Finding the Best Person for the Job: Making Better Hiring Decisions At Your Veterinary Hospital

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Written By: Katina Palm- Community Veterinary Partners: Field Operations Manager

Finding the right person for the job is key to your hospital’s success. As hospital owners and managers, we tend to be naturally drawn to applicants that are similar to our own strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes, this may lead to a hire that isn’t the perfect fit for the position.  Don’t be afraid to hire someone unlike yourself. Instead, strive to hire someone that can provide the skills that you require- the differences may be just what your hospital needs to successfully fill this position.

To get you started:

Before you build your job ad, start by updating the job description to insure that the role you are trying to fill is highlighted. Be as specific and clear as you can. Mentioning specific tasks and situations that the role may encounter can help a prospective candidate see if they are a good fit. Sometimes job ads can be generic when they should be much more specific. Don’t be afraid to ask for what your want in your candidate.

For example:

If you are seeking a manager, you will want to attract a certain person.

– A generic job ad could say something as simple as: “Looking for strong managerial skills”

– A more in depth ad should say “Seeking an experienced manager who has at least two years of management experience in a customer service based industry.

If you are seeking a receptionist, consider using similar phrases:

– “We strive to provide excellent customer service and we depend on our reception team to lead this process. Customer service experience is required.”

– “Veterinary experience is recommended, but not required.”

Remember that veterinary information can be taught, but personality is less likely swayed with training.

Success is measured by skill and personality. Take the front desk for example. Your selection of a Client Service Representative should be someone outgoing and comfortable working directly with people. Hospitality and good customer service are essential skills that will make your clients feel welcome. This person should also have an eye for detail and an ability to think outside the box to maximize the client experience.

Your technical team will vary depending on their area of expertise.  Exam room techs should connect easily with the clients and patients. Your client’s perception of his or her visit is primarily based on an emotional response since how they feel is critical. Surgical and laboratory technicians will likely have a different demeanor as they are more specialized in tedious tasks. For smaller hospitals, it is sometimes necessary to find techs that are able to adapt to wearing many hats and this requires good communication during your interview process to find the right fit.

You should have a job description for each role within your hospital. Use this tool to clearly spell out your expectations to candidates to determine their skill level. These are also great to refer to when you are reviewing resumes and interviewing.

Wait until you find the right fit for the job! In a future blog, I will discuss how to set up new hires for success.

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