Having trouble recruiting the ideal vet? Don’t worry—you are not alone! The numbers speak for themselves:
Practices looking to recruit reported difficulties at every stage: a lack of applications, a lack of suitable candidates, and successful candidates turning the job down!
Looking at the applications they’ve received, a lot of veterinary practices might find it hard to believe that the number of UK graduates is increasing— the Register of Veterinary Surgeons shows that the number of UK veterinary graduates has increased by about 25% over the last 10 years. So why aren’t all these graduates applying for jobs?
Some think there are parts of veterinary practice that graduates just don’t want to work in. TV’s ‘Yorkshire Vet’ Julian Norton said that recent graduates simply aren’t interested in the kind of small, mixed, and rural practices shown in the much-loved All Creatures Great and Small. Dr Norton thinks that what was once seen as idyllic and committed work with all sorts of animals is now dismissed as isolated and unsociable work. Do recent graduates just want urban comforts and regular work in large surgeries?
Practice managers shouldn’t take Dr Norton’s gloomy diagnosis to heart. It is true that slightly more veterinary graduates have not gone on to do any veterinary work since qualifying, but that is not the full story. There are plenty of eager, skilled graduates who are looking for all kinds of meaningful work with animals.
Dr Gudrun Ravetz, the president of the British Veterinary Association, has encouraged us to be faithful in our young vets:
So why are practices having difficulties attracting all the great, skilled graduates? The best way to answer this is to see what the graduates themselves are looking for.
There are 2 things that all veterinary graduates are mainly looking for: location and support.
Graduates are not looking for large sums of money. If they feel like they will be looked after, helped to develop, and in a good area, they will want to work for you. Knowing this, there are some simple ways that your practice can attract the very best applicants:
There’s no need to think that graduates don’t want to work at your practice. Remember what they want from their professional career—and the fears that they might have— and you will quickly attract the very best applications.
Celebrate the location of your practice, and the development opportunities that your practice can provide: the ideal graduate is waiting for you!