Hiring Veterinary Staff in 2024: Insights and Tips

Friday, Jan 26, 2024 by Cindy Barnes, DVM, CVSMT
3 Min Read
Hiring Veterinary Staff in 2024: Insights and Tips

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for veterinarians and veterinary technicians is projected to grow by 20% and 21%, respectively, between 2022 and 2032. This astounding increase, along with the ongoing veterinary staff talent shortage, underscores the need for adaptive hiring strategies that attract and engage modern job seekers.

In this blog post, the Shepherd Veterinary Software team explores key insights and approaches that are redefining the talent acquisition landscape in 2024 and provides some helpful hiring tips.

Technological advancements in the recruitment and hiring process

Younger professionals expect a technology-driven approach to most communication, including recruitment and hiring. Integrating tech into your everyday routine for attracting and engaging suitable candidates shows today’s job seekers that your practice is modern and progressive.

If the idea of incorporating technology beyond posting an online job ad makes you nervous, however, take heart. Much like apps on your phone or tablet, modern hiring tools are simple to use. If powered by artificial intelligence (AI), they can also streamline mundane processes (e.g., applicant screening, resume review) and do most of the work for you.

Digital communication enhances the applicant experience

Keeping the applicant’s journey in mind can ensure you’re providing a considerate and engaging experience that will aid in recruiting top talent. Timely and modern communication keeps candidates updated on their status, which can help them anticipate when to expect a decision or what will be necessary during the next stage of review.

Examples of using tech to enhance the applicant experience include:

  • Leveraging AI tools to personalize email, direct messages, or texts
  • Using video conferencing for initial interviews or pre-clinic onboarding procedures
  • Providing video job descriptions and facility tours to help your ad stand out and give applicants a better sense of your practice
  • Using email or text messaging to provide regular updates and answer questions

Best hiring practices recommend an equitable experience for all candidates, including those who do not meet your search criteria or who are no longer being considered. This not only creates a  positive reputation for your practice but may help you attract future applicants by word-of-mouth.

Social media as an effective recruitment channel 

Your practice’s social media pages are more than a means for connecting with clients. Keeping your online presence in alignment with your practice’s mission and values creates a strong first impression for potential applicants. In addition to posting job ads, platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn are where savvy candidates and passive job seekers go first to research your practice. Ensure your practice’s profiles and landing pages contain appropriate branding showcasing regular engagement, positive client reviews and testimonials, and stories highlighting your practice culture and employee experience.

Prioritize diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging 

Embracing diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) is essential for contemporary recruitment strategies. Fostering a diverse veterinary workforce brings a richness of perspectives, innovation, and creativity. But before including a DEIB statement on your job postings, ensure your present culture and actions reflect such values so you aren’t merely paying lip service to attract potential candidates. Making the effort to cultivate an inclusive work environment will ultimately help you retain employees and attract new ones, and is integral to building a resilient and vibrant team.

Navigating 2024’s hiring trends requires careful consideration and understanding of employment law. Like other tech-powered initiatives, digital hiring tools can expose veterinary practices to legal, ethical, and data security-related issues. For example, AI-driven hiring prompts a discussion on legal compliance to prevent bias, while data collection during online recruitment highlights the need for the safe handling of personal information. Staying updated on federal and state employment laws is vital to responsibly navigating the hiring process now and in the future.

Hiring veterinary staff has always been a challenging endeavor, but major workforce shifts and advancing technology have added new challenges. Adapting your recruitment and hiring strategies is the best way to ensure you quickly fill vacant positions with well-suited candidates who become long-term employees.

Modern job seekers are looking for tech-forward practices. Upgrading to a cloud-based practice management system such as Shepherd Veterinary Software is a simple and effective way to enhance your “job appeal”—while also increasing productivity and efficiency within your current team. Contact the Shepherd team to request your free demo.

Streamline your practice with Shepherd Veterinary Software

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