Our Survey Says… Money Talks


Jane RVN veterinary-nurses, Veterinary Surgeon

I have been defined by my job role, my work place, my job title, my salary. Are you? And what matters most?

You might not think you do but many of us think we know what we want in a job but are there any common themes across vets, vet nurses, locums and permanent staff?

We get asked to do salary surveys quite often, but this is usually a reflection of where you are currently – what would the results be if you were asked about what you want - do you know what you want, what you really, really want?

Well, we asked you via our survey and here’s the results - I’m feeling slightly Blankety Blank – our survey says – oh no, that’s Family Fortunes.

We gave you the following options for locum work:

Locum Vet Survey

And for permanent work:

So similar categories, but reflecting the different opportunities that both types of work offer,

Let me take you through the highlights of the results for me.

When, where and how much?

I was particularly interested to see that for permanent work the biggest motivator was salary, yet so few adverts ever put an actual figure or even range of salary expectations in the advert! I wonder what this tells us about what the employers want to tell us about their role and what we want to hear?

In fact, salary and location appear as our top two most important factors for permanent roles yet they are often lacking from job adverts – we seem to be expected to do a bit of detective work to find out some basic and clearly desired information when looking for a new role.

Working hours and rota feature for both locum and permanent staff – and these rarely appear on job adverts. Sharing a full-time rota isn’t easy in the limited space of an advert but I hope practices are ready to discuss this when contacted about their job advert – there’s little point going through the expensive and time consuming recruitment process if the working hours aren’t going to be suitable.

All the Toys

I’m super interested that practice facilities appear very low down on the wish list, which is interesting as so many places put the phrase ‘all the toys’ in their adverts – it clearly doesn’t have the pulling power that employers think it has.

I’ve also always maintained it’s a misleading phrase as what I consider an appropriate level of veterinary equipment may be too little for some, and way too much for others – when job hunting, it looks like we we’re most interested in the objective factors – salary, hours and location, and subjective information isn’t going to sway us.

Practice reputation

Now, I’m not sure here if this is the reputation to clients, or the reputation of the clinic as a supportive and developmental performer – but it appears that either way the reputation of the practice isn’t high on our list of desirable criteria for a new role.

I think this is interesting, but also hard to comment on as I think survey respondents could have answered from either view point – is this worth looking into? Does the practice reputation matter and how reliable are the sources of that information?

Locum work – our desires are not that different

Although there are slightly different categories for locum and permanent work the same three criteria are top – salary, location and hours were still your top motivators.

Interestingly the team was the next on your list of desires – so even if you’re staying for a short period the people you work with are still important. Perhaps that’s why you’re locumming? You’re looking for the ideal team – I know I did this as you really struggle to see a team ethos from an interview and the ability to work well for you, and the patients’ benefits is very important in keeping you happy.

The future?

Although this quick survey was for interest rather than an industry defining survey, it does show a good variety of respondents across our industry, and the results reflect anecdotal evidence I have found – money does talk, we work hard and train hard and we want a remuneration to reflect that.

Written by - Jane Davidson RVN

Follow Jane on Twitter - @JaneRVN

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