Hiring & Initial Training

July 25, 2018

Comments about the hiring process & the first week on the job

The good, the bad, and the downright ugly…


According to Gallup, 12% of employees strongly agree that their company does a great job onboarding.  As you may recall from our previous blog, the first part of onboarding begins with day one.

We were curious to know if the veterinary community followed this same pattern. We were also interested in the hiring process – the main step needed before onboarding can even begin!

Therefore, we asked two main questions in July’s CATALYST VetPC monthly poll.

While our numbers certainly pale in comparison to Gallup, we did see some interesting results.

Just the facts

General information was asked to see if any trends arose.

  • 63% of people who replied were managers. This is not surprising since this position tends to be more tuned into the hiring and training process.
  • 45% were from vet hospitals with 11-30 employees and 31% from 31 or more.
  • 41% have been in current position for 2-5 years.
  • Age was nicely represented with most people between 28 and 53 years.

Question 1

We wanted to know about your overall experience while interviewing for your current position. Consider the job posting, the interview process and all the steps along the way.

Overall rating  =  3.5/5  =  B- (or C+)


  • 76% = appropriate interview questions and discussion
  • 43% = well written job announcement
  • 62% = facility tour

BAD – because we feel it should be 100%

  • 33% = some form of pre-screening or drug test
  • 52% = greeting from other team members
  • 38% = clearly defined job expectations
  • 38% = well explained benefits package


  • 9% = paid working interview
  • 28% = no formal hiring process (from respondent’s perspective)

Question 2

This question asked you to consider your overall experience during the first week on the current job. Consider how you were treated, the tools you were given, the training process and your overall experience in a new facility.

Overall rating  =  2.7/5  =  C-


  • 38% = Paired up with a trainer / contact person
  • 67% = Introduced to all members of the veterinary team
  • 48% = Received a general orientation of processes

BAD – because we feel 100% of new hires need to receive these

  • 43% = were NOT given an employee handbook (maybe it does not exist?)
  • 62% = were NOT briefed on safety procedures (that is actually closer to ugly)


  • 86% = did NOT receive information regarding upcoming phase training (maybe it does not exist?)
  • 43% = No formal orientation or training

General Comments

One respondent wrote in the comment section: “I was told to read documents in Manager files on the computer. Basically had to figure it all out by myself. This isn’t the first time this has happened to me in a new job. I would love to actually be trained at a new position!”

Taking a page from the learning pyramid, there is a 10% retention rate in adults when only reading information.   When people get actively involved, retention rates dramatically increase.

This seems obvious. However, does your hospital choose to bore your new hires by handing them something to read?

Another comment was, “It was drop and run – no formal training, no guidelines. So unless you’re a seasoned tech with experience, it’s a sink or swim.”

Even if you are seasoned, you still should have some type of orientation that is unique for the hospital and the position. When 50% of our respondents didn’t have a specific training schedule, it’s not surprising to see why people leave their jobs.

There are many benefits in finding and keeping great people. A thoughtful and complete onboarding process can go a long way towards this goal.

It’s time to take a hard look at these beginning processes in your veterinary hospital. Discover what is good, bad and downright ugly, then take steps to make it all great!


Here’s to hiring & training excellent people!

Rebecca Rose, CVT & Denise Mikita, MS, CVT


Contact us if you’d like to receive the full results from all the questions


Why the Onboarding Experience Is Key for Retention. Gallop Blog.

The Leaning Pyramid. The Peak Performance Center.