The economics of veterinary practice is challenging to manage, as demand fluctuates and expectations change. Here’s what Dr. Peter Weinstein says can help practices and professionals win out in the application process—whichever side of the table you’re on.
A few years ago, Peter Weinstein, DVM, MBA, teamed up with author and entrepreneur Michael E. Gerber to write The E-Myth Veterinarian. This book, as part of a vertical series, tackles the issues behind why many small veterinary hospitals fail. Dr. Weinstein wants to help practice managers institute systems that make a consistent client, patient, and staff experience so that these small businesses flourish.
Dr. Weinstein speaks to the in the Quick Cup of Knowledge about the economics of veterinary practices—hiring, retaining staff, and choosing a practice you’ll enjoy working for.
#1: Play to Your Strengths
How does a practice put itself at the top of an applicant’s list? Advertising your practice’s strengths is important, and advertising your strengths accurately is even more important in hiring a staff who will stay.
For example, corporate and independent practices each have their advantages and disadvantages as well as their unique work culture. Corporate practices generally offer extensive benefits and upward mobility, while independent practices have a family culture and relationships that are attractive to applicants.
Not only are you looking for good talent in an applicant, but each applicant is looking for certain characteristics in a practice that will best fit them as well. Being clear about your strengths and hiring staff that will support those strengths is best for both you and the applicant.
#2: Involve the Team
Dr. Weinstein recommends making the hiring process a team effort. Implement group interviews so the applicant can get a feel for the practice and know that you maintain a team culture.
“Sell the sizzle,” he says. You’ve got to put on a good show! It’s not just about clinical delivery of medicine, but it’s about delivering and showing the culture you have that will make your practice supremely attractive to the best talent.
#3: Think Outside the Box
Today, new veterinary school graduates will have different expectations of the practice they work for than they did 20 years ago. Personal wellness, involving having a healthy work-life balance, is important to most young veterinary professionals. Five-day, 60-hour workweeks won’t be attractive to most applicants anymore.
If you’re an independent or private practice, you can offer flexibility and can think outside the box to meet those desires and expectations. What’s wrong with hiring multiple staff to be able to cover those hours? What about a morning veterinarian and an evening veterinarian, able to cover for each other occasionally?
In other words, know and offer what today’s applicants are looking for, not what they were looking for 20 years ago.
New Job Seekers
To new job seekers, Dr. Weinstein’s words are these: “Life is too short to continue to subject yourself to getting up in the morning in an uncomfortable and unhappy situation.”
The truth is that it’s a buyer’s market (or an applicant’s market) out there. There are more jobs than there are applicants, so you have a lot of negotiating power. Pick a spot where you’ll be happy, with high job satisfaction.
Stay in the Know!
Check out the sessions led by Dr. Weinstein and his colleagues at the upcoming Annual Conference in February!
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