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Appearances Matter to Job Candidates

Tweaking your veterinary real estate can help in the recruitment and retention of talented individuals.

Appearances Matter to Job Candidates

Studies show that one-third of the average person’s life is spent at work. Veterinarians, on the other hand, often work 10- to 12-hour days, and sometimes more. As the veterinary sector struggles with employee shortages, the competition for hiring and retaining the best talent remains high nationwide. If you’re going to spend one-third of your life at work, chances are you care about your environment. Factors such as the physical appearance of a veterinary practice can play a huge role in building out the team you need to succeed.

A study performed by Terravet Real Estate Solutions in conjunction with Circa Healthcare and Brief Media showed that 96% of veterinarians believe that a practice’s appearance and layout are influential factors during the consideration of job offers.

Below are three reasons that practice owners should consider investing in the look and feel of their clinics to attract and keep talent.

1. Office Design Matters to Younger Employees

As more baby boomers retire, millennials and Generation Zers are taking over the veterinary workforce. When practices compete for the best talent, an aesthetically appealing environment provides a competitive edge. After all, first impressions are everything. Ninety percent of recruiters say that today’s job market is candidate-driven. Therefore, investing in your practice to increase your chances of hiring the talent you need is imperative for success.

“The look and feel of a hospital are so important,” said Laura Robinson, DVM, a lead veterinarian with Pawp. “I know when I was interviewing, how I felt in the hospital was a huge factor in my decision. I believe a warm, welcoming environment makes a world of difference.”

2. Workplace Design Influences Human Health

At a time when employee well-being is a popular topic of discussion among employers, research has shown that physical design can affect mental health. A professor at UCLA’s School of Public Health, Dr. Richard Jackson, said real estate developers and architects could play an important role in achieving public health goals.

As many veterinarians, veterinary nurses and staff members endure high levels of workplace stress, practice owners can invest in creating a physical environment that supports the team’s mental health. Environmental psychology research has shown that physical environments can play an essential role in promoting mental and physical health. While the building itself won’t be the sole factor in promoting mental health, a practice owner can do something about it.

A report in Psychology Today showed that natural light and collaboration zones separated by acoustic panels were a couple of critical factors in reducing stress.

3. Establish a Sense of Community

When employers think of creating community, many imagine social activities in which their teams can partake. However, that’s just one element that contributes to community building. Gallup, a global analytics and advice firm, found that creating communal space was a notable contributing factor in keeping a team engaged. In fact, staff members are 1.5 times more likely to be engaged throughout the day if they can connect with colleagues from time to time.

Whether it means brief interactions in a communal room, relaxing in a wellness space or creating a flow that allows for social interaction, they all help establish a sense of community. In the veterinary profession, this is particularly important due to the nature of the job. Therefore, evaluating the look and feel of your office space is the perfect time to reflect on the culture you wish to emulate through the building’s physical aspects.

The Terravet Real Estate survey referenced earlier also showed that over half of veterinarians felt their practice configuration wasn’t suitable for change. However, this is something a practice owner can control.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the role in which modern and efficient facilities are playing in the marketplace, especially in regard to the hiring of top talent,” said Stacy Pursell, the founder and CEO of The Vet Recruiter. “The pandemic has helped to create substantial growth within the veterinary profession due to the fact that people were at home with their pets more and are spending more money on them. As a result, many practices are growing and in need of top talent to keep up with the growing demand.”

Don’t underestimate the power of your veterinary real estate to take your business to new heights. When planning your practice’s future, identify long-term goals that will grow your team and prioritize the changes you need to implement in your clinic.

Terravet Real Estate Solutions founder and CEO Daniel Eisenstadt is an expert in veterinary real estate and co-founder of Community Veterinary Partners, a regional corporate operator of veterinary practices. He has garnered a great deal of insight from the challenges of 2020 and 2021 as they relate to the future of veterinary real estate.