In the competitive world of vet graduate recruitment, how can independent practices compete?
If you’re an independent veterinary practice, you’ll no doubt be very aware of the increasingly stiff competition facing the sector from corporate veterinary providers, with their buying power, centralised support services, career development programmes, and ever-expanding service offering, leaving independent practices feeling outmatched and unable to compete.
This disparity is highlighted, especially in the current recruitment climate, by the growing challenge of competing with corporate veterinary practices when recruiting graduate vets. With corporate groups offering welcome bonuses, structured graduate programmes and more defined career paths, independent practices may often be left feeling at a significant disadvantage.
However, with the right approach, independent practices can still be well positioned to attract within the graduate recruitment market.
One way to compete is by highlighting the advantages of working at an independent practice and showcasing their unique benefits. Independent practices can often be more nurturing of new graduates, with less pressure to meet financial targets and more emphasis on clinical skills, confidence and support.
They are also more likely to be able to offer a flexible working schedule, which may be appealing to young graduates who are looking for more balance between their career and personal life.
There may be a lower staff turnover at independent clinics, leading to a more cohesive team culture, the opportunity to develop closer relationships with clients and their patients and the increased likelihood of the practice playing an active part in the local community. This can really help new graduates feel connected and fulfilled, with positive impacts on both their professional and social life.
Increasingly, veterinary graduates may be attracted to the idea of working in an environment where they will have more autonomy, and the shorter chain of command found within independent practices can help with implementing changes quickly.
If possible, building relationships with veterinary schools to offer EMS opportunities can also allow independent practices to create an environment of collaboration and foster a long-term pipeline of talent.
And finally, although independent practices may not be able to offer centrally managed new graduate support, they can develop attractive benefits packages which can really stack up against the corporate graduate programmes.
Vet Dynamics comprehensive one-year Vet Graduate Academy, in collaboration with Central CPD, is designed to equip new vets with not only solid clinical knowledge, but also help a successful transition to the practice environment, increase business awareness, team working skills and professional confidence.
With four full days of hands-on practical training in dentistry, ultrasound and surgery, regular specialist-led case discussions, a structured EPA-based 50-hour online training programme and three 2-day in-person workshops to develop personal and commercial skills, we’re your ideal partner for attracting, recruiting and fully supporting graduates during their important first year in practice.