It’s no secret that the success of our veterinary hospitals stems from our collaborative team of talented and devoted veterinary professionals. Securing top veterinary talent never stops—not even for a pandemic. Individual Compassion-First Hospital Directors, supported by the Talent Development Team, ensure each hospital is staffed with the best of the best in the veterinary field. To continue meeting that goal, our recruiting strategies must be flexible, and able to overcome any challenges. COVID-19 may have closed businesses and shut down travel, but recruitment never sleeps. Our teams have had to pivot to overcome recent hurdles and alter many tried-and-true recruitment techniques, but that won’t stop us from filling our hospitals with outstanding veterinary talent.
Talent development has gone virtual
When COVID-19 hit, we had to reinvent our recruiting strategies, so much of the process—like everything else—went online, for the safety of our employees and candidates, but recruiting the best emergency and specialty medicine talent continues to be a top priority for our family of hospitals. “The challenge is trying to figure out how to replicate the personalized interview process when you’re forced to work virtually,” Talent Development Team Director Keri Patton says. In-person interviews went online, and Hospital Directors and candidates now meet through computer screens instead of over coffee. Candidates can’t walk our hospital hallways, so we bring the hospital to them with a virtual tour, complete with a personalized welcome sign on the front doors, conversations with team members, and meet-and-greets with other specialists. Virtual happy hours, where candidates meet with hospital team members for informal conversation over a bottle of wine—shipped to their front door by the hospital—are a big hit.
Jess Brotherton, Hospital Director at Care Center Vets, with locations in Dayton and Cincinnati, Ohio, recently hosted a virtual interview, hospital tour, and happy hour for their newest emergency veterinarian, Dr. Patrick Hunt, and his partner, Lauren, who were able to meet with Care Center doctors, and learn about the hospital culture and values. Brotherton says, "So many of us throughout the veterinary industry has made such swift changes—seemingly overnight—given our circumstances surrounding COVID-19. With the amazing candidates, and the team involved in our virtual interviews and happy hours, our transition to candidate interviews through a digital format has truly been seamless. I admit, I was worried about potentially missing out on the connection that in-person interviews create, but I’m happy to say you can still establish great connections through meaningful telephone conversations and quality time together through virtual platforms.”
Connecting with candidates during virtual conferences
National conferences have always been a great way for our Talent Development Team to meet potential candidates. Although we will miss connecting with new candidates, and old friends, in-person during conferences this year, we will be present in a new way. Since ACVIM, IVECCS, and ACVS are being held virtually, we will have a virtual presence as well. Our booth may feel a little different, but we are looking forward to connecting with attendees in the virtual exhibit hall to explain the amazing opportunities available at our Compassion-First hospitals.
COVID-19 has required us to be flexible in our recruiting approach, but the importance Compassion-First places on recruiting top veterinary talent has not changed. Our Talent Development Team continues to support our Hospital Directors in finding world-class doctors to continue driving the success of our hospitals.