Two thirds of practices looking to recruit in the last year took more than three months to fill their vacancies for veterinary surgeons. Of these, 10 percent took more than six months and 7 percent were forced to withdraw the role because of a lack of suitable candidates.
The problem was particularly severe among small animal practices, where nearly a quarter (23 percent) saw posts remain empty for more than six months. A fifth (19 percent) were eventually forced to withdraw roles.
“We’ve been hearing a lot about recruitment issues from veterinary practices across the country and I know from experience how challenging it can be to find the right candidate.
“We believe that issues around out-of-hours requirements, support, work/life balance and flexible working all factor into candidate’s’ decision not to apply for or accept certain roles. It’s not simply a case of employers offering higher salaries.”
Most often, practices who had taken more than three months to fill posts were not looking for recent graduates (9 percent), but for vets with between one and three years’ experience (34 percent) or more than three years’ experience (49 percent).
Simon Devitt, Director of BMJ Careers, said:
“This is a difficult recruitment market and we know that some practices are really struggling to recruit vets. At Vet Record Careers we advise recruiters to emphasise the benefits of working for their particular practice; including flexibility, transport, accommodation, training, progression as well as the salary on offer.”