How and where to find your veterinary staff after starting your practice
With more veterinarians in demand, it’s the perfect time to start your dream veterinary practice. But that also means you’ll need to find the right staff to support you once your doors open. Here’s how you can find them.
After starting the practice of your dreams, the next task on your to-do list should be building a well-oiled machine to support you in serving your community: your veterinary team/staff.
Studies from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show that the employment of veterinarians is projected to grow 17% from 2020–2030, which is much faster than the average for all other occupations. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force (think: retirement). With that, the demand for employees is also expected to increase, so now is the perfect time to prepare for building your future team.
Before you begin headhunting, make a list of all the positions you need to fill. As a starting point, your staff should include:
- A veterinary technician
- A manager
- A veterinarian assistant
- A receptionist
You can also hire other resources for your patients and their owners, such as a grief counselor, administrative assistant, kennel or barn workers, and part-time volunteers.
You’ll want a team as passionate about the industry as you are, and one made up of people who will fight for the dream you have of running a successful veterinary practice. If you are struggling to find veterinary professionals who match your values, we suggest starting here:
First, determine the qualities you’d like to see in your staff.
To begin your search, tap into your professional network, and provide a checklist of qualities you’re looking for in your staff. This will help the people in your network narrow their list of suggestions and help you find the perfect fit for your practice. Here are some qualities we believe are essential:
- Excellent communication skills with animals (and people)
- The ability to stay calm under pressure
- Enthusiasm and positivity
- The ability to adapt to different situations, unexpected cases, and unpredictable emergencies
- High emotional intelligence and empathy
Network for your staff.
Social media will be your most convenient recruiting tool. It gives you ample access to your industry network (and can help you build your network). Join veterinary groups on Facebook like Veterinary Practice Owners Advice Line or Success Strategies for Independent Veterinary Practices to see what members are saying about how they hired their staff. You can also find veterinary-specific leaders in the industry on Twitter and LinkedIn: Connect or follow them, and message them for advice or set up a meeting to initiate those conversations.
Beyond searching on social media, you can also recruit staff by:
- Tapping into your current network of veterinarians and asking for recommendations
- Hiring an industry-specific recruiter to look for professionals with your preferred skills and qualifications
- Contacting local vocational schools for recent graduates; don’t be afraid to ask for a specific selection of resumes from the top of the class or those with perfect attendance
- Using online recruiting platforms like iVet360 and job boards hosted on sites like the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Foster the right environment.
A positive workplace environment is important to securing and retaining your dream staff. As much as you’ll be looking for the right qualities in prospective employees, they’ll be doing the same to determine if your veterinary practice is the ideal workplace for them. Here’s what your future employees are looking for:
- Latest technology and software — Your employees will want efficient ways to complete their work, as well as communicate internally and externally. Consider the equipment that will be part of your loan package as you start your practice.
- Amazing benefits — Maintaining a work-life balance is also essential to keeping your staff happy. Look at what your fellow veterinary practice owners offer, and explore the benefits you want to provide your employees, such as generous time-off policies, ongoing fitness programs, great medical insurance, bonuses, and career development and promotion opportunities.
- Willingness to change — As a startup veterinary practice, certain policies probably won’t remain the same as you become more established in your community. When you’re open to feedback and listen to your employees about what’s working (and also not working), you can make your workplace even stronger.
As you start the veterinary practice of your dreams, take the time to be intentional about who you’ll want to work and grow with every day as your journey continues. Remember: A veterinarian is only as good as the team supporting them.
At Provide, our team of experts works tirelessly to give our veterinarians an easy, simple, and exciting way to achieve their goals and build the practice of their dreams. Visit getprovide.com and get pre-qualified to start building your dream practice, and browse our marketplace to search for a practice that meets (and exceeds) your dreams.
Continue to follow along for more practice acquisition, startup, and management tips: Next month, we’re sharing an inside look at our technology and process, and covering the how-tos of a summer remodel for your existing healthcare practice.
This content is for informational purposes and it does not constitute the rendering of legal, accounting, tax, or investment advice or other professional services by Provide or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates, and it is being provided without any warranty whatsoever. Please consult with appropriate professionals related to your individual circumstances.
All lending is subject to review and approval. Provide, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fifth Third Bank, National Association.