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The team at Bright Leaf Recruitment have been working closely with veterinary practices and veterinary professionals since 2010. Since then we have placed hundreds of veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses in amazing jobs all around the UK and some in more exotic climates.
As we are all “talkie types” we really enjoy chatting with our clients and candidates. This has helped us to really understand their needs so creating the perfect match is easy.
We are very proud to work with “all businesses great and small” so if you are a vet looking for a job, or practice looking for a vet, look no further. As well as practice roles we also work with industry, insurance and academic clients.
Over the coming weeks I will be blogging some advice and tips to both employers and candidates. Firstly though, I wanted to tell you about my worst interview as a candidate. Cast your mind back (those who can) to 1997, when mobile phones had aerials and flip down covers, U2 still looked like young men and Titanic has just re launched, sadly with a very expected wet ending! I was a fresh faced Manager for House of Fraser at the time and had aspirations for greater things. Excited by an opportunity to join a regional airport as Commercial Manager advertised in Retail Week, I applied and was successfully selected for interview. All good news… For anyone who knows me I’ve never worked at a regional airport, so clearly not such good news. On the day of the interview, I arrived at the airport in my new suit and ugliest of ties excited by the prospect of a new job in the busy hustle and bustle of an international airport. I walked into the room and was greeted by a panel of six, yes six, interviewers. They ranged from Airport MD, Finance and HR Managers, to the local clergy and Councillors, all who for very complicated reasons had an interest in this role. To be honest, it felt as though I was being hauled up in front of a government investigation, rather than attending an interview. I had failed to ask what the interview process would be. For what seemed like four hours I handled the quizzing pretty well and was quite happy with my performance. Until one of the panel asked be what seemed like an odd question. “Tell me about your childhood, did you have a happy childhood”. I am very pleased to say that with the exception of never been bought an Atari (retro games console…) I was pretty well looked after and I was happy. However the question completely threw me and I went in a blind panic. Why am I being asked this, what am I supposed to say, what if I hadn’t had a good childhood. All I could say was “It was OK”. I might as well had left the interview right then. What did I learn from this experience? Firstly, prepare for those silly questions in an interview that are designed to put you on the spot. You will have experienced them, "what type of jungle animal would you be?" "How you would climb out of 17 foot deep hole with nothing but a licorice all sort and a toothpick?" I made that one up but you know the sort of thing… I also learnt to think before I speak. These questions are there to see how you react to difficult questions. Offer any answer, as long as its reasoned, that is fine. How will I answer the question about my childhood? It was great thank you, tell me about yours…. That will buy me some time for the next one. My last lesson learnt was never to apply for a job where you will spend 240 working days per year dealing with people who are going on holiday. A surer route to misery I cannot imagine. I will post some more hints and tips for the coming weeks both for employers and candidates.
I have been recruiting veterinary surgeon's now for over ten years. Every year at around this time I talk to hundreds of graduate veterinary surgeons eager to embark on their career once their finals are over. Regardless of which university the graduates attend there is a common theme. Nearly all want to work for a large, multi vet surgery with a spread of special interests, orthopaedics, ophthalmology, imaging, medical, dermatology etc. All the things that will give them the exposure they require and deserve after five years of of one of the most challenging degrees out there. On the surface this seems like a perfectly reasonable, and I would say logical ambition. However, lets consider the volume of vets graduating each year form RVC, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Nottingham, Bristol, Liverpool and Cambridge each year, that is quite a number. Then lets consider the number of vacancies in these large, multi vet hospitals that are actually open to new graduates... Sadly the the two do not match up. Indeed many graduates will be lucky and realise their vision of veterinary life form day one. For the other, less fortunate graduates, there is another way. Consider those roles where you may be the second vet, being the second vet means you will be involved in large amounts of surgery from day one, not just one day per fortnight. You will be managing your own client base form day one. You will be learning about how a practice works, from day one. Consider those "corporate" vacancies. Often these vacancies come with very structured CPD laid out from the start and will also come with extra benefits not always available with other roles. Unfortunately as a recruiter of veterinary surgeons I see far too often people turn down the opportunity of an interview due to preconceived ideas of a role or practice. Sadly, I also often see those same graduates still looking for roles close to Christmas post graduation. A situation that I cannot imagine was in the initial vision. In short, your career is not a sprint, it is a marathon. As a new or recent graduate, you would make an assumption about a suspected gastrointestinal foreign body, you would investigate. Similarly, you shouldn't make assumptions about what a practice could offer based on size, location, number of vets, you should also investigate. The best way to do this is in interview. It is better to turn down an offer because you know it is not right, than to not receive offers at all because you didn't apply...
I can't recommend Bright Leaf highly enough. Julie has been always professional, efficient and ready to go the extra mile. As a new graduate, I was afraid that no one would consider me as a suitable candidate, but she found me a bunch of clinics that were actually interested in hiring me. Julie's magic! I want to thank her again for her amazing job and support, very well done!
I would like to thank Julie for finding me an excellent job. She was very professional, helpful and efficient. As a new graduate she made what I thought to be a very difficult task much easier. Thank you for all your help! I can’t thank you enough
I would like to thank Richard and Julie. They have been very professional, efficient and very reactive. I found a great job in only one day along with their help and their top notch. I highly recommend this amazing team and their services.
I cannot recommend Bright Leaf highly enough. Richard is always willing to go that extra mile for you, can arrange interviews at the drop of a hat, and clearly maintains excellent relationships with clients and candidates. A great recruitment experience!
A big thank you to Richard for all of the help provided! Very approachable and has great advice regarding interviews, it has been a great experience so far so thank you :)
Louise has helped me to go through all the steps in finding a job. She is very prompt, she has answers for every question and really good advice. She gave me all the details about the jobs and managed to find me suitable jobs really fast. Beside this, she was extremely helpful with my interviews travel plans, scheduling everything in a perfect manner. With her help everything seemed really easy, even for a new graduate. I would totally recommend Louise and Bright Leaf!
I would like to take this opportunity and thank you for all the help and support you showed me! It means a lot to me!
Steph and Julie have been amazing at finding me the perfect place. Not the right, but perfect place. They are both very professional and at the same time friendly. I got my first interview within 5 days of talking to them. They will keep you informed regularly and reassure you. If they say "don't worry, we will find you the position you're after" then they will. Bright Leaf is by far the best agency I worked with and I recommend them 100%. Thank you again ladies !! Rebecca
Julie and her team at Bright Leaf guided me every step of the way when I first qualified to help me find my dream job. I knew almost nothing about the job market in the UK and what to expect from my first role. Julie helped me find a job that was the perfect fit, with the location and lifestyle that came with it to ensure that I would be happy to stay. I love my new job and the team I'm working with as well as the area I now live in. Thanks to Julie's wealth of experience I found a fully supportive role as a new grad which I initially didn't think I would find. I would highly recommend the Bright Leaf team to any new grads looking for their first role as a vet! Karl Bittel MRCVS
After a ten-year career with department store group, House of Fraser I made the transition to the veterinary business back in 2005. Working as Partner Recruitment Manager for Vets4Pets, I was solely responsible for recruiting new vets to open new practices. Between 2005 and 2010 I helped the group double in size. Motivated by the success of the vets I’ve worked with and the management team at Vets4Pets I took the leap to realise my dream of running my own business. Our relationship was great and to this day I still carry out work for people I first met over a decade ago. I really believe that we have a great team here at Bright Leaf and still enjoy coming in to work every single day.
As part of the original set up team for Bright Leaf in 2010 I have recently taken more of an administrative role in the business. I now audit and maintain accurate files for both candidates and clients and look after customer service and credit control. Prior to Bright Leaf Recruitment I had extensive experience gained in Sales, Insurance, Customer Service and have worked for a large project management company. I also owned and ran another successful business which was sold in 2009 to provide the seed funding for Bright Leaf Recruitment. Outside work I like to go walking with the family, eat out and I enjoy gardening.
I’ve known Richard for many years so, when in 2014 I left a career in media, I decided on a change of direction and in early 2015 I joined Richard in Bright Leaf. I’ve always had an interest in animal care and with a distant background working at the RSPCA, it’s something that ties in well with my life. I’ve always been a people person, and I love developing a relationship with candidates and clients. The idea that I can play a part in finding the right person for the job is extremely satisfying. Shortly after joining the team, my husband Andy and myself welcomed a new member to the family in the form of a whippet puppy called Dita. She regularly comes to the office with me and firmly has her feet under the table. We also have a royal python called Manasa (she doesn’t come to work). Apart from looking after the creatures, my social life involves walking, skiing and travelling around the UK and Europe in our motorhome ‘Norbert’.
I joined Bright Leaf Recruitment in March 2015 and looked after the Locum bookings for the first 2 years before moving over to permanent recruitment in April 2017. I still look after locum bookings but focus most of my time on permanent placements now. I thoroughly enjoy speaking with candidates and clients and helping them to find their ideal match in the veterinary industry. Outside of work my 2 young daughters and husband keep me busy and when we’re not running the girls to swimming lessons or gymnastic clubs we enjoy family days out and weekends away. Myself and my husband also like to get involved in charity events for our local Hospice and as the girls get older they also want to get more involved in events such as the annual Colour Run and Midnight Walk. I currently work part time (Mon-Fri 9-1pm) whilst my daughters are at school, however as they get older and more independent, I hope to increase my working hours as it’s such a rewarding job and a fantastic place to work.
I have been with Bright Leaf Recruitment since 2010 when I was a pup. As I am now a little more senior relative to the rest of the team, my responsibilities have been reduced. I am now responsible scaring delivery guys with my gruff bark and ensuring the floor is regularly quality checked for sleepability.
I joined Bright Leaf Recruitment in 2015. Being a bit more ladylike than Coco, I don’t bark quite as gruffly as her. I enjoy sleeping and sniffing around in people’s bags just in case there may be a stray tasty morsel. I also have a very “aromatic” hidden talent which, being a lady, I can’t really talk about…
I don’t work at Bright Leaf, I’m just a regular visitor. So regular, I made it onto the team page. I discovered a long time ago that if I bark at the Bright Leaf door, it opens. Then, if I hunt out Richard, he feeds me treats. I love it. However, I am getting a little podgy around the midriff as a result!