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The landscape for top talent is even more competitive than before the pandemic.

Help wanted signs are everywhere, and the pet industry is no exception. Companies in our sphere are short-staffed, but so is everyone else. That fact alone makes the landscape for top talent even more competitive than before the pandemic.

Whether your company is a pet products retailer, manufacturer, distributor or raw materials supplier, frustrations in procuring staff are widespread. Owners and shareholders expect measurable results, and having the right people in your organization is crucial.

  • When you need to fill a management or retail executive role in your organization, consider your answers to these four central questions:
  • What are we doing to attract top talent to our organization?
  • What makes people want to work for us?
  • How are we different from our competitors?
  • How do we locate and secure the ideal team member?

Attracting talent is not as simple as it sounds, and people are sophisticated when it comes to learning about potential employers. Whether through networking sights like LinkedIn or employer review resources like Glassdoor, they can learn much about your culture and reputation with a simple search and a few inquiries. By emphasizing your company’s core values in your job description and on your website, you give people a sneak peek at your culture, so they know beforehand if the fit is good for them.

Other than defining your values and culture, do you know what makes folks want to work in and for your organization? What kind of career opportunities does your company offer? High-quality candidates expect things like continuing education, increased responsibility over time, and the chance for team leadership, new product development and problem-solving. Each of those provides intrinsic value to people who enjoy fulfillment through their careers. Often, it is as straightforward as having the chance to be on the ground floor of building something as part of a cohesive team. It could be an exclusive new product offering innovation to the marketplace. Who wouldn’t want to be attached to something that exciting?

Recognizing what differentiates you from your competitors is also particularly important. When you can identify the specific ways your organization is excellent, you will have the perfect foundation to build on—and communicating that upfront is attractive to professionals and executives alike.

Step back and take an objective look at your business. Can you define the top three reasons anyone would want to work for you at this moment? Whether your business is a retail store that has been around for a while, a manufacturer recently purchased by a private equity group, a distributor poised to take on a larger territory, or even a sales team that works remotely, you need to know those reasons like the back of your hand.

Today’s workers are exhausted—frustrated by complaining customers who are uninformed about the supply chain shortages that plague inventory supplies—and they are very likely short on spare patience. It may seem like an oversimplification to add that a simple thank you to the folks who choose to work every day goes a long way. It is more important than ever to remember how valuable morale is in these times, and it does not cost a dime to tell someone you appreciate what they do. Think about the last time someone gave you praise. Even a small gesture can make the difference between a person remaining on your team or choosing to go elsewhere.

Spread a bit of appreciation. You won’t regret it.

Dolittle Search is a service company, so we must answer the same questions. We are experts at helping organizations answer critical questions about appealing to top pet industry talent, defining what makes your organization attractive and why your company is exceptional in the marketplace. That next step is where we excel—seeking out and delivering the best candidates and executive talent for your vital roles. Reach out today for a consultation by visiting

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Shaylene Keiner is president of Dolittle Search. Dolittle Search recruits talent for Fortune 500 corporations, venture and private equity groups, family-owned businesses, and nonprofits while uncovering talent for vital management positions, C-suite roles and more. Dolittle Search has successfully recruited thriving candidates from various industries, functions, and regions and placed them in influential roles in the pet industry. Employees who can drive your objectives to the next level are already within our reach, and we secure them for you swiftly.