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Where have all the vets gone? If you have a vacancy you just can’t fill it’s a big headache. Your other members of staff are fed up with the work load and clients are waiting longer for appointments. Even that flashy ad you paid big bucks for didn’t do the trick. What now?

Old world problems, new world opportunities

We’ve changed how we do lots of things: the way we shop, look for a new home, or make an appointment. So why wouldn’t you change how you communicate your job vacancy?

You can tell people you have a vacancy by advertising on a veterinary site that already attracts your target audience of vets and RVNs. This website (vetpol) offers the opportunity for you to post your vacancy for free; just register and go to the jobs page to upload your info.

You can buy traffic focusing on keywords and using pay per click. But those terms around veterinary vacancies tend to be targeted by recruitment agencies –pushing up the ‘bid’ you need to make to have an impact. The trick is to go to the places where your prospects are already hanging out.

There are many social media platforms and you can'’t possibly be on all of them but the chances are some of your friends might be. It’s shared content that will reach the widest audience. Look at sites that also post jobs on their social media platforms. Anyone that has cultivated a great following of engaged veterinary professionals can help you, so post on your own or practice social media platforms and ask the vets and nurses you know to share, like and retweet.

LinkedIn has a reputation for being a good recruitment tool and also attracts many vets and vet nurses both from industry and general practice. A recent search pulls up 630,000 individuals with veterinary as part of their profile. Looking for a specific skill set? Veterinary orthopaedics brings up another list of over 1500 potential candidates. There are a number of dedicated veterinary groups on the site that attract vets to LinkedIn and though many of them exclude recruitment from their news streams but if you approach the group admin they may give permission to post a vacancy.

Of course, as well as being a place to seek out vets and vet nurses, LinkedIn is a source of information for potential recruits. Make sure that the practice partners and managers have a profile and that it sounds professional and friendly. Connect with a few likely candidates and if you see someone you think would be ideal why not message them and let them know about your vacancy? The ‘who looked at your profile’ panel may also help identify who has shown an interest in the practice.

Think local

Some professionals want to change their job but not their location as– having kids at local schools or partners who work in the area may limit their choices - but that doesn’t mean they don'’t want to change.

Posting your job on your own website and letting applicants know they can apply in confidence may attract these individuals. It’s worth the effort as they will have vested interest in staying with the practice long term. Think about opportunities that might be limited in their current practice such as– flexible working, an opportunity to progress, or school-friendly hours. You could even include testimonials from existing team members.

Your practice social media doesn’t attract a ready made audience of veterinary professionals… or does it? For a few pounds you can post your vacancy on your Facebook page (including contact details) and then boost the post to a defined target audience. Select vets or vet nurses as the special interest group and select the geographical area you want to attract applicants from; that could be just the UK or beyond as– you can target specific countries.

Include a photo of the practice or team but be careful about adding any text as this can result in your ‘ad’ being rejected. Think about the timing too –such as what time of the day do you check out Facebook?

On Twitter, hashtags such as job, jobs and hiring are more popular than career, vacancy or recruitment. If you use a photo you can ‘tag’ other vets or nurses by using the ‘Who’ Is This in this photo’ function. Or what about using hashtags like #mondaymotivation or #fridayfeeling alongside #veterinary to pick up those who might be looking for a new challenge?

There are also face-to-face opportunities to– make a connection by using the event hashtag and offer an incentive such as a free breakfast for vets looking for a new position. You could even include a photo and make a meme… such as the one shown below.

Most of the suggestions above are free but they do take time. If you're happy to invest a small amount of money to free up your time then please contact who will be happy to help. For just £45+VAT she will post your vacancies on vetpol and vbay and we will spread the word across our social media platforms where we are rated in the Top 10 Veterinary Influencers (source: Klout).

Whatever you decide to do, good luck for a successful recruitment! Click image for larger version  Name:	1j2kyf.jpg Views:	1 Size:	149.1 KB ID:	42931