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Building a Strong Veterinary Team: Recruitment and Retention Strategies


Gather 'round leaders! Today, we set sail on the thrilling adventure of assembling our veterinary battalion. But beware, this quest involves more than just dangling a "We're Hiring" sign in the window and hoping for the best. Join me as we dive into the art of recruiting and retaining a veterinary team that resonates with your practice with a sprinkle of humor to keep things lively.

The Great Veterinary Talent Hunt:

Recruiting in the veterinary world can sometimes feel like searching for the well-known and overused term “unicorn.” So let’s use a new term, which I have coined “Purple chipmunk.” You know, that mythical creature with the perfect blend of skills, charisma, and the ability to handle a cat in a bad mood. Start by crafting a job description that stands out. Sure, you need a veterinary technician, but maybe you want a "Feline Whisperer" or a "Canine Comfort Specialist." Get creative – it's a jungle out there!

Interviewing: The Good, The Bad, and The Quirky:

Interviews are where the magic happens. Sure, you'll ask the typical questions about experience and skills, but why not spice it up? Ask candidates to share their most memorable animal encounters or what they would change in the vet world if given a magic wand. You'll learn more about their personality and how they handle the unexpected – like when Mrs. Fluffington turns the clinic into her obstacle course.

Onboarding: Rolling Out the Red Carpet:

Once you’ve snagged your Purple chipmunk, roll out the red carpet. Onboarding is like those first few dates – you want to make a good impression. Introduce new hires to the quirks of your practice. Maybe a secret snack stash or a ritual dance is performed before challenging surgeries. Whatever it is, make them feel part of the pack from day one.

Retention: Keeping the Dream Team Together:

Now, let's talk retention because constantly training newbies is as fun as a cat bath. Show appreciation – and we're not just talking about performance reviews with the excitement level of watching paint dry. Surprise lunch treats, shoutouts for jobs well done, or an impromptu 'Who Can Draw the Best Spleen' contest can keep spirits high.

Professional Development: More Than Just Accumulating CE Hours:

Invest in your team's growth. Sure, they need those continuing education (CE) hours, but how about something extra? Perhaps it’s not directly work-related but just as impactful; perhaps it’s a workshop on 'home budgeting strategies' or 'How to have crucial conversations.’ Learning should be fun, not a snoozefest.


Building and maintaining a dynamic vested team is a mix of science, art, and a dash of comedy. It’s about creating an environment where everyone can thrive, be themselves, and laugh—always laugh. This word is everything in the workplace. Remember, a team that laughs together stays together. So go forth, brave leaders, and build that dream team.

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