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Recruitment strategies for Australian veterinarian practices

Recruitment strategies for Australian veterinarian practices

Recruiting for a veterinary practice can be a challenge, particularly in light of the increasing shortage of applicants and the decline in the effectiveness of traditional recruitment methods. In a survey carried out by LinkedIn, 63% of respondents identified the shortage of talent as their biggest challenge. Meanwhile, 76% of hiring managers reported that attracting the right job candidates was their biggest challenge, and 75% of job seekers stated that they would not take a job with a company that had a bad reputation – even if they were unemployed. In this article, we will explore some effective strategies for online recruitment, particularly in relation to the Australian market.

Social media has become one of the fastest-growing areas for recruitment. With the ability to reach a wide and targeted audience, it has become a particularly valuable platform for veterinary practices looking to fill job vacancies. According to Statista, 82.7% of the Australian population is active on social media. The most used social media platforms for Australian internet users aged 16-64 are Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

A recent study found that 73% of job seekers between the ages of 18 and 34 found their last job through social media, and 86% of job seekers use social media in their job search. Therefore, it is essential that veterinary practices create a strong online presence that will appeal to potential candidates.

So, how can veterinary practices promote job vacancies effectively?

  1. Update your website

The first step in promoting job vacancies is to create a careers page on your practice's website. This page should cover all the key elements of why someone would want to work for your practice, including showcasing your culture, business personality, and outlining your mission and vision. List each job that you have available, and highlight the benefits of the role. Consider getting some of your team members who are already doing the role, or who work for your practice, to do an interview with you on video.

  1. Encourage your employees to get involved

Encourage your team members to rave about the practice and the culture, and show off interesting projects, events/activities they are involved in on their social media profiles. This can add validity to your employer value and convince candidates that your organisation is worth joining. Ask them to list the roles in their posts on their own profile, and in relevant groups they belong to online, linking to your web landing page.

  1. Update your social media profiles

Having an up-to-date and well-managed social media presence is crucial for successful online recruitment. A strong reputation and positive online presence can be particularly appealing to passive job seekers, with 75% of active job seekers being likely to apply for a job if the employer actively manages its employer brand. To develop a more active and positive social media presence, consider your brand manifesto and how you can highlight your people, values, and differentiators. This could include featuring your current team and giving candidates a behind-the-scenes look at your company culture through written, audio, or visual content.

Remember, a work environment that reflects your employer brand will be attractive to top candidates. Company culture is a key factor for many job seekers, particularly those in the top 20%. By showcasing your team, team events, and other company culture touchpoints, you can give candidates a glimpse of what they can look forward to if they join your team. It is also essential to include your Google profile in your list and make sure you maintain lots of good positive reviews from clients, and good quality images on your profile.

  1. Utilise your existing networks

Recruiting for veterinarian practices can be a challenging task, but utilising your existing professional network can make the process much easier. If you have studied at college or university, you likely have a network of classmates who are also practising veterinarians or working in the animal health industry. These connections can be invaluable when it comes to recruiting new staff for your practice. By tapping into your existing network, you can reach out to colleagues who have similar values and work ethic to your own, and who are already familiar with the demands of the profession. This can save you time and effort in the hiring process, as you are more likely to find candidates who are a good fit for your practice culture and the needs of your patients. Additionally, working with people you know and trust can create a more cohesive team and a more positive work environment, which can be crucial for a successful veterinary practice.

  1. Be where your candidates frequent

It is important to be present on the platforms where your candidates are, but also in the groups that they belong to. This means understanding their preferred channels, interactions and meeting them there. You may like to check out the following groups on Facebook:

Vet Nurses Australia
Veterinary Employment and Locum Network
Australian Veterinarian Network

  1. Use video content to attract candidates

Video content is a powerful tool to attract candidates, especially in the veterinary industry where candidates may want to see the practice, meet the team, and learn about the daily routines of the job. You can use video content to create a virtual tour of your practice, showcase your services, and highlight your team members. You can also use video to share your mission and values, and provide insights into your work culture.

  1. Use online job boards and recruiting websites

Online job boards and recruiting websites are still effective channels for finding candidates, especially for entry-level positions. Websites such as Seek, Indeed, and Jora are popular job search engines in Australia that allow you to post job listings and attract candidates. You can also use niche job boards specific to the veterinary industry, such as Vet & Pet Jobs, to attract candidates with relevant skills and experience.

  1. Partner with educational institutions

Partnering with educational institutions, such as veterinary colleges and universities, can be an effective way to attract candidates with the right qualifications and experience. You can advertise your job listings on their career services pages, attend career fairs and events, and offer internships or mentorships to students. By building relationships with educational institutions, you can tap into a pool of motivated and talented candidates who are eager to start their careers.

  1. Offer them more time off

According to the AVA's 2020 survey, around 24% of respondents reported that their workload was unmanageable, and 26% reported that they had experienced burnout. Additionally, the survey found that 56% of respondents felt that they did not have a good work-life balance. These findings suggest that work-life balance and mental health are important issues for veterinarians in Australia, as well as in other countries. Veterinary practices that offer their staff lighter schedules may not only reap the benefits of happier, healthier employees, but gain a tangible recruiting edge.

In response to these concerns, some veterinary practices in Australia have implemented programs and policies to support their employees' well-being, such as flexible schedules and mental health support services. By offering these benefits, veterinary practices can not only improve the health and happiness of their employees, but also attract and retain talented staff.

  1. Go on a Treasure Hunt on LinkedIn or Google

An effective strategy is to search on Google and LinkedIn for individuals who are currently doing what you are looking for. Send them a message like "Hi <name>, I am currently recruiting for a role and looking for someone who has your great skills and experience. If you know of anyone, can you please refer them to our role description (link on your website). Thank you so much for your time." By writing it like this, it is not a direct hit-up, but a good way for them to pass onto others or even better, apply themselves if they are interested.

  1. Measure Your Results

Whether you are a small business recruiting only a few roles each year or a bigger company doing it more frequently, always measure your results to establish which campaigns worked better than others and which mediums delivered the best candidates. This data will help you improve your recruitment process for future job openings.

Additional Strategies:

Pull together a list of candidates who have applied in the past and send them an email. Contact local schools and universities to post ads on their notice boards. Add an announcement in your newsletter, email communication to clients, and create an email signature promoting careers at your business. Add signage at your premises, on your cars, and other locations to get your message seen.

Improve Your Recruitment Process

It's not just about having a presence on social media. It's also important to have an efficient and intuitive application process. A survey found that nearly 60% of job seekers quit online job applications due to their length and complexity. In addition, 41% of recruiters say that filling entry-level positions is the hardest task. This highlights the importance of having a straightforward application process to ensure that you don't lose potential candidates.

Some suggestions include:

  • Automatically adding applicants to a group in your email and sending them a trigger email thanking them for their application, and sending additional information to get them excited about working for your company
  • Reviewing all candidates daily and contacting the ones you feel could be good for an initial interview via phone or online call
  • Having some of your team members follow up with candidates to answer any questions they may have and establish if your business is the right fit for them.
  • Whatever your process, act faster than what you would have done in the past and make the interview process a positive experience.

In conclusion, online recruitment is a powerful tool for attracting candidates to your veterinary practice. By using social media, online job boards, and recruiting websites, partnering with educational institutions, and offering competitive compensation and benefits, you can build a strong employer brand and attract the best candidates. Remember to create a positive and engaging online presence, use video content to showcase your practice and team, and make it easy for candidates to apply for your open positions.

Vet Marketing Services works exclusively with Australian vets and understands the industry. We put careful thought and attention into every website, newsletter, social media post, and are committed to delivering high quality results. Call us for a chat on (07) 5636 3766, or contact us online to discover how we can get more paws through the door of your vet clinic.

Author:Vet Marketing Services
About: Vet Marketing Services launched with one goal in mind - to provide affordable yet highly effective digital marketing services to veterinary clinics. Our custom made websites and modern marketing strategies are designed with your needs and goals at the forefront, optimised for highlighting the small details that’ll bring local paws through the door of your business.
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