5 ways to spice up your job ad and attract veterinary talent

by By Stacee Santi, DVM

12 min read

When you type “veterinary technician” or “veterinarian” into the search bar on Indeed’s website, tons of job listings stare back at you. As you skim through them, you notice they all begin to sound the same after a while. Such key phrases as “must be a team player,” “has excellent communication skills,” and “is a self-starter” are repeated time and time again. Every employer, no matter what industry, wants these traits in a job candidate.

In addition to character traits, you’ll be met with a laundry list of tasks you must be proficient in, like:

  • Client communication
  • Animal handling and restraint
  • Collection of blood, urine, and fecal samples
  • Performing dental cleanings
  • Monitoring anesthesia
  • Surgical prep and recovery

Does your job ad sound similar to this? No wonder you’re struggling to attract employees! If you’re bored reading through this list, know that your prospective veterinary employees feel the same bland emotions when presented with your job ad. Without demonstrating your passion for your workplace and the medicine you provide, you’ll find it difficult to attract employees that mesh well with your culture and mission.

vet staff reducing stress

So, how should you spice up your job ads to attract not only a wider pool of applicants, but the ones that are the right fit for your veterinary practice? Here are five tips.

1: Make your job ad stand out

When your job ad blends in with the hundreds of other practices desperately seeking to flesh out their bare-bones staff, it’s going to be tough to snag an applicant, much less more than one, so you can choose who would best fit your team. Make your job ad fun by avoiding the same old boring language every other veterinary practice is using.

Read the bulk of the current job postings on Indeed or other major job sites to learn what not to do. Most sound exactly the same, with practice names and locations swapped out.

Once you’re done writing up a sample job ad, compare it to the countless others online. If you notice a lot of the same phrases and keywords, toss it and start over.

2: Use your team to promote your veterinary practice

With so many veterinary practices to choose from when searching for a new job, prospective employees can afford to be choosy and ditch toxic workplaces. Although a short commute and a livable wage are major benefits in the veterinary field, people want to work where they feel comfortable, happy, and fulfilled. Have your current team show off your practice’s highlights to help attract the perfect fit. This allows potential job candidates to determine if your practice is the right fit for them before applying, helping reduce wasted time on less-than-suitable matches.

Use your team to attract job candidates by taking lifestyle and “in action” photos and video clips of them hard at work and play. Showing what happens in a typical day at your practice can help prospective employees evaluate your workflows and workplace culture, and those pictures of a truly fun staff outing at your local lake or mountain retreat don’t hurt, either.

Take things up a notch by posting pictures of your staff holding signs that say, “We’re waiting for you!” All too often, new employees are made to feel like outcasts until they “earn” their way into the fold. Veterinary team dynamics can be tough to navigate, so show how welcoming your team can be. 

3: Give the impression that your practice is waiting just for them

Nobody wants to feel like just a warm body that fills an open slot on the employee schedule. Attract a great employee by giving the impression that you’re waiting just for them. With such language as “we need you!” and “we can’t wait to welcome you to the team!,” prospective candidates will be drawn to your warmth and friendliness.

Additional language to include in your job ad should revolve around what you can do for a potential employee, not what they should be able to do for your practice. Focus strongly on the benefits you provide, since veterinary professionals typically know what skills are needed for a veterinary technician, receptionist, or veterinarian. This language will place you far above other veterinary practices in the candidate-seeking race.

4: Be realistic in your job ad

Don’t promise the moon, the sun, and the stars in your job listing. If your laboratory consists of a CBC and chemistry machine from the last decade, and your X-rays require manual processing, don’t say you have state-of-the-art equipment. And, if you can’t offer a truly competitive salary and benefits package, don’t be vague on promising one in your job listing. It will only waste your time to lure a candidate in with false promises, only to have them turn to a practice who can deliver.

Instead, show off your practice’s highlights. If you’re dedicated to investing in your team’s CE and advancing their careers, let job candidates know! Or, if you’re currently pursuing AAHA, Low Stress, Feline Friendly, or Fear Free accreditation or certification, show job candidates how you’re working to improve your practice. Showing that you’re actively working toward providing better patient and client service is a great way to draw in top-quality job candidates.

5: Make a video to go with your job ad

Videos make up a great deal of online content today. They’re typically seen as more personable and friendly, and by being able to view body language and facial expressions, people are able to better connect. Pair your job ad with a video that takes prospective employees on a tour around your practice. Stop and greet the team, show off your snazzy new urine analyzer, and have a mini interview with the practice manager that quickly lists the benefits of the open position. Splice in clips of the culture and fun activities to be found in your city as an extra incentive to apply.

You don’t have to invest a bunch of money to make a cool video for your job ad. Use a smartphone and a free video editing app, like iMovie, to create a video that will get attention!

Another great way to attract top talent is to highlight how you embrace technology to make life easier for your team. With such features as two-way messaging, refill requests, appointment management, virtual payments, and more, Vetsource’s Vet2Pet client engagement system can help shoulder many mundane, yet time-consuming, tasks, alleviating your team’s workload. Schedule your demo of the Vet2Pet system to learn how upgrading your practice’s technology tools can help you attract the right employee.

Stacee Santi, DVM

Stacee Santi, DVM

Dr. Stacee Santi founded Vet2Pet, the only customizable, all-in-one client engagement system for veterinary practices, which was acquired by Vetsource in 2022. Since earning her DVM from Colorado State University in 1996, Dr. Santi has accumulated more than 20 years of clinical experience in small animal and emergency practice, has spent significant time serving on various industry advisory boards, and served as 2020 president of the Colorado Veterinary Medical Association. Considered a key opinion leader on mobile applications and veterinary reward programs, and selected as 2021 Continuing Educator of the Year—Practice Management by Viticus Group, Dr. Santi is passionate about helping veterinary practices better connect with their clients so pets get the best care and veterinary professionals enjoy more fulfilling, balanced careers.

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