Veterinary professionals all Love a great Story, learn Why and How
How the best storytelling connects practices with the best candidates…
In this era of unusual demand and supply for Veterinary team members, if you want the best then it’s time to become a great storyteller.
We’re not talking about fibs, stretching the truth or outright lies. What we do mean is that in a market where demand clearly is outstripping supply (at a ratio of more than 1:1) Veterinarians, Veterinary Technicians, Veterinary Nurses and just about all Veterinary Professionals are being highly selective about choosing their next career step…and it starts with your Message.
You have just a few seconds…
That’s it. In today’s attention-span-challenged world, if your Job Campaign does not attract, engage and draw readers or viewers into your story in the first few seconds then your audience will just move on…and, having captured their attention, you must keep their interest right to the very end. As for you Job Seekers, knowing your potential new employer’s compelling story is essential to making the right decision. Both will find out why and how here…
People respond to stories…
According to this article in the Harvard Business Review, stories actually change our brain chemistry, making us more likely to be empathic and cooperative.
So, whilst you still need a compelling headline, and an intriguing entrée, without an engaging story that draws candidates to explore further and once enthralled, gets them to act, you will not fill that vacant role.
What are Veterinary Professionals looking for?
Across the board – from Vets to Vet Nurses to Vet Technicians to Practice Managers to support and admin team members – once they have determined that it is broadly the right role, right location and the right type of practice eg Small Animal, they are looking know more about the following, in this order…
- Your practice – what makes it unique
- Your team – why the candidate would want to work with your team
- Your patients, cases and clients – and how well you care for them
- Your offer – and why its better than any other for the candidate
…and coming in a close 5th is more about your location, be it urban, regional or international – what makes it ideal for potential candidates.
All the rest you, and they, can chat about during the interview.
What makes a story great…
Now that you are armed with the above essential elements, let’s consider the key components in creating a great recruitment story, with a hat tip to Aaron Sorkin.
- Stories evoke emotion – they captivate, they draw you in, they connect with their readers and they are memorable. They are seldom about facts or features and more about creating experiences and excitement
- Stories have heroes – but it’s not always you, but it is always about your team, and it is your team that your potential new employees are most interested in. One of the easiest ways to support your words about your team is to incorporate a genuine and believable quote from current or past team members that exemplify why someone would want to join your practice
- Stories have villains – you may not need to go there but alluding to corporate monsters or small practice shortcomings may be worth a brief comment depending on your situation
- Stories create engagement – they enable you to become engrossed with the characters and take you on an aspirational journey
- The best stories are authentic – they keep it real, minimizing overstatement and tell it like it is
- Stories have a climax – having brought you along on the journey, they reach a peak, usually with a message and in recruitment storytelling, they end with a call to action – apply now
Some key tips about recruitment storytelling…
Make it personal – “…you will be working closely with Dr Peter, our Leader and Practice owner…” – engage your potential new team member, help them visualize
Keep it first-person – not “the successful applicant will lead a team of exceptional Vets…” but “you will lead a team of exceptional Vets…” – talk to the candidate as if they are in front of you
Keep your story focused – high calibre candidates today are not history buffs and have a short attention span, even when looking for a new career step, so they don’t need a year-by-year history of the practice. Yes, a reference to how long the practice has been established indicates stability and a depth of client retention, so by all means mention “Since 1980…” or “For over 20 years…”
Features vs Benefits – the facts are not interesting – they are just facts. What makes a story compelling is what you do with those features. Having the latest dental equipment is OK but when you add “…which means that we can help relieve or prevent the discomfort most pets will experience at some point in their lives…” – this immediately creates a knowing rapport with Veterinary Professionals
Cliches are, well…cliches – write in simple English and try not to draw on the over-used phrases such as “high quality” or “best practice” or “we treat all patients as if they were our own” and if you are going to mention “Work-Life Balance” do it in a meaningful, demonstrable way with an example eg “We commit to ensuring defined lunch or coffee breaks are taken on time and in our dedicated break and relaxation lounge”
No one cares about your equipment – heartbreaking isn’t it – you do because you either researched and ordered it for good reason, or you are still paying for it. But candidates simply assume you have the necessary resources and are not impressed at all by equipment lists – imagine advertising for a gardener and providing a list of shovels, spades and forks.
So, unless you happen to have a Large Hadron Collider in your basement, don’t provide a list of tools in your Job Campaign, but do talk about your hospital not only being well-resourced but also that your team “is well trained in the potential of these resources so as to maximize patient outcomes”
You don’t need a task shopping list either – most Veterinary Professionals, even new Graduates, have a pretty good idea of the day-to-day tasks involved. So instead of boring them to death with a long list of expectations, just hit the highlights…
- Great diagnostic skills
- Client rapport and communication
- Being organized and keeping documentation up to date
- A keen interest in dentistry
…you can add more or replace as you see fit
It’s about why – Why should they join you on your journey?
Let’s just blow up one myth here and now – you will not like hearing this, and may struggle to come to grips with it but…you are no longer offering candidates a job that they will be lucky to be considered for and you are not getting to choose them, the best, anymore – it’s a much more evenly balanced situation.
In these current times where demand for Veterinarians, Veterinary Nurses and Veterinary Technicians is well-outgrowing supply, in your Job Campaign, you are selling an opportunity and hoping that the best candidates choose you too. That’s why it’s called a Job AD – you are selling a concept that your audience does need, but where there are multiple direct and indirect competitors.
Short is not always sweet – back in the day when classifieds charged per column inch/centimetre you really had to keep things tightly focused. Today, an online Job Ad is virtually endless – you can provide as much copy as you want. And there are many examples of long-form ads that convert searchers into weight reduction pill buyers.
You need to find a length that is comfortable – that allows you to tell a ripping yarn, but that doesn’t bore the reader. Take your time and follow our sample Job Campaign ad – given that it is based on solid research in the Veterinary industry, it’s a good place to start.
Video – we all know that Super Models and such enjoy a little Photoshop re-touching so we have come to trust video as being more difficult to manipulate – plus video is genuinely engaging. So, if you have a video (and you really should have one), or you can create one, this too will help build up your story and your credibility. It doesn’t need to be a major production – in fact, the more genuine the better – but most importantly, your video underscores the validity of your story.
Don’t be cute
Here is the hard data: Job Ads that are too quirky, include odd remarks or references, include unusual whacky videos or pics, ask candidates to answer odd questions or have other abnormal content may get lots of likes for their creativity, but get 50% fewer responses. Well-structured Job Ads that tell a simple, rich, full story about the practice, the team, the work/cases, the location and provide a detailed offer including a salary range, even if it is very broad, get twice the number of responses.
You Job Ad story looks like this…
- Introduction – set the scene – Because of X we’re looking for a Y who is a bit like a this
- About Us – this is the story of your practice
- Team Member Quote – insert some kind words from a team member
- About the role – three of four key technical skills that are important to your practice
- About You – this is the story about what we are looking for in you, the candidate – their personal qualities
- Our Location – we live and work here – regardless of whether you are urban or country, tell a story about where you are and why it is great – don’t underestimate this
- Our Offer – Be specific. Do not misjudge the importance of spelling out your offer inclusions – tell a story about why you have packaged things in this way. And yes, you have to mention money and use numbers – you don’t have to be exact but you must quote a range – usually about $20k being $10k above and below your comfort zone, but it can be up to $40k range. Cliches like “a generous salary” or “attractive salary package” get 30-50% fewer responses than those where a believable salary range is quoted
- It’s Time To Apply – end big. You need a call to action. This is the climax. A strong close that says it is time to act now
So why should I go to all this trouble, it’s just a Job Ad
No, it is not. And you know it’s not.
Here’s the drum – and you do really know this already – in a service business such as the Veterinary world, your income and profit is a direct result of the performance and productivity of your team. So it’s not about finding a new Vet or Nurse or Tech, it’s about managing, developing and growing your practice or hospital.
You are now well-prepared to tell your story and you can find some further guidance in our “How To Write The Perfect Veterinary Job Ad” blog and you can see a great example of an effective Job Campaign here based on our own observations and data. It’s now time to start writing your story.
About VET&PET Jobs Marketplace
Our vet jobs Campaigns reach across the complete range of veterinary jobs – Veterinarian jobs, Associate Veterinarian jobs, Emergency Veterinarian jobs, Veterinary Technician jobs, Locum Relief Veterinarian jobs and many more. Browse by job type, state or city and click through to each Job Campaign for all the details plus each one has a quick video to help you drill down to the key elements in each veterinary job to help you decide on which ones to apply for.
Job Seekers can register and create daily or weekly Job Alerts to notify you when new career opportunities are posted. So, whether you are looking for veterinary jobs in Los Angeles, California or Seattle, Washington or Miami, Florida or New York City, New York and all points in between, you can find the best veterinary jobs for your next career step.
And for Veterinary Hospitals and Vet Clinics, you can find the best veterinary professionals – GP Veterinarians, Emergency Vets, Associate DVM’s, Vet Techs and Relief Vets and Techs – across the USA and Canada, and build your team – register as an Employer and post your Job Campaign today.
Looking farther afield? Then it’s time to explore Veterinary Jobs in the UK and Europe or our Veterinary Jobs in Australia, New Zealand and Asia.