Category: Employer tips

  • How you tell your story matters

    How you tell your story matters

    Get clarity on how you speak about yourself, your workplace, and your career journey.

    Posted: 21/03/2023

    Read Time/Watch Time

    5 minutes

    Who should read this?

    Employers, job seekers, veterinarians, RVTs/RVNs, students.

    Author(s)

    Melanie barham

    Region

    Global content

    How you Tell your story matters

    I’ve had the pleasure all my career of being a chameleon and interloper. Not literally, but I seem to find places where I interlope between similar places and observe, and then fitting in and transplanting ideas from other places. On horse farms as a horse vet, I’d see different ways to manage equine athletes. In surveillance, I’d see the ways different experts supported the sector they worked in, be it beef, bees, poultry or others. Now at VSGD, I see workplaces and candidates who are all unique and doing incredible work. The interesting thing to me is that in each of these places where I’ve “interloped”, it’s hard for the individuals to see what’s special about the work they do and how they do it. When they come to talk about themselves, I often hear, “I think we’re doing what everyone is doing.” This could not be further from the truth.

    There’s a name for that!

    The phenomenon actually has a name: the False Consensus Effect. It’s a cognitive bias where we assume that because we think and behave a particular way, that most people also think and behave the same way. “I’m doing it and it seems normal, so everyone must be doing the same thing.” This is a big part of why it is so hard to create a unique job ad for a workplace, and why it is so hard to write a great resume/CV.

    Workplaces can’t see the amazing things that are different from another because they live it every day. Candidates do the same thing, minimizing their accomplishments or not seeing that they might have a unique perspective to bring. This False Consensus Effect makes for a very bland job ad or cover letter if you’re a candidate. If you’ve ever read a job ad with something like, “We’re a 2 doctor practice with a great team”, or a resume/CV with something like, “Hard working veterinarian with high attention to detail” you know exactly what I mean.

    Develop your story as an antidote to boring

    So what’s the antidote to boring ads and writer’s block? Telling your story in a compelling way is critical. At VSGD, we focus on connection and storytelling because it works. Storytelling together with facts increases “memorability” and understanding by over 18%. Stories and examples work because they activate multiple learning systems in our brains. 40% of us learn visually (photos, diagrams). 40% of us learn best from auditory learning (videos, audio etc). The remaining 20% of us learn best kinaesthetically (doing, experiencing, feeling). Storytelling with photos and video invokes all the types of learning! (Smith, “Leader as Storyteller”)

    Sounds good… How do I make that happen?

    The answer lies in effective “history taking”. We all know we get more from clients when we ask open-ended questions. When we work with a workplace and ask them open-ended questions, then funneling in on specific examples, we get rich and endearing stories. We ask for clear examples, and we see the team engaging in such a special way. That’s part of the beauty of Interview the Boss, and how we help workplaces create better job ads. Our prep calls are usually 30 minutes or less and we get so much rich information I could write a novel about the workplace that would make for killer job ad content. We do the same thing with our Resume/CV review service.  We’ve become effective “workplace clinicians,” able to get to the heart of the story within a short time. You can do this with your team too.

    If you’d like to tell a better story, start by asking your staff questions about your workplace. Ask yourself and clients what they love about your company or organization. You’ll likely be surprised at what you find. Use those stories to build yours and provide specific examples.

    Download our top questions to ask your staff to help develop your story. Ask one at your next staff meeting!

    If you’re a candidate, or student, I’d highly recommend our free Career Creator Workshop Series.

    Vets: Stay, Go, Diversify is at heart, a community built on storytelling. Need help telling yours? Get in touch!

    How you tell your story matters

    Come on the journey with Vets Stay Go Diversify

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  • What the Tec(h)k!?! How to make tech...

    What the Tec(h)k!?! How to make tech work for your team, your clients and your business

    Join our hosts Ben Sweeney and Adrian Nelson-Pratt as Jack Peploe (ethical tech hacker) presents the case for technology and a paradigm shift in the delivery of veterinary services.

    Posted: 20/01/2023

    Location

    Global, Online

    Dates

    27th October 2022

    Speakers

    Jack Peploe
    Ben Sweeney
    Adrian Nelson-Pratt

    Friends not foes - how can we work with tech in the veterinary industry?

    Our world is becoming more and more connected. Every single day, real life becomes intertwined with the digital world. We’ve all become more and more reliant on technology to simplify our lives – from sharing a funny meme on Twitter to hailing a cab, or asking Alexa, and ordering from your table at the pub.
     
    Every single day, technology makes our personal lives simpler and easier. So how do we use it to make our practice lives simpler and easier with happier teams, happier clients and healthier patients? Is it possible to bring your practice into the modern era while still preserving the core of veterinary practice – the relationship between a pet owner and their vet?
     
    Join your hosts, Adrian and Ben as ethical tech hacker Jack presents the case for technology and a paradigm shift in the delivery of veterinary services.
     
    Kindly Sponsored by Vidivet – Redefining telehealth.

    Come on the journey with Vets Stay Go Diversify

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  • Why You Need a Resume Even if...

    Why You Need a Resume Even if You’re Not Looking

    3 great reasons to update your resume/cv even if you’re NOT actively job seeking as a vet, vet nurse/vet tech or employer.

    Posted: 27/11/2022

    Read Time/Watch Time

    5 minutes

    Who should read this?

    Anyone who has an out of date resume in the vet profession, vet techs/ vet nurses, veterinarians, students.

    Author(s)

    Melanie Barham

    Region

    Global content

    Don’t let a resume be a barrier for you

    When did you last update your resume or CV? Is it collecting dust bunnies in your desk drawer, or on your old computer from 3 years ago? If so, you’re not alone! Most people hate creating their resumes and view it as a tiresome tedious task that’s best put off until necessary. I’m here to challenge that belief today. 

    Here are the top reasons why people say they don’t need a resume/CV, and why you might want to change your mind: 

    1. I own my own business

    So, if you’re a veterinary business owner, you might think you don’t need a resume at all. I mean, who are you applying to? But you’d be surprised at the number of times having a polished and updated resume can come in handy when applying for board positions, awards, or as a supporting document for bank loans etc. If you’re an entrepreneur, or someone looking for investors in your business, it can come in handy to offer to flip someone your amazing resume as a way to get to know someone quicker. 

    1. I mostly like my job

    You might love your job, but sometimes amazing positions become available at the drop of a hat. Being prepared can allow you to take advantage of opportunities to progress in your career or take advantage of major pay increases without delay. You’d be surprised how many colleagues I’ve heard say, “Oh, I saw this amazing veterinary job on a Facebook group, but it was so much trouble to apply and update my resume.” Don’t let a resume be a barrier for you. Additionally, as a professional, you’ll want to continually add to your portfolio of experience, and applying to volunteer positions can be sped up with the addition of a resume. Finally, keeping your resume updated keeps track of your accomplishments for annual review time, making negotiation MUCH easier

    1. I haven’t seen a job I like yet

    Don’t let last minute resume panic seep in. When a job you love pops up, you want to be at the ready to apply early. Applicants who apply early have a much better chance of success! Having something prepared also likely means less errors. The more passes through a document, the less likely we are to make silly grammatical errors.

    If you’d like help with preparing for a job application, check out our Resume/CV review services here.  We have qualified veterinarians who are experts in crafting resumes that fit your needs, and all reviews include a LinkedIn audit and personal recommendations.

    Come on the journey with Vets Stay Go Diversify

    I need some career inspiration.

    I'm looking for a new job/career path.

    I need some career support to work out what's next for me.

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    We send out regular updates with articles about creating a sustainable career in vet med, along with job opportunities and more. Employers, we’ve got great articles for you too!

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  • How negotiating salary can build relationships with...

    How negotiating salary can build relationships with employees

    A case study in changing hiring practices

    Posted: 19/11/2022

    Read Time/Watch Time

    8 minutes

    Who should read this?

    employers, managers, recruiters

    Author(s)

    Melanie Barham, DVM, MBA, PMP

    How can you turn negotiating into a positive scenario?

    You’ve likely had some experience with negotiating as an employer, and I bet you remember the negative ones with a lot of emotion really clearly. Or maybe a great employee quit sometime after a quiet negotiation where they accepted your offer, leaving you wondering, “why didn’t they ask for what they wanted?”

    Employees also remember the negative negotiations as well. A market research survey completed by VSGD indicated that more than 80% of people in the vet industry would prefer to leave a job than negotiate.

    Yikes, that is NOT good news for employers in this market.

    Negotiation around salary is an incredibly sensitive topic, mainly because in western cultures, our value is often measured in dollars. Salary and compensation can be equated to how much an employee feels appreciated, seen, and valued within the workplace. The same can feel true for employers. We’re all human, and we can often feel complex emotions around people asking for money from us, or asking for it from other people. When contemplating quitting, employees often speak about a galvanizing moment in negotiations where they felt undervalued and it caused them to look elsewhere for a job.

    At the same time, you have a business to run, and need to ensure you can pay your own bills. Most of us also did not go to school to learn to negotiate!

    How can you turn negotiating into a positive scenario, keep your bottom line in the black, and not pull your hair out?

    1. Encourage employees to ask for what they want

    This may run against everything you’ve been taught about negotiating, but hear me out. I’ve coached hundreds of people to ask for what they want, and the thing is, people almost always wait too long before asking. By the time they ask, emotions and stakes are high. Why? Most of us were taught that if we keep our heads down and do good work, someone will reward us. This works in school, and in a lot of areas. But not in the workplace for the most part. You, as an employer, are also not a mind reader and you can’t know exactly what motivates your employee, and what they need right now to feel valued. Asking regularly is a starting point. If the answers aren’t forthcoming, take a look at the level of psychological safety in your relationship with the employee and in the workplace. 

    2. Encourage frequent conversations, NOT just an annual review

    Try to create opportunities for employees to speak with you regularly with small asks, and where you can provide feedback. These smaller meetings put currency in the trust and psychological safety bank account, and allow you to encourage asking for things as they occur. If you’ve never done this before, it might feel awkward. Try grabbing a coffee and bringing a notepad, or as ka few open ended questions about how things are going at work. I’d recommend quarterly as a starting point.

    3. Check your bias and your emotions

    Even as someone who encourages my team to ask me for what they want, I still sometimes get hit in the eyes with my own emotions. We all have different “upbringings” both professionally and personally, and ideas of what’s ok or not ok. I’ll often give people a list of behaviours and get them to sort them into appropriate for negotiation, and inappropriate. The list is NEVER EVER the same for two people. If an ask comes to you and seems impertinent, ungrateful, or any other negative word, take some time. What’s at the heart of this feeling for you? Can you explore why the employee may feel this is the right thing to ask for with some open ended questions? Remember that the employee in 99% of cases has screwed up their courage to come ask for something from you, even if their delivery wasn’t perfect.

    4. Provide data, rationale, a plan

    Once you’ve explored where the employee is coming from, what their motivations are, and what means the most to them in the ask, determine what you CAN do. Providing concrete data and timelines together with a no is a lot better than a vague reason that may leave the employee wondering if they are seen and valued. See if you can make a plan to move to their goal together. Building forward together helps both parties work on a solution and maintain the relationship.

    5. Connect authentically

    It can be very humanizing to hear an employer admit, “I am feeling a bit caught off guard; can I take a second?” or “I really value you, and I want to learn more about what you’re asking me so I can help as much as I can.” Name your emotion to the employee, your intention, and ask for what you need. Maybe that’s a few days to look into whether you can grant their request. Maybe it’s a moment to grab a cup of coffee because you’re feeling flustered, but you value them and it’s your intention to hear them out. It’s ok to feel things, and it’s ok to share that with your employee so they aren’t left guessing (and likely misinterpreting). Remember that no one knows your intentions or how you’re feeling, they just see and interpret what you say, do, and your non-verbal cues. Those can so easily be mis-interpreted; don’t let that happen on such an important topic.

    Conclusion

    Do you need help with developing a plan to encourage your staff to ask for what they want, need, and what it will take to keep them, while managing your budget? We can help.

    Come on the journey with Vets Stay Go Diversify

    I need some career inspiration.

    I'm looking for a new job/career path.

    I need some career support to work out what's next for me.

    Newsletter

    We send out regular updates with articles about creating a sustainable career in vet med, along with job opportunities and more. Employers, we’ve got great articles for you too!

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  • Thanks for not hiring me; I’ll be...

    Thanks for not hiring me; I’ll be applying again

    A case study in changing hiring practices

    Posted: 19/11/2022

    Read Time/Watch Time

    8 minutes

    Who should read this?

    employers, managers, recruiters

    Author(s)

    Melanie Barham, DVM, MBA, PMP

    Thanks for not hiring me, I'll be applying again

    Have you ever turned someone down for a job and then got an email saying, “thank you for such an amazing hiring process.  Even though I didn’t get the job, I’m going to encourage other people to apply to your organization, and I’ll apply again next time.” I DID get this email, and 2 other similar ones in the past year.  I changed our hiring practices at a workplace just before joining VSGD, and it had some pretty astounding results. Our organization generally had reasonable numbers of applicants as it was a fully remote workplace. We had 4-10 applicants in most jobs listed.  After implementing the changes below, we averaged over 30 applicants in every listing during the toughest employees market I’ve seen.  We also had a 100% increase in BIPOC applicants, and reached gender parity in applicants.  Are you curious yet what we tried? I just finished reading Ruchika Tulshyan’s amazing book, “Inclusion on Purpose.”  That book changed how I think about all aspects of the workplace and is so practical I dog eared and highlighted almost every page. The controls/context:
    • We listed our jobs in the exact same places and promoted them in the exact same way.
    • The job market got decidedly worse for employers during this time, so our results were all the proof I needed never to go back on these techniques.

    Here’s what we did:

    1. Listed salary on every job ad
    This was one of the second things I tried, and it increased our applicants in a big way, and I loved it as an employer because it took a lot of hassle out of negotiating, and I didn’t have to guess if a candidate was overqualified and would turn me down, or whether they would be insulted by my first offer.  It made it easier for us to come to a clear offer because I could speak to the range and justify placing the candidate at a certain point on the range.  I never lost a candidate of choice.
    1. Modified the job titles and job ads

    We had undergone a human resources review of our salaries, position titles and job descriptions, and adjusted the titles of our positions to reflect the actual work being done.  In some cases, we awarded a more senior title to match the level of responsibility the employee was taking on. (In a smaller organization, ensuring you have the right seniority of title is REALLY critical and an incredible flexibility that larger institutions don’t have). In the job ad, I used more action verbs and carefully reviewed the description to ensure I was accurately describing the exciting work and purpose the employee would be fulfilling.

    1. Provided a fully transparent hiring process

    Applying for a job is emotionally draining, confusing, and seems to have all kinds of hidden rules.  We took Inclusion on Purpose’s advice and evened the playing field.  We got explicit about expectations (e.g., please submit a resume and cover letter).  We let candidates know what to expect and our timelines.  Because of our structure, we ran a hiring process with grading and at least 3 interviewers.  We let candidates know this in advance. Surprise surprise, candidates came better prepared, and we got to really see them for who they were without excess nervousness. I believe in letting candidates know what to expect so strongly that we have added this to job ads in our platform

    1. Blinded resume and cover letters

    This was the very first thing I did when I joined the organization, mostly because I’d always wanted to try the technique.  I assigned a staff member to download the applications from the platform we used, and she redacted them to remove the candidate name/identifier. Then we used a grading rubric to screen the candidates.   It cut down on my admin time drastically.

    Candidates were informed that we’d be blinded during the process as part of our transparent process.

    When I compared our data to competitions prior to blinding, we interviewed more diverse candidates by a factor of 2-3 times.  This is easy to accomplish with our platform- you can add team members and assign an admin staff member to download and redact resumes/CVs.

    Conclusion

    After the results I saw first hand with this organization of more than doubling (and sometimes tripling applicants), and obtaining a far more diverse candidate pool, I’ll never go back!  And I’ll never forget getting that thank you card for NOT hiring someone.

    I’m curious to see if you have tried any of these techniques, or others that have been successful or unsuccessful?  What’s worked for you?   If you need help with your recruiting and retention strategy, get in touch.  We’d love to help.

    Come on the journey with Vets Stay Go Diversify

    I need some career inspiration.

    I'm looking for a new job/career path.

    I need some career support to work out what's next for me.

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  • Why Salary Transparency?

    Why Salary Transparency?

    Why listing salary is more likely to land you a candidate

    Posted: 19/11/2022

    Read Time/Watch Time

    5 minutes

    Who should read this?

    employers, managers, recruiters

    Author(s)

    Melanie Barham

    Why Salary Transparency?

    In a crowded employees market, it’s hard to stand out in a sea of job ads.  With over 20% vacancy rate (AVMA, 2021), every organization searching for a new hire wants an edge!

    We’ve given this so much thought at VSGD.  It is the top request from community members every time we’ve asked in every country when we ask “what do you want to know about a job before applying?”

    Here’s what we know about listing salaries:

     

    1. Ramp up your applicant numbers by a factor of 2-3

    In an independent market research study conducted by us in 2021-2022 in North America, we case controlled similar veterinary professional and support staff job ads in similar locations and tracked their stats.  

    “Jobs with salary range posted received anywhere from 2-3 times more applications. Job ads with salary range listed had 4-5 times more views than those without salary.”  

    I could probably stop there- those are compelling enough stats to stop anyone in their tracks.

    Particularly if you are in an area where candidates may make assumptions about salary range (rural, large animal positions, charity or not-for-profit, academia, government), listing salary dispels myths. Salary range reduces the internal struggle of whether to apply or not.  We are all about reducing barriers!  

    1. Decrease hiring hassle for employers

    When you provide a salary range, you waste less time guessing at what an applicant wants.  In a similar market research study we conducted, employers who listed salary reported less time spent on the hiring process as a whole, and experienced less stress during negotiation.  Employers were also more likely to nab their top choice candidate. 

    1. Increase diversity of applicants

    If your workplace is serious about attracting diverse candidates, listing salary is one easy way to start. In a veterinary market research survey we did in 2021 with over 100 respondents, 90% of respondents had experienced discrimination in the hiring  process, and many responses involved unfair negotiation practices.

    “One of our favourite books Inclusion on Purpose  states that salary transparency is a concrete step employers can take to close the gender and racial pay gap.”

    Listing salary is a clear signal to candidates from under-represented groups that you care about equity. You’re open enough to share the salary so everyone can start with the same information.  

     

    At Vets Stay Go Diversify, we require every listing to have a salary range, and we’re proud to have been doing this for over 2 years.  We want you as an employer to attract the right candidates, and we want candidates to find their best match with as little effort on either side as possible. 

    Whether you list with us or not, we hope you’ll join us in embracing salary transparency in job listings!  

    Get in touch to see if we can help you with your vacancies.

    Come on the journey with Vets Stay Go Diversify

    I need some career inspiration.

    I'm looking for a new job/career path.

    I need some career support to work out what's next for me.

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    We send out regular updates with articles about creating a sustainable career in vet med, along with job opportunities and more. Employers, we’ve got great articles for you too!

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  • How to Write a Job Ad That...

    How to Write a Job Ad That Stands Out

    Here's our top tips to stand out in a sea of employers. Let your unique and amazing workplace shine through!

    Posted: 19/11/2022

    Read Time/Watch Time

    7 minutes

    Who should read this?

    employers, office managers

    Author(s)

    Melanie Barham

    Region

    Global

    How to Write a Job Ad That Stands Out

    Whew, it is tough out there right now for employers, am I right? Every veterinary magazine is stuffed with help wanted ads!

    We’ve been conducting independent market research as we piloted our recruiting methods, and below are some of the ways that are proven to help employers stand out.

    Show your values, not your equipment or your adorable town

    Job embeddedness is a term from careers research. It describes the level of commitment or depth of connection an employee feels to a workplace. When an employee or potential employee feel connected and aligned with the values of a workplace, they are many time more likely to stay, even when life is tough. Workplaces that can showcase their unique values are much more likely to attract a candidate who will feel embedded and want to stay long term.  If your clinic values that you’ve written down include “delivering high quality care”, I’m urging you to dig deeper!

    How in heaven’s name do you do that?

    Start with asking your employees these questions:

    • What makes this workplace special?
    • What makes them stay?
    • What attracted them to the clinic, or what they noticed first?

    This exercise helps themes come though! Maybe you value laughter every day, or getting every employee home on time, or being a flexible workplace.

    Let them see your personality

    Think back to the days of commercials on TV- you’d see an ad for a soft drink. The person in the ad would be having fun, and feeling so very refreshed drinking the drink, exhaling, “ahhh.”

    Marketers want us to be able to see ourselves using a product, or enjoying the benefits of a service. Job advertising is no different. Help employees picture themselves within your workplace by adding video, photos, tours of the workplace, or a personal message. Don’t be afraid to show them what it’s really like day to day. Essentially, you want to attract your ideal employee by showing your special breed of awesome that your workplace is.  This is why every job ad listed with us on our recruiting platform allows video, photos, and unlimited text.

    We love doing Interview the Boss features with workplaces for this exact reason; it’s a unique opportunity to have an intimate and personal conversation to show what it’s really like to work for you. ITBs have a 4x factor increase in candidates applying to their positions in our pilot in 2021-2022, and report higher quality candidates. With a professional facilitator to assist and tease out the best characteristics of your team, it makes connecting genuinely with candidates easier.

    Show your full offering

    Salary isn’t the whole package for employees, and while it’s an important factor, be sure to list all the perks/benefits of working for you to create a real picture of total compensation.

    Private pension/401K/RRSP matches, loan repayment programs, paid time off/vacation time, number of stat holidays, be sure to list it all. Maybe you have some fun clauses like get your birthday as a paid day off, or you always pay for lunch on Fridays. Remember that in a global market, candidates are moving all over the place, and may not know the amazing perks you offer even the other side of the same country.

    Conclusion

    If these seem overwhelming right now, or you’re fresh out of ideas, we get it. It can be tricky to find time to ponder deep things like your workplace values and craft a jaunty ad after a 12 hour day. We specialize in helping workplaces identify their unique and amazing aspects and showcasing them to attract the right people. Contact us to get help crafting an ad and showcasing your job to a larger audience.  

    Come on the journey with Vets Stay Go Diversify

    I need some career inspiration.

    I'm looking for a new job/career path.

    I need some career support to work out what's next for me.

    Newsletter

    We send out regular updates with articles about creating a sustainable career in vet med, along with job opportunities and more. Employers, we’ve got great articles for you too!

    Continue Reading

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