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Investigation of factors affecting recruitment and retention in the UK veterinary profession

Hagen, J; Weller, R; Mair, T; Kinnison, T


J Hagen

R Weller

T Mair

T Kinnison


Recruitment and retention is currently of major concern and resulted in the veterinary profession being returned to the UK’s Shortage Occupation List in 2019.
An online questionnaire of veterinary employees and employers investigating factors contributing to leaving/staying in current employment and the profession. The questionnaire was distributed via specialist veterinary associations’ email lists and social media from September to October 2018.
Respondents had few job changes (median 3), however, 43.7% (n=2390) reported that they were likely or very likely to leave their employment within two years. Vets who were recently qualified, on lower salaries and female were more likely to plan to leave. Most frequently chosen reasons to stay in a position were: team, location and family. Most commonly cited reasons to leave were: work-life balance, management and salary. Respondents most disliked dealing with people, work-life balance and the physical/emotional impacts of the job. They would most like to change the hours worked, team aspects and management. Employers suggested that it was difficult to employ a veterinary surgeon, especially an experienced individual.
The current retention crisis is due in part to the differing requirements between modern-day veterinary employees, their employers, the public and the profession.


Hagen, J., Weller, R., Mair, T., & Kinnison, T. (2020). Investigation of factors affecting recruitment and retention in the UK veterinary profession. Veterinary Record,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 7, 2020
Publication Date Aug 14, 2020
Deposit Date Jul 15, 2020
Publicly Available Date Jan 14, 2021
Journal Veterinary Record
Print ISSN 0042-4900
Publisher BMJ Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Public URL
Publisher URL


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