BE THE MODEL STRATEGIC PLAN: Culture and Sustainability of Our People
Exciting new changes to staff classifications are ushering in new opportunities for some Veterinary Medical Center staff members. In an effort to increase retention and improve recruitment of veterinary technicians and client services employees, the College of Veterinary Medicine’s human resources team partnered with university human resources for a much-needed classification/compensation redesign.
The result? New advancement opportunities and increases in pay for hundreds of affected jobs—better positioning the Veterinary Medical Center for retaining and acquiring new talent.
According to Human Resources Director Kristi Pyke, the reclassification process involved reviewing compensation and market data for two major areas: veterinary technicians and client services. “We reviewed about 200 positions and reclassified them into more progressive, career-focused classifications that allowed for growth and development of staff. The reclassification accounted for areas of retention and also acknowledged the complexity of the level of skills required for certain positions.”
It’s an important change for staff morale, says Veterinary Medical Center Director Karin Zuckerman. “Before, we would hear from some staff that there were few growth opportunities within the college, and if they wanted to progress in their careers, they felt like they needed to leave. Now there are opportunities for those interested in career growth within the Veterinary Medical Center, and hopefully more individuals will choose to stay and grow with us here.”
The changes, which went into effect at the end of June/early July, are already receiving rave reviews from staff members impacted. Large Animal Anesthesia Service Coordinator Carl O’Brien, RVT, VTS, for example, spent a good deal of his own time and money pursuing his board certification specialty credential in anesthesia—a topic that fascinated him from the start of his veterinary career. “There’s always something new to learn and you never fully plateau in your knowledge base,” says O’Brien. “You have to be vigilant all the way through anesthesia and pick up on small and subtle changes that occur with the patient.”
The reclassification means that O’Brien is rewarded for his specialization. “The reclassification has added incentives for technicians to get into disciplines like anesthesia or critical care—areas with higher turnover and more stress,” says O’Brien. “It makes me feel more comfortable with my decision to get certified and helps me think of this as a long-term career path.”
“It makes me feel more comfortable with my decision to get certified and helps me think of this as a long-term career path.”
— Carl O’Brien, RVT, VTS
Jill Hohlbein, RVT, chose to leave her job in private practice a year ago to work at the Veterinary Medical Center—in part because she wanted to specialize in small animal dentistry and saw the opportunity at Ohio State. “In the past few years in practice I developed a passion for teeth and really enjoyed the benefit of seeing pets thrive. I knew I needed a specialty to work toward and get really good at; that’s just how my personality is,” says Hohlbein. She has another year of training before she can take her boards and is enjoying the variety of complex cases she gets to see at the Veterinary Medical Center.
Still, she took a pay cut to work at Ohio State and looks forward to the opportunities the reclassification will enable. “It’s put a little light at the end of the tunnel. I wanted to do the specialization for myself, but knowing that the college is now recognizing my hard work makes it even more rewarding.”
“I knew I needed a specialty to work toward and get really good at.”
— Jill Hohlbein, RVT
The move is right in line with the college’s strategic plan goal to improve the culture and sustainability of our people, says Zuckerman. “We have an unbelievably talented group of registered veterinary technicians and client service personnel at the Veterinary Medical Center, and I certainly want them to stay and have fulfilling careers here.”
The College of Veterinary Medicine's Be the Model Strategic Plan outlines the college's ambition to Be the Model comprehensive college of veterinary medicine in the world. Recruiting and retaining top talent, as well as providing continuous opportunities for growith is just one example of how the college is focused on the culture and sustainability of our people. Learn more about the strategic plan and other advances at the college.