5 Core Competencies that Can Predict Employee Success

What makes a good employee? While there’s no cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all answer, there are certain characteristics that most quality workers possess. The ability to identify those soft skills, both on a resume and during the interview process, can dramatically improve your hiring results, which will ultimately drive the future success of your practice. If you’re not already aware, here are five core competencies to look for during the veterinary recruiting process.

Excellent communication skills

Whether you call on one of your employees to respond to a social media inquiry, write a blog post, make an outgoing phone call or run your daily huddles, the one thing that all of these activities requires is the ability to communicate clearly and effectively. Looking for this specific skill during the veterinary recruiting process will ensure that all of your team members can deliver the appropriate message to the right audience at the right time and in the right manner.

The ability to collaborate with others

Perhaps no industry depends more on relationships than the veterinary field. Ideally, you want to staff your clinic with people who are capable of building collaborative relationships with their colleagues. You also want individuals who are comfortable developing strong relationships with your clients and their pets. This core competency is critical for every area of your business, from receptionist to head DVM and everyone in between, so make sure it’s intertwined in your veterinary recruiting process.

Problem solving skills

Veterinary clinics can be very chaotic work environments. When issues inevitably arise, you want a team in place who will be able to gather the pertinent information and use that data to implement a feasible solution. If every problem has to be escalated to upper management, delays and bottlenecks can occur, which creates frustration for everyone. As such, seeking out candidates who demonstrate solid problem solving skills should be a top priority in your veterinary recruiting efforts.


Successful employees – especially those who have the potential to develop into leadership roles – have a great deal of confidence in themselves. Team members who are self-confident aren’t afraid to try new things and speak up when they have good ideas for process improvements. They can also take constructive criticism without falling apart. (Be careful to differentiate between self-confidence and over-confidence. If a candidate seems too boastful or doesn’t like to be challenged, it might be a sign of the latter and therefore better to steer clear.)


Another important competency to include in your veterinary recruiting criterion is the ability to think for tomorrow. The best employees are those who are continual learners and always willing to adapt and develop themselves, both personally and professionally. The veterinary industry today isn’t anything like it was even just a decade ago, and will be markedly different ten years from now. You want to surround yourself with a team of forward-thinkers who will help your practice weather the changes and evolve to become even more successful in the future.

These are five core competencies that can be strong indicators of success in candidates for prospective employment. As such, you should incorporate these indicators into your veterinary recruiting screening process. Doing so will give you the best chance to build a team of high potential employees who can help drive your practice to the next level.