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New graduates are worth the energy
Alison Lambert.
Onswitch director suggests why a new graduate could be a safe bet for your practice

"It's not just veterinary business that has a recruitment problem, recruitment is an issue across the whole business sector," said OnSwitch managing director Alison Lambert, speaking at BSAVA Congress on Thursday (5 April).

Alison made an important point that, empirically, we don't have a shortage of vets. Currently, we have more vets registering than ever before, she said. The real issue for recruitment is the number of veterinary premises which have risen from 2000 in the year 2000 to the current number of 5089.

She suggested that a new graduate could be a safe bet for your practice as long as you have planned the appointment. It is important to look at your business, analyse your data (work done and revenue) and see what a new graduate could do.

Graduates will be able to hit revenue targets if they are given the appropriate tasks. For most practices, their greatest income is generated by consults and vaccinations and this is an area that new graduates could easily be moved into. Indeed, most graduates' diagnostic workups will create a high revenue, possibly more than existing vets.

It is also important to be aware of what a new graduate wants from their first job. Alison listed some of the requirements, including the support of a veterinary team with experience, a good work-life balance, a CPD plan (this is far more important to new graduates than most practices think), a good social structure, reasonable working hours with a lunch break and a salary that will build up in time to £40k.

It is important to have information about graduate programmes and graduate recruitment in your practice and to actively encourage their applications.

Alison's final points were that recruitment, particularly for new graduates, is business critical and that the employer brand matters. Practices need to design a revenue model into which a new graduate can fit and make sure that it is a team based business.

"Nurture new graduates," she said. "They can do a good job and will be part of your employer brand".

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Rare chimp birth announced at Edinburgh Zoo

News Story 1
 The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) welcomed the birth of a critically endangered western chimpanzee on Monday 3 February at Edinburgh Zoo's Budongo Trail.

The baby girl will be named in the coming days through a public vote, and staff will carry out a paternity test during its first health check to determine the father.

Mother Heleen's first infant, Velu, was born in 2014, making this new baby only the second chimpanzee born in Scotland for more than 20 years.

Budongo Trail team leader Donald Gow said: "While we celebrate every birth, this one is particularly special because our new arrival is a critically endangered Western chimpanzee, a rare subspecies of chimpanzee."

Image (c) RZSS/Donald Gow. 

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News Shorts
BEVA offering free membership to vet students

The British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) is offering free membership to veterinary students. As part of a new initiative with the aim of encouraging more veterinary professionals into equine practice.

According to BEVA, less than one in ten veterinary students choose to work in equine practice. The association hopes that this initiative will provide insight into the field and the benefits of a career in equine medicine.

Benefits of membership include:
▪ access to a network of nearly 3,000 members
▪ special student rates to attend BEVA Congress
▪ online access to BEVA's Equine Veterinary Education (EVE) journal
▪ free access to the association's online learning platform
▪ free access to BEVA's practical veterinary apps
▪ exclusive discounts on a range of things from cinema tickets to grocery shopping.

BEVA will be releasing a series of short videos over the next few months from BEVA Council members, explaining what inspired them to work in equine practice.

Image (c) BEVA.