It takes two to tango

Written by: Jane Davidson
Published on: 13 Nov 2018


Image © Alex Shadrin / Adobe Stock

I’m not sure anyone actually likes the recruitment process – it’s costly in both time and money, and it can be quite emotional.

For job seekers, we hold a lot of self worth in what our job is, so we want it to genuinely reflect how much we feel we are worth – both financially and personally. For employers, introducing the right new people and skills to a team is a tricky balancing act.

Whichever side you’re on, this process includes both parties and we need to learn to work as a partnership to get it right.

Playing our part

I’ve written before about how important it is for employers to send out the right message, and I’ll go into more detail about how they can improve the appeal of their job offerings, but this little dance of recruitment has two parties – and as potential job candidates vet nurses have a part to play in making sure the process is, if not enjoyable, then successful in getting them into the right role at the right time.

As the main issue in vet nurse recruitment is for RVNs in clinical roles, I’ll focus information on recruiting RVNs for your practice, and start by asking you to consider what you need from a vet nurse.

This might sound a bit silly – you need a nurse so you will advertise for a nurse – that’s right isn’t it?

Stating the obvious

Well yes, you need to advertise, but what will that nurse do on a daily basis?

While we have the undercurrent of dissatisfaction in some roles for vet nurses before you place and advert it might be worth breaking down what tasks you need this person to carry out.

Dissatisfaction with a job role can be from many factors but most job adverts for vet nurses in clinical roles have a word hidden – usually “clinical”.

Clarifying clinical

It’s assumed by both parties the role will be mainly patient care, medical and surgical, with a little top-up of some necessary administration and client contact.

Yet so many first opinion roles can be 50% practice administration – ordering products, stock takes, reception, insurance claims, client care – all essentials for a practice, but not always roles vet nurses want to do more of, and also roles that can be undertaken by others.

Honesty in advertising

If you are honest in a job advert about how much time is patient time and how much is client time, you may just attract the right person for the role.

As nursing is a very physical role your job advert may be very attractive to someone who wants to retain some nursing time, but is also equally happy with paperwork and client time. Their job satisfaction is going to be better than a person who took the “clinical” vet nurse role you advertised and finds themselves doing less patient care and more practice care – a happier dance partner.

Be honest, ask your current team what their time split across roles is, and make your advertisement is an accurate picture of the role you are offering.

Be the lead partner and demonstrate the steps you want someone to follow.