGE in the veterinary world, and a huge part of that is vets not finding their clinic ‘home’. Clever Vet is designed to take the guess-work out of the job ads that all look the same, and hopes to be part of the improvement of the vet profession for all. Part of their dedication is displayed in their sponsorship of this blog, hoping to high-light to clinic owners and managers not only what gets applicants, but what makes a good clinic, and what makes a clinic one that KEEPS employees! Thank you Clever Vet for your continued dedication to improving the vet profession… we think you are pretty KICK ASS!

For more from Clever Vet check out their website, and also check out their Clever Vet Facebook and Instagram @theclevervet!
Written by Dr. Ann Herbst BSc, DVM

Published August 6th, 2020

Advocate for yourself, you are the only one that will!

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