The Heat Seeking Missile of Veterinary HR can be avoided with the Recruitment Interview. Finding the best employee to fit your practice will help limit your Veterinary HR issues later. Here are 10 steps to finding the best employee:

1. Know your Candidate
A well prepared candidate checklist will provide clear direction during the often laborious process of sifting through an application and resume mound. The checklist will also provide consistency especially if more than one team member is involved in the process. The candidate’s resume generally provides the greatest opportunity to prepare behavioral based interview questions. Why behavioral based interview questions? It is said the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. Incorporation of these interview questions are reserved for candidates who are invited back for a face to face interview. For example: “Ms. Smith tell me about your most difficult patient care experience with ABC Animal Hospital.”

2. Preparation, Preparation, Preparation

Create a Recruitment Tool: A finely tuned set of “go to” documents will be your greatest resource. We recommend incorporating a digital file for ease of access and maintenance. Be sure to include:

  • Master Candidate Tracking form
  • Practice Employment Application
  • Candidate Checklist
  • Behavior based question form
  • Phone Interview template
  • Interview template
  • Candidate Interview form
  • Observation Interview agenda
  • Candidate Evaluation form
  • Reference Check document
  • Background Check process
  • Job offer template
  • Job decline template
  • Onboarding packet (for each practice position)
    o Job Description
    o Training Program Overview
    o Top Benefits
    o Background Check forms
    *additional tip* Engage you team; encourage them to contribute to the interview process by creating a collaborative “Top 10 Best Things” or “A Day in the Life” in your candidate packet. Related Article: The Heat Seeking Missile of Recruitment 

3. Strike up a conversation

The phone interview has great potential to save your practice significant time and resources on non-qualified candidates. It is important to have an established practice phone interview questionnaire. Prepared documents ensure consistency between interviewers and provide the opportunity to later evaluate potential candidates prior to moving on to the face to face interview.

4. Your Time to Shine
The face to face interview. Be prepared. Be on time. You, the interviewer, are responsible for the candidate’s impression as to your practice culture and your professional image. Now is the time to get the candidate as comfortable as possible so you have the best image of who you are considering.

5. Down to the Details
Once your candidate is as relaxed as possible, continue with your prepared interview questions. Make sure to ask open ended questions and be careful to not lead or take over the interview. Follow your prepared behavioral based interview questions and be sure to take notes.

6. Document, Document, Document
Keep the facts at the forefront. Complete a candidate interview evaluation form. This will help you determine if this particular candidate should move on in the interview process, or if there are other more qualified candidates who should move on to meeting your team.

7. Walk the Walk
The observation interview is a valuable opportunity for your potential team member to meet the current team and directly observe them at work. Your now potential employee has made it through a serious evaluation of their knowledge and two interviews, so clearly they can talk the talk. What is most important now, they must walk the walk. Your candidate should be armed with an agenda and your team should be prepared to complete an evaluation form post observation interview.

8. Due Diligence
The grueling process of bringing on a new team member is not over with the overwhelming signs that point in the direction to HIRE. Now is the time to be on your game and consider risk. Reference checks are a must. Contact all past employers. Utilize your formal reference form. Follow up, some employers need more than one call to respond. Now is also the time to complete background checks.

9. To Hire or Not to Hire? That is the Question
When faced with several excellent candidates, always make the offer to your number one candidate first generally in person or by phone. There is a real possibility the position is declined due to wage/benefits/culture or another offer. Allow your offer to be considered for a determined period of time. Once you have confirmation of acceptance, move on to your other candidates and inform them of their status and the positon being filled, this can be done via phone/email/mail. If they are still a great candidate make sure to address with them your intent to keep their information on hand for any future openings.

10. Onward and Upward
Congratulations! Your practice has successfully brought on a new and incredible member of your practice team. Onboarding is critical and you and your team will play a large role in your new team member’s success.

Next week will begin Part 2 of our 5 part series. Dotting the I’s & Crossing the T’s – Personnel files in Veterinary HR.

Are you interested in creating a Recruitment Tool for your practice? Our firm provides customized Veterinary Practice Consulting. Some of our more popular services include:

  • Leadership Mentoring Program
  • Train the Trainer Program
  • Practice Examination
  • Start Up Veterinary Practice Consulting
  • Full Service Accounting for your Veterinary Practice
  • Veterinary HR Consulting

Contact Us today for a free consultation on how Holdsworth & Co., CPA’s can help take your Veterinary Practice to the next level!