Published on February 22, 2021
The growing shortage of labour in the veterinary field has made it increasingly difficult to write a job posting that stands out from those of other practices. At a time when job sites are inundated with help-wanted ads, it’s more important than ever to be original and make an impact on prospective candidates!
Too often, job offers are written to sell an image or an ideal. What counts, however, is attracting candidates whose profile matches your culture and your team’s dynamic, even if only to limit your staff turnover.
The ultimate aim: finding the best candidate… and keeping them!
Over the past few years, the demand for associate veterinarians has climbed to new highs. Based on the number of help-wanted ads placed in the Canadian Veterinary Journal and posted to the website of the Canadian Veterinary Medicine Association (CVMA), it’s possible to estimate the demand across Canada. The number of ads surged from a low of 52 in early 2016 to a record high of 115 in March 20191.
Monthly number of job postings for associate veterinarians advertised by the CVMA1
1Source: CVMA, January 2020
The demand for animal health technicians is just as critical.
5 tips for writing a job posting that stands out
1. Use an attractive job title
Veterinary technician or animal care nurse?
Receptionist or customer service specialist?
Some job titles are inherently more appealing (or simply more inventive!) than others. To grab the attention of potential candidates, be creative and daring by coming up with original job titles that still reflect the nature of the position.
2. Use a personal tone
The wording of the help-wanted ad should reflect the personality of your veterinary practice. Use a friendly yet professional tone – after all, these are probably the qualities you’re looking for in a candidate! When writing your ad, keep in mind the profile and personality of your ideal candidate.
Choose motivational terms such as “responsibilities,” “role” and “challenges,” instead of heavier words like “tasks,” which are more negative in connotation. Limit the use of the words “requirements,” “prerequisites” and “mandatory,” in favour of more positive terms such as “profile, talents, experiences or skills sought.”
3. Hook your readers
Take advantage of the introduction to talk up what makes your practice unique. Ensure your text is concise and includes the most appealing aspects of the job, so that candidates will want to keep reading. Provide a clear picture of your practice in just a few words. For example, you could use the template below and adapt it to emphasize the specific services and qualities characterizing your clinic:
We are a [type of establishment or qualifying adjective] clinic that offers [products and services]. We are members of [organization or well-known banner, or certification attesting to the quality of your services and facilities]. We also offer [unique or original offers, client segments, etc.].
Candidates should be able to find the following information in your job offer:
- Name and location of the veterinary practice;
- Title of the position and main responsibilities;
- Level of experience, qualifications and skills sought;
- Mention of whether the position is full-time, part-time, permanent or temporary;
- How to apply and deadline for applications.
4. Provide an appropriate list of responsibilities
Pay special attention to the list of responsibilities to make sure they reflect the level of experience you are seeking in a candidate. There is no need for a long list: stick to the essentials. Details can be discussed in a telephone interview or the during in-person interview that usually follows.
It’s a good idea to diversify the action verbs used in the description of the responsibilities of the position.
5. Don’t forget to mention the advantages of working with you
Do you offer attractive benefits, such as an insurance plan, reimbursement of annual professional fees, continuous training or a mentoring program? If so, it’s important to mention them!
Be creative. Depending on your clinic’s culture and size, you could emphasize the things that set your practice apart, such as a free meal every month or week, free consultations for your employees’ pets, discounts on food, etc.
By keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be able to write an appealing job offer that attracts the interest of choice candidates. Then you’ll be ready for the next step: the selection and hiring process!