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Making Social Media a Part of Your Health Care Recruitment Strategy

Social Media Health Care RecruitmentThe workplace can be incredibly stressful, with workers across all industries often describing their careers or projects as “life or death”. Health care professionals, however, literally live that phrase every day. And recruiting the right people who can manage and succeed in that kind of environment day after day? That can be stressful, as well.

The ever-expanding social media landscape provides health care recruiters dynamic tools to build a thriving organization — as long as they use the right instrument for the right job. Keith Hadley, an employment branding practice leader at CareerBuilder, says for recruiters to effectively use social media, they have to know the difference between two of humankind’s oldest jobs: hunting and gathering and cultivating.

Although social media is an important and growing recruitment channel, it’s not where job seekers start their search for new employment. Hadley says 74 percent of candidates start on a search engine, such as Google or Bing, and 69 percent begin with a job board, such as CareerBuilder. This is where job listings serve the hunting-and-gathering function because it’s here that job-seekers find specific job titles, shift hours, pay scales, locations, etc. Once interested, many move on to social media channels, where they learn about the work environment, the organizational culture and their potential co-workers, all of which weigh heavily on the decision of where to apply and work. In short, they get the facts from search engines and job boards, but they get their feeling from social media.

“Companies should use social media to provide an authentic view of what it’s like to work there,” Hadley says. “Use real photos of real employees interacting. It might be more powerful for you to have a Facebook posting about a baby shower held at work than to have job postings [on the Facebook page]. That says a lot about the culture.”

And don’t stop at Facebook. Different social media channels have developed because they each serve a specific niche. Hadley stresses that recruiters should trust those niches and use each channel for what it does best. There is no one-size-fits all social media channel, so don’t cram information where it doesn’t belong.

“Instagram is doing well because it’s the best place to share photos,” Hadley says. “Don’t overthink it. Use Facebook [for] interacting, and don’t use generic logos and stock imagery there. Use real employees and make it about people.”

All social media channels should be connected and pulling in the same direction to show candidates a positive work culture, rather than to just bombard candidates in several different venues with the same job posting for a neonatal nurse position. Think of social media recruiting as a Rube Goldberg machine: each part of the process is performing a different, yet related, task to support one goal. Remember, you’ve gathered these candidates with your job posts, and those who are interested are following your organization. You need to use different social media channels to promote your environment and cultivate health care candidates’ interests so they take action and apply.

For example, Hadley recommends that only about 1 out of 10 tweets should be related to a job posting. Instead, tweet content that reinforces your positive workplace culture, such as work/life balance initiatives, flexible scheduling or other health care industry-related solutions. Use YouTube for recruitment videos and Pinterest to post tips for following best medical practices. Though you should include links to your job listings, keep the content related to how you’ve built a better workplace culture.

In addition to making sure you put the right content in the right place, Hadley cautions that recruiting via social media is an investment that needs to be treated as such. After all, the workers you’re seeking have invested a great deal of time in their professions.

“[Many recruiters] underestimate the amount of time and effort it takes to maintain a good social media presence,” Hadley says. “If you’re going to take it seriously, it’s something that needs to be done with real intent. It can’t be a side project for one of your recruiters.”

However, the payoff is healthy.

“[Social media] helps crowd-source your story. After a ahile, social media recruiting becomes seamless,” Hadley says. “What people are really looking for at work is community, being a part of something. When they have that, they’re very likely to stay and be satisfied.”

Dan Spellerberg

About Dan Spellerberg

Before leaving the full-time workforce five years ago to care for his two most important human resources, Dan Spellerberg spent nearly 12 years editing magazines and books for technology buffs, health care professionals, and consumers trying to live healthier lives. He now splits his time between writing stories for his children and helping businesses transform muddled, jargon-laden writing into clear, memorable communication. He only occasionally gets the two worlds confused.
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