67% of vet nurses 'very annoyed' by adverts which describe the salary as 'competitive'

Veterinary Nursing News

67% of vet nurses 'very annoyed' by adverts which describe the salary as 'competitive'

A survey carried out by VetNurse.co.uk Jobs and VetSurgeon.org Jobs has concluded that both veterinary  nurses and surgeons want potential employers to be up front about the salary they're offering, and many will simply ignore advertisements that don't contain this information.

The survey was conducted after it was found that only 10% of job adverts on VetSurgeon.org and 16% on VetNurse.co.uk include an indication of the salary. By contrast, a quick analysis of the adverts on other leading job boards for professionals found that 66% of jobs advertised for doctors include salary details, 87% for human nurses, 64% for architects and 92% for computer programmers. 

The survey received 1,147 responses: 524 from veterinary surgeons and 622 from veterinary nurses.

When asked how they would likely react to job advertisements seen online or in print:

  • 75.7% of vet nurses said they would read adverts which display a salary first (before those that don't)

  • 54.5% of vet nurses said they would respond to adverts which display the salary first (before those that don't).

  • 28.8% of vet nurses said they would ignore ads that don't show a salary.

Only 18.4% said they would consider the job adverts equally, regardless of whether or not they displayed a salary.

Respondents were then asked what impression it gave them if a practice advertised a job without stating a salary. 66% of vet nurses said 'negative', 32.2% said 'neutral' and 1.1% said 'positive'.

The final question asked how annoying it is to read job adverts which only describe a salary using words like 'competitive' or 'generous'.

  • 1.9% of veterinary nurses said: 'Not at all annoying"

  • 30.7% said 'Mildly irritating'

  • 67% said 'Very annoying. It's a waste of my time to ring and find my definition of 'competitive' is not the same as the advertiser's.'

By comparison, veterinary surgeons were a little less salary conscious, but very much the same patterns emerged (full results of the vet survey here).

The bottom line is that if you spend £99 to advertise a job on VetNurse and you don't advertise the salary, you're effectively throwing away £28 there and then. Might as well just set fire to a £20 and a £10 note. Even if you think that is a price worth paying (and let's not forget that it'll be a considerably more expensive mistake if you advertise elsewhere), you then have to think of the monetary value of having sent someone away with a negative impression of your practice, or worse still if you described the salary as 'competitive' or 'generous'.

It is worth highlighting that on VetNurse and VetSurgeon, employers are invited to advertise the 'Minimum Offer', described to jobseekers as the starting point for discussions, or a salary range. Both are designed to give jobseekers something to go on, whilst still allowing room for negotiation.

To help employers get the most out of their recruitment adverts on VetNurse.co.uk and VetSurgeon.org, we're sharing a special training video, which you can watch below. If nothing else, a quick reminder of what you need to include in the advert:


Whilst you're here, take a moment to see our latest job opportunities for vet nurses.

  • If you cannot be up front and open about what you're negotiating range is for pay then i'm going to assume that:

    1) You're massively underpaying your current staff and do not want them to see what you are now offering

    2) You don't respect the applicants enough to be open

    3) You have a shameful pay scale that you want to keep hidden

    Either way, I'll be scrolling past your Advert, because it isn't worth the time or hassle. Oh and if you even mention; cakes, biscuits, baking, sweets or "brilliant team spirit" I'm DEFINITELY going to go in another direction!

  • I think you have to remember the spirit in which these things are written! I am quite sure that nobody means to sound patronising when they mention cakes, biscuits and baking, though to many people they do. Team spirit, or friendly team, or anything like that is more difficult, because I think that IS something potential employees look for, but the problem is that it is not believable in an advert (everyone says they have a great team, some of whom I am quite sure are axe murderers in real life!). So the question is how, in an advert, can an employer convey team spirit in a way that is believable? A video showing everyone having a laugh together would be one way, but not many will do that. The only other way would be with actual examples of how that team spirit manifests itself. But I am struggling to think of examples (not helped by the fact that I don't work in practice, of course!). Any thoughts?