Pulse - August 2021 - 13
A related problem is that the shelf life for registered
veterinary technicians is just five to seven years. She says
there are several reasons for this.
" The pay is low, it's a very physically demanding job,
and they are subject to compassion fatigue and burnout, "
Crabtree says. " As managers, it's our job to address these
issues to hold down turnover and keep them, addressing
their needs. We can also look at home-growing the ones
who aren't yet licensed.
" Maybe we can start thinking outside the box, " she
" Disneyland laid off 30,000 people when it closed
during the pandemic. For some positions, maybe we
don't necessarily hire for skill now, but look for the right
personality and then train for the vet-specific skill.
" If you're looking for an RVT, you can't hire a former
Disney employee, " she says. " But if you find a previous
Disney worker with the right soft skills that fits your
clinic culture, why not hire and train them?
" Or if you have a committed veterinary or technician
assistant, help that person grow with a training program.
Keep them engaged by continuing to grow them.
" We have a lot of things coming at us from all angles, "
Crabtree says. " People want an easy button, but it doesn't
work that way. "
It seems like every store in every area is hiring, Crabtree
" Unemployment is starting to drop, but businesses are
still fighting for employees. In the non-vet-skilled positions,
these include kennel staff, CSRs, pharmacy assistants.
To get good customer service skills, you're fighting
every other business across the board. "
Crabtree says in some areas, McDonald's is paying
candidates $50 to show up for interviews.
" We have to leverage against other types of businesses,
which often make it easy for candidates to apply. Some
offer QR codes that can be scanned by people who
want a job.
" We need to understand who we are seeking out for
employment, " she says. " If GenZ and millennials are using
apps to set up interviews and we're not, there's a disconnect.
You need to have an easy way on your website to apply. You
have to be forward-thinking and grab attention. "
The veterinary staffing shortage and resulting hiring
crunch aren't news to Stacy Pursell, CPC, CERS,
founder and CEO of The VET Recruiter, a national
recruiting firm specializing in the animal health industry
based in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
In 2008, the conventional wisdom held that there was
an oversupply of veterinarians. But that's when she says
she first noticed a shortage.
" This was during the Great Recession, and recruiters
in other industries-automotive, aviation, you name it-
started calling me to ask what was going on in animal
health, because they had no jobs to fill and our website
was full of jobs. "
In fact, she says, in 2008 her company filled more jobs
than it ever had to that point, even when the narrative
was that there were too many veterinarians.
" In my opinion, we were already in a shortage, " she
says, and it has only grown more severe.
" We've been retiring around 3,000 veterinarians a year.
They are a different generation, where practitioners considered
full-time work to be 40, 50, 60, 70 hours a week in
some cases. Today, a workweek is sometimes 32 hours, and it
can take two doctors to cover one retiring doctor's hours. "
So there was already a veterinarian shortage when the
pandemic hit. Then more pets were
In 2020, according to the federal
Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were
over 110,000 licensed veterinary technician
jobs in the United States.
At that time, the agency projected an
increase of almost 20% in the next
five years, and reports project a shortfall
of 50,000 technicians by 2029.
Meanwhile, the American Pet
Products Association reports that annual sales of pet products
and services in the U.S. is nearly $100 billion, and Americans
are spending more on pet care at rates that exceed increases in
Pulse - August 2021
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pulse - August 2021
Chapter Meetings & Calendar
Everybody’s Hiring... or Trying To
UC Davis Update
Tools for Success
Digital Photography for Veterinarians
From the SCVMA Office
Pulse - August 2021 - August 2021
Pulse - August 2021 - Cover2
Pulse - August 2021 - 1
Pulse - August 2021 - 2
Pulse - August 2021 - Chapter Meetings & Calendar
Pulse - August 2021 - President’s Perspective
Pulse - August 2021 - Pulsepoints
Pulse - August 2021 - 6
Pulse - August 2021 - 7
Pulse - August 2021 - 8
Pulse - August 2021 - 9
Pulse - August 2021 - SCVMA Profile
Pulse - August 2021 - 11
Pulse - August 2021 - Everybody’s Hiring... or Trying To
Pulse - August 2021 - 13
Pulse - August 2021 - 14
Pulse - August 2021 - 15
Pulse - August 2021 - Practical Pathology
Pulse - August 2021 - Medical Leeway
Pulse - August 2021 - UC Davis Update
Pulse - August 2021 - Tools for Success
Pulse - August 2021 - Angel Fund
Pulse - August 2021 - Dear Tabby
Pulse - August 2021 - The RVT
Pulse - August 2021 - Industry Insights
Pulse - August 2021 - AVMA Diplomates
Pulse - August 2021 - Digital Photography for Veterinarians
Pulse - August 2021 - 26
Pulse - August 2021 - 27
Pulse - August 2021 - 28
Pulse - August 2021 - Resources
Pulse - August 2021 - Disease Table
Pulse - August 2021 - 31
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Pulse - August 2021 - From the SCVMA Office
Pulse - August 2021 - Cover3
Pulse - August 2021 - Cover4