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Running a One-Man Show? How to Hire for Your Veterinary Clinic

Written by: PeopleKeep Team
March 11, 2015 at 3:00 PM

When it comes to recruiting and hiring, ever feel like you’re doing everything almost single-handedly for your veterinary clinic? You’re not alone. In fact, most small business owners do a lot of recruiting and hiring themselves. While recruiting and hiring are essential parts of your veterinary clinic, it doesn’t have to be difficult. In this article, we’ll go over the best way for you to recruit and hire in less time -- leaving you with more hours to treat and care for your clients’ cherished pets.  

This is an excerpt from our eBook: The Veterinary Clinic’s Guide to Human Resources

Recruiting Basics

Attracting the most desirable job candidates is a key part of your veterinary clinic’s success. In fact, did you know that 30 percent of small business failures are due to poor hiring (score.org)? Knowing this, there are several ways you can hire effectively and still have plenty of time in a day. Here are four ways to get you started:  

Employee Referrals: Encourage current staff to spread the word about job opportunities. Offer cash or other incentives to encourage employees to participate.  

Career Website Page: Make sure you have a career website page where you list open positions and describe your company's mission and culture.  

Online Job Boards: Use free job boards such as Craigslist.com and/or job board aggregator sites such as SimplyHired.com and Indeed.com. You can also pay to post openings to job boards such as Monster.com, CarreerBuilder.com, GlassDoor.com, and to local or regional job boards and newspapers.  

Social Media: Social media is a growing recruiting strategy for small businesses because it is a low-cost way to recruit, source, interview, and stay in touch with candidates.  

You can save time by going straight to the source -- universities and colleges. New graduates are a great resource to fill all levels of positions. Going straight to universities and colleges helps you gain access to workers with up-to-date skills. Plus, small businesses and startups offer recent college grads something that many large companies cannot -- the opportunity for fast growth and an entrepreneurial culture. Internships are another way to get fresh talent in the door.

Related: How to Recruit - Prepare to Hire Before You Take the Plunge

Keep an Eye Out, Always

We’ve talked about finding candidates by going to the sources of candidates (i.e. universities), but don’t forget that it’s also just as effective for candidates to find you. How can you do this? Here are three ways:

  • Spread the word. If you, your employees, and even your clients are spreading the word about your clinic, chances are that some of the best candidates will come out of the woodwork. Don’t be afraid to tell friends, family, and clients you’re hiring. Then, candidates will start coming to you - saving you from searching.

  • Write clear job descriptions. If the job descriptions you post in universities, websites, and other job boards are clearly written and easy to read, people will take a look and seek you out. List the important aspects of your veterinary clinic that are attractive and compelling.

  • Make applying easy. Rather than making a lengthy application process, make it simple and quick.

You can also save time as you interview. To do this, make your first round of interviews quick. Narrow it down to only those that you feel will be the most valuable to your veterinary clinic. Then, interview your top 5 candidates for 10 minutes and your top 2 candidates for 15-20 minutes. Once you determine they are qualified for the position, make an offer.

Related: 5 Easy Tips for Hiring the Best Employees

You’ve Hired, Now what?

Hopefully now you have a firm grasp on how to recruit and hire, but what do you do once you’ve actually hired employees? Here are 3 things you need to accomplish soon after hiring new employees.

Give your employees the right tools. If you want your new employees to succeed, make sure they have everything they need to be the best they can be.

Get your employees acquainted. Make sure your employees know the building, the client base and their pets, and their co-workers. This is vital to their success.

Have an onboarding plan in place. Developing a qualit onboarding program leads to better retention and a smooth transition for new hires at your veterinary clinic.

Related: HR Tips: Structured Onboarding For Your Veterinary Clinic


You have pets to tend to, clients’ concerns to resolve, and you’re doing a lot of it alone - don’t make recruiting and hiring an intimidating task. Instead, find ways to help make your process simple, effective, and exciting.

What questions do you have about recruiting and hiring for your veterinary clinic? Comment below.

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