In the world of veterinary medicine, a veterinary technician is the right hand of the veterinarian. Vet techs do everything from drawing blood to assisting in surgery and much more depending on the practice. So, when it’s time to hire a new vet tech, it’s vital to bring on someone who’s a good fit.
Some veterinary practices leave it up to the office managers to hire a vet tech, while other veterinarians prefer to do it themselves. As office managers start to take over more and more of this type of responsibility, it’s still important that veterinarians have a say in the process. After all, the veterinarians will be working side by side with whomever is hired.
With that in mind, if you are looking to hire a new vet tech, there are a few things you should think about beforehand.
Separate the Pack
When you first announce you’re looking to hire a new vet tech, you might receive a few resumes, or you could wind up with an inbox full of emails from prospects. There are many traits you’ll want to look for in a new hire – someone who presents themselves well, for example. It’s also crucial to find someone who will be a perfect reflection of your practice.
A person’s skill level is important, but when you think about hiring someone who reflects your practice, think about how well they will fit in personally as well as professionally. Is the potential hire someone you see being that reflection? It’s key to know this sooner rather than later because this person will essentially be one of the many faces of your practice.
For example, there will be times when they will be responsible for speaking your words to your clients. You’ll need to ask yourself if you are comfortable with this person representing your firm. If you have any hesitations, it might mean it’s best to look for someone else.
Be Mindful of Red Flags
Just like any business, when you start looking at potential new hires, you want to be wary of any red flags.
Has this person worked at five different places within the past four months? Do they have questionable recommendations? What about job experience? These are just some of the things you should consider as possible red flags.
This doesn’t mean, however, that a person with a red flag isn’t a good fit for your practice. Maybe there are good reasons why they had several jobs in a short period of time? Or maybe they don’t have much in the way of experience because they recently graduated from school?
In any case, red flags should at least prompt you to ask more questions about these issues.
Finding the Right Type of Person
Veterinary medicine is not an easy field of practice. We’ve spoken before about stress and the rates of depression among veterinarians and vet techs alike. While it can be an extremely rewarding job, it can take a toll on you, especially if you aren’t prepared for it.
When you’re looking to hire a new vet tech, you want to make sure you look for someone who is not only resilient, but compassionate – although realistic. You want to find a person who has the ability to manage the stressful work life that is asked of them, and yet still be able to go home at the end of the day without taking it with them.
During the interview, ask them how they would handle certain situations, what they do for a hobby, and how they usually unwind at the end of a stressful day. Since it is an interview, they might be tempted to give you answers they think you’ll want to hear. Encourage them to be honest with these answers.
It’s not easy separating work life from non-work life, as there are a lot of vet techs, as well as veterinarians, who have trouble doing this every day. When you can find those who manage stress well and want to be your vet tech, it might just be in your best interest to seriously consider hiring them.
Watch How Well They Work
Once you’ve had enough initial interviews – either by phone or in person – you should be able to narrow your search down to just a few applicants. At this point, you can observe how they do in a working interview.
With the working interview, you can have the potential new hire shadow you for the day or however long you’d like, and see how well they work and fit in your practice. There’s a good chance you’ll know pretty soon if they will be compatible with the way you practice or the way you interact with patients. Are they squeamish? Are they quick to offer a helping hand or ask if there’s something they can do? Or do they stand in a corner while watching you and twiddling their thumbs?
Of course, each veterinarian is different. While some might look for interaction from a potential hire during a working interview, others might be put off if the prospective vet tech offers a differing opinion on how something could be done. It all comes down to comfort level and what you think will be the best when it comes to the new hire.
Find Someone Who is Tech Savvy
There are a lot of things around your practice that technology has made better and easier to use. When you hire a new vet tech, you want to make sure they know about the latest technology, and exactly how to use it. They don’t need to be technology aficionados, but it helps if they’re somewhat proficient.
One of the best pieces of technology out there to help make the jobs of veterinarians and vet techs easier is VPR Cloud. With VPR Cloud, you and your vet tech have industry-leading pharmacology right at the touch of your finger – on your computer, your tablet, even your phone.
VPR Cloud not only has a comprehensive and up-to-date interactive drug search, but client information sheets with animal/patient specific prescription information, a dosage calculator, off label consent forms, and much more.
Make your job – and the job of your new vet tech – so much easier by investing in sound technology for your practice. To see the VPR difference, start your free trial today.