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Recruiting for culture and the cost of getting it wrong
Adrian Pratt spoke about business culture at London Vet Show.
Business leader Adrian Pratt speaks at London Vet Show

Business culture is defined as the values the business has - the way things are done and the consistent behaviours exhibited.

Adrian Pratt at the London Vet Show spoke about business culture and how every practice's goal should be to become the employer of choice - the one that people seek out because its culture resonates with them.

He emphasised that the cost of a bad hire is huge and the more senior the role, the more expensive it becomes. Money is lost through loss of productivity, cost of re-hiring, impact on other staff, lost revenues and much more. But perhaps more importantly, the practice loses credibility with its staff in its ability to choose the right people.

Live your culture - look at what your vision is, how well you share with your team and how well the whole practice actually 'lives' it, he said. Ask yourself if you are surrounded by people who share it.

Adrian talked about Simon Sinek's ‘Golden Circle’ theory. ‘Why’ is in the centre of the circle, surrounding the why is the ‘how’ and on the outside is the ‘what’. In other words, start with 'why' – why are you running this practice? Now move to 'how' - how will you share this vision with the whole team and with clients? Finally, 'what' – what do you have to do to achieve your vision?

When recruiting, write your advert based on the culture of the practice. I.e. answer the question why the reader should join your practice rather than just giving a list of what the practice does.

Interview your candidates for self-awareness, self-motivation, empathy and social skills, as well as asking the relevant competency based questions. It is always a good idea to let the shortlisted candidates spend time with the practice team and to seek feedback from them.

During anyone's probationary period it is wise to have a very short period of notice, said Adrian. This is usually only one week. If the hiring was a mistake it is far better to exit the person quickly and start again.

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Vets save premature penguin chick

News Story 1
 Vets have saved a tiny Humboldt penguin chick after her egg was accidentally broken by her parents. Keepers at ZSL London Zoo were shocked to find the chick, named Rainbow, still alive and rushed her straight to the Zoo’s on-site veterinary clinic.

It was a little way to go until the chick should have hatched, so the process was touch and go. Vets removed bits of shell from around the chick with tweezers until she could be lifted out and placed in a makeshift nest.

Rainbow is now in a custom-built incubation room where she spends her days cuddled up to a toy penguin. Keepers will hand-fed Rainbow for the next 10 weeks until she is healthy enough to move to the penguin nursery.  

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