COVID-19 has changed the job search and hiring process in every market throughout the country. For veterinary practices, the need for qualified and highly skilled team members remains high. If you're looking to fill an open position in your practice during the pandemic, you'll need to adapt your hiring process in various ways.
First things first: Posting a job
When posting an open position make sure your job listing markets your practice and the position in a way that attracts the best possible candidates. Clearly list all job requirements and responsibilities, and make your post stand out from the crowd by highlighting what makes your practice a great place to work. Include things like your practice's mission, philosophy, and work culture.
Pre-interview: Communicating with the candidate
When scheduling an interview, try to be as flexible as possible. Like all of us, candidates may be juggling a variety of new responsibilities, such as homeschooling children or caring for elderly parents. Offer several different time slots for an interview and the option to speak either virtually or by phone. Recognize that some people may not have access to a private space in their home that's conducive to a virtual interview.
Once you've nailed down a date and time, be sure to clearly confirm the details (such as the time zone, who will initiate the call, etc.) with the candidate to remove any opportunity for miscommunication. Follow up with an email invitation containing all necessary information such as a login, or dial-in number.
Conducting a remote interview
When interviewing someone remotely, prepare as you would for an in-person interview. Here are some tips:
Preparing for the interview:
- Schedule time slots for various team members to meet with the candidate. Though the final hiring decision likely won't be made by the whole team, this will help you gain insight from the various people your new employee will interact with on the job.
- Allow time for short breaks as you would during an in-person interview.
- Familiarize yourself with the candidate's experience and prepare questions in advance.
- Dress as you would during a regular day at work.
- Test your technology in advance to ensure a smooth start.
During the interview:
- Remember to look at the camera, not yourself.
- Allow time for the candidate to ask you questions as well.
- Be ready to share information about safety protocols you have in place at work to protect your team. These are now primary concerns for candidates.
- Provide a virtual tour of the practice. Either pre-record it and play it during the interview or take the candidate on a virtual walk-around together.
Post-interview: Following up
Follow up after a virtual interview just as you would after an in-person interview. Be respectful of your candidates' time, and try to be as efficient as possible, scheduling fewer interview rounds if necessary. Understand that you may have to extend an offer to someone who hasn't seen your practice in person. Whatever your decision, a straightforward answer delivered in a timely manner shows both respect and consideration.
If you've extended an offer to someone who lives close to you or the practice, you may want to arrange a curbside face-to-face or casual drive-by meeting to welcome them to the team.