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3 Ways to Hire for the Future in Your Veterinary Practice

By Randy Hall

Last updated: July 27, 2023

Hiring in your veterinary practice

Who is your next superstar employee? If you can’t answer that question you probably have a recruiting mindset that says, “we recruit and hire to fill openings.” This is the thought process most hospitals have. 

But, finding great employees with a deadline looming and an overworked team can lead to mistakes and high turnover. To get out of this cycle, think about the future of your veterinary practice, and hire with an eye towards where you want to be rather than where you are.

Be Proactive in Your Recruiting

A proactive recruiting process that is focused on finding superstars, no matter what your staffing situation, helps you maintain a strong talent pipeline. It actually reduces recruiting and hiring time and allows you to avoid the chaos that can happen when a key player leaves.

Here are some things to think about as you look to ensure your talent is always ready to take your practice to the next level.


Build a Network of People Who Would be Amazing on Your Team.

It can be easy to go through a busy day without noticing things that can help your practice. Life in a veterinary hospital is fast-paced and often hectic. However, your next great hire may be right in front of you. Don’t miss it!

Find potential employees everywhere and stay in touch. They may be working for a competitor; they may have waited on you at lunch, or they may be someone you worked with earlier in your career. The next time you interact with someone outside of your practice, pay attention to how they approach their work, communicate with customers, and whether they seem engaged. When you come across people like this you have the opportunity to build a network.

Stay connected with these people just like you would a prospect or potential customer. Reach out and let them know that you respect their attitude and their work and would like to work together in the future if there’s an opportunity, even if you don’t have a place for them today.


Continuously Raise the Bar in Your Own Ranks

From time to time you will find someone who is such a great fit for your team that you have to make the move to upgrade your talent. These events underscore how important it is to have a talent planning process in place.

You should continuously evaluate the talent you have on your team. This includes looking for the next opportunity to move talent that isn’t a great fit out of your practice, giving them a chance to be successful somewhere else.

Bringing in new employees that push everyone to engage more fully and perform at a higher level is one of the ways great organizations continue to thrive. This is very different from the traditional approach of waiting for an opening, posting a job, and hiring from the available pool of applicants.


Hire for Your Future, not Your Present

You can take this a step further by creating a talent profile. Build a document that clearly articulates the kind of person you are looking for. Over time, your ideas and goals will change, so it is important to keep your talent profile updated.

As you create your document, remember that while certain skills are important, they can be developed through leadership. Attitude, cultural fit, and commitment, however, are things most managers will identify when discussing previous hiring mistakes. There are a lot of people out there that can do a job. It’s harder to find people who can do it in a way that creates more growth and opportunity for the practice.

Wrapping Up

You will never build a hospital that performs better than the people in it. They decide, by their engagement, their initiative, and their accountability how good your practice will be. You have a say in who enters and leaves your organization. If you want to create a growing, thriving successful practice, always be recruiting, and choose wisely.

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