Hiring Veterinary Technicians

Finding the Right Paw-some Fit: Tips for Hiring Veterinary Technicians

Published on February 28th, 2023


The increasing demand for veterinary care has created the need for qualified and experienced vet techs. A veterinary technician is a medical professional who works alongside veterinarians to provide care for animals. They are responsible for a number of duties including taking medical histories, preparing animals for examinations, administering medications, performing laboratory tests, and educating pet owners about animal health.

Employers should take the time to find the right candidate for the job in order to ensure a successful practice. The ideal vet tech should have experience in caring for animals and possess a valid license, certification, or degree in veterinary technology. Employers should look for someone with a good attitude and strong interpersonal skills, as they will be dealing with clients, patients, and staff.

Why Vet Techs are Essential for Veterinary Practices

Vet techs are an integral part of the veterinary team, providing both technical and emotional support to their patients. Their duties include administering medications, taking vital signs, collecting biological samples, cleaning wounds, and teaching pet owners about preventive care. Vet techs build strong relationships with their patients and are able to recognize changes in behavior that may indicate discomfort or illness.

Vet techs are highly trained and knowledgeable professionals who are devoted to providing the best possible care for animals. Their hard work and dedication are invaluable to the veterinary profession and help ensure that pets can live long and healthy lives. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment among veterinary technicians is projected to increase by 15% over the next ten years.


A veterinary technician's primary role typically involves supporting a veterinarian in providing care for animals. This can involve helping animals stay healthy and promoting their well-being. Vet techs can be thought of as similar to nurses in a veterinary setting. The tasks and responsibilities of a vet tech may differ depending on the type of practice in which they work. With their training, vet techs can carry out a range of duties in a veterinary office, other than prescribing medication, diagnosing illnesses, and performing surgeries.

  • Giving animals medication or vaccines
  • Conducting treatments at the veterinary clinic
  • Preparing animals for surgical procedures performed by the veterinarian
  • Conducting wellness checks to assess an animal's health
  • Restraining animals during examinations or treatments
  • Providing owners with instructions on how to care for their animals at home
  • Carrying out routine, non-medical care tasks such as trimming nails or cleaning ears.
  • Monitoring animals for indications of health requirements
  • Conducting diagnostic tests such as x-rays
  • Maintaining records of animals' health histories
  • Assisting during surgeries or procedures
  • Administering anesthesia to animals
  • Providing emergency first aid in critical care situations
  • Providing nursing care for animals undergoing surgery.

Veterinary technicians typically work with various types of animals. While working at a regular veterinary office, they may primarily encounter cats, dogs, and other small household pets. At an exotic animal clinic, they may handle birds, reptiles, and rodents. And, at a farm veterinary clinic, they may assist with horses, cows, goats, and other livestock. As a result, veterinary technicians’ duties may vary significantly depending on the animals they work with.

The Key Skills to Look for in Your Next Vet Tech Hire

While hiring Veterinary technicians look for knowledge of all aspects of animal care, including medical conditions, diets, parasites, surgeries, vaccines, and proper restraint techniques. Achieving this expertise necessitates possessing specific personal traits such as patience and a deep commitment to supporting pets, pet owners, and veterinarians. Here are five skills they need to excel as Veterinary technicians.

1. Knowledge

To become a skilled and committed veterinary technician, the most crucial requirement is possessing extensive knowledge of animals, their diverse illnesses, and the appropriate medical interventions required to treat them.

Vet techs must possess a methodical and analytical approach to diagnose, identify, and treat their patients' ailments. It is necessary to have a comprehensive understanding of the information and techniques required to diagnose and treat animal injuries, diseases, and deformities. Similarly, it is crucial to have skills to operate technical equipment and interpret data from X-rays, reports, and blood tests. With proper education, having these skills will offer flexibility to work in diverse environments.

2. Communication

Competent vet techs communicate with animals, while exceptional ones are able to listen and understand their responses. While connecting with the animals being treated is important, the ability to communicate effectively with people is an essential skill that should not be overlooked.

Effective communication skills are crucial, especially in veterinary situations that may unexpectedly become complicated or challenging. During such times, pet owners may become upset, making it even more critical to communicate effectively to resolve the situation.

Vet techs must provide clear and concise follow-up care instructions that pet owners can easily understand once their animal is taken home. The ability to communicate in a friendly but informative manner ensures that pet owners retain all the necessary information and leave the veterinary practice feeling satisfied.

3. Empathy

The most crucial skill required to become a successful veterinary technician is empathy and a genuine love for animals. If they do not have a genuine love for animals, it is difficult to understand why would they commit to caring for them. Being a veterinarian involves more than just caring for cats and dogs; you need to have a sense of curiosity to learn about farm animals, exotic species, and even wild animals in addition to domestic pets.

Even though pets are usually very affectionate at home, veterinarians often see a different side of them and need to be ready to handle them with care and understanding, even if the animal is resistant.

In addition to handling difficult animals, there may also be instances where pet owners are not fully aware of their animal's condition and may become upset or demanding. This is where having empathy and understanding for all individuals involved is crucial for a veterinarian, as they not only care for the animals but also communicate with their owners.

4. Organization

In a veterinary practice, disorganization can have negative consequences for the business, productivity, and well-being of the animals being cared for due to the high level of activity and demand.

Effective organization skills are crucial for a veterinarian as they help to establish clear priorities and outcomes, particularly in a fast-paced and often unpredictable veterinary environment. It enables veterinarians to structure their daily tasks efficiently and stay focused, especially during challenging and emotional situations. As a result, being organized is essential to providing quality care for animals and managing a successful veterinary practice.

5. Passion for Animals

Veterinary technicians are driven by their love for animals and their desire to make a positive impact on their lives. Their passion for animal welfare motivates them to provide high-quality care and support to both pets and their owners, making a significant difference in the world of veterinary medicine.

Tips for Recruiting Veterinarians: Strategies for Attracting Top Talent

If you're having difficulty hiring a highly skilled veterinarian, you're not the only one. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, around 4,000 veterinary positions go unfilled every year, and this shortage is expected to continue until at least 2030. (Source)

In a highly competitive job market, many veterinary clinics struggle to offer the same level of compensation and benefits as their competitors. Instead, they must focus on developing a strategic recruitment plan to attract top talent. To use a marketing concept, it is essential to focus on the talent you desire, determine your target audience, evaluate your offerings, and establish a strategy to attract these potential candidates to your business.

1. Determine Your Definition of "Best"

The initial step for any recruitment initiative is to determine the target audience. It is likely that the ideal veterinary talent for your clinic is specific to your practice.

In addition to qualifications and experience, what qualities does the ideal veterinarian need to possess to be an asset to your practice? Does your practice require a vet who can handle a diverse range of animals and issues in a fast-paced environment or one who is patient and willing to communicate with pet owners? It's essential to determine what qualities are crucial to your practice's success when seeking out the best talent.

Once you have a clear understanding of the ideal candidate you're looking for, you can tailor your job postings and interviews to attract and evaluate candidates who fit that profile.

2. Finding the Right Fit: Aligning Brand and Culture in Veterinary Hiring

The most suitable candidate for your organization is someone who shares your goals and values and is aligned with your culture and philosophy.

Perhaps you highly value teamwork and require someone who fits in with your sense of camaraderie, or maybe you prioritize staying updated on the latest medical technologies and seek a candidate who shares this passion.

The more effectively you can articulate your organization's culture and values, the more likely you are to attract candidates who are aligned with them.

3. Revamping Your Job Post

To attract the best veterinary talent, it's important to market your practice effectively. This means creating a job post that not only lists job requirements but also showcases your practice's unique culture, philosophy, and work environment.

When crafting a job post, it's important to not only list the job requirements but also highlight your practice's philosophy, culture, and work environment. It's also a chance to showcase the unique perks you offer, such as a lower cost of living or a slower pace of life, which may be more important to some candidates than high salaries.

4. Beyond the Resume: Investigate a Candidate's Full Background

By checking both personal and professional references and running a background check, you can gain valuable insights into a candidate's character, social skills, honesty, and integrity. While technical skills are important, talking to professors or friends can reveal more about the candidate as a person. Checking with previous employers can also uncover information about why the candidate left and the circumstances surrounding their employment.

5. The Art of Interviewing: Finding the Right Fit for Your Veterinary Practice

You should reach out to the applicants who you believe are most qualified for the position and arrange an interview. During this interview, you should cover topics such as salary, qualifications, experience, and work history. It's important to conduct the interview effectively. Possible questions you may ask:

What do you expect for a salary? How did you find out about this position? What qualities make a good veterinarian? Why do you want to work for us? How have you handled stressful situations?

6. Expand Your Reach: Utilize Multiple Resources When Hiring

It’s always a good practice to utilize multiple resources to find candidates for veterinary positions, like online employment portals, vet schools to post job openings, seeking referrals from colleagues, and using online employment websites specifically for vet tech positions.

By implementing these hiring strategies, you can improve the chances of hiring the right candidates for your veterinary practice. This can lead to better client experiences and reduce the risk of a bad hire, which can save your practice money in the long run. We at HireQuotient can assist you in hiring your perfect vet tech.

Final Thoughts

Hiring a vet tech is a critical process that requires careful planning and execution. It is important to identify the needs of your practice and the qualities you seek in a candidate, as well as to utilize various resources to find potential hires. Conducting thorough interviews and background checks can help ensure that you choose the best candidate for the job. By following these steps, you can hire a vet tech who will contribute to the success and growth of your veterinary practice while providing the best care for your animal patients. Make use of HireQuotient’s veterinary technician Test and hire the best for your business.

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