Using Social Media Recruiting in Health Care

We’ve talked in recent blog entries about how social media can be a useful tool for helping today’s hiring managers and talent directors find the right candidates for their positions in a fast and cost-effective way with several extra benefits from a content and marketing strategy perspective. Whether it’s how to create an effective content calendar with a recruitment-centric focus or the kinds of content that will best resonate with the passive job seeker, the roadmap for how to affect your social media following from a talent acquisition standpoint is relatively well documented and ready for execution.

But what about the matter of which industries are best suited for social media recruiting?

Are there specific fields of endeavor that better lend themselves to leveraging social media to source top talent? And what might the reasons be for X or Y industry to respond better to using social in this way?Double exposure of business man hand working on blank screen laptop computer on wooden desk as concept with social media diagram (1)

While companies across various industries are successfully deploying social content with an eye toward talent acquisition, a better understanding of the pain points that social media recruitment relieves will best define which industry is best suited for this type of approach. The title of this blog entry gives away the answer to this question, but let’s attack this question like the game show Jeopardy and work backward to discover the reasons why social media recruiting makes the most sense for the health care industry.

The variety of positions

If we think of the health care industry primarily in terms of hospitals, clinics, treatment centers, and other patient-focused outlets, the health care industry employs the widest variety of career opportunities, specializations, or niche jobs of likely any other industry.

Take any hospital located in even a semi-urban environment that serves a sizeable patient population. To operate successfully in this arena, you’re going to need many more positions to varying degrees of specialization than doctors and nurses. These can range from food service workers, environmental services technicians (also sometimes referred to as housekeeping), biomedical technicians, health care mechanics (those who service life-saving and non-life saving machines), security officers, and general maintenance technicians. These are just some of the essential positions hiring managers will need to fill.

Social media and the ability to target large numbers of individuals via the appropriate demographic or targeting information (location, occupation, education, affiliation, and other key elements) make it fast, easy, and economical to put your job opening and your organization in front of the largest group of interested eyes as possible. For example, a $50 campaign on Facebook and Instagram over a 4-day period can likely generate 10 to 20 applications as well as provide critical analytics and reporting such as view and clicks, which are critical in assessing ROIs relative to recruitment budgets.

In a nutshell, the sheer breadth of candidates you need to reach and the volume at which you need to reach them makes social media recruiting a vital tool to leverage today’s world, especially given the current COVID-19 crisis.

Fluctuation of need, demand

The health care industry, specifically in the arena of direct patient care, moves quickly, and the needs and demands placed on an organization can vacillate pretty quickly from one month to the next. In addition—and while this may be something of an unspoken understanding amidst hiring managers—given the entry-level nature of many positions in the health care industry, turnover is a constant struggle directors of talent and HR recruiters must adapt to and create innovate solutions for as part of their daily workflows.

This is where social media is a fundamental value proposition in terms of the ability to scale up or scale down recruitment efforts with very little lead time or allocation of time and resources. As we discussed in our article on content creation, you want to set up your social media content calendar to ensure you’re consistently publishing new content to your pipeline of followers to keep them engaged and make sure you remain top of mind. But you also want to avoid becoming white noise in terms of your audience only thinking of you as a job board and not as a forward-thinking, progressive organization.

The ability to publish a piece of employer branding content on Monday, a post about upcoming renovations to your campus on Tuesday, and then react to an urgent hiring need for physical therapists on Wednesday is the kind of flexibility and agility social media offers HR recruiters or hiring managers in responding to sudden changes or fluctuations in the number or type of jobs that need to be filled in a short window of time.

Health care is a growth industry

According to a recent study published by Becker’s Hospital Review, the global health care industry is expected to grow at an annual compound rate of 49 percent during the next six years. What does that mean for hiring managers? It means the competition for top talent will become fiercer than ever before, and the need to consistently remain top of mind and engaged with the passive job seeker will transform the way recruiters think about engaging and communicating with candidates.

As a growth-oriented space, the health care industry will find that speed, in terms of the interviewing and overall candidate experience, is going to be prized in the months and years to come. Some healthcare organizations are implementing one key integration with their social media presence: the ability for candidates to complete short applications, submit resumes or even answer brief questionnaires about their qualifications or interest in any given position right from the organization’s profile.

Not only does this increase the speed at which a candidate can be moved through the vetting, interview, and offer stage of the application process, but it also makes it easier than ever for candidates to apply for positions and communicate with your organization in a medium where they feel comfortable and spend large amounts of time.

“I didn’t know that job existed in health care.”

At the beginning of this article, we mentioned the sheer breadth and depth of career opportunities within the health care world. Hiring managers and HR recruiters already know health care is more than doctors and nurses, but does the general public? For example, does the Finance or Accounting major in college realize the opportunity available in health care to gain valuable work experience and advance and develop their career as a finance professional in a burgeoning, ever-evolving industry? Probably not.

“I didn’t know that job existed in health care” is a phrase hiring managers and HR recruiters are constantly trying to dispense with in finding quality candidates to fill niche roles. Social media is a dynamic tool with unprecedented reach to educate your followers on just how a Certified Public Accountant might be a perfect fit on your Payroll team, or why a part-time instructor of criminal justice as your local community college could be a perfect addition to your security and safety team.

“I didn’t know that job existed in health care” is a phrase hiring managers and HR recruiters are continually trying to dispense with in finding quality candidates to fill niche roles. Social media is a dynamic tool with unprecedented reach to educate your followers on just how a Certified Public Accountant might be a perfect fit on your Payroll team, or why a part-time instructor of criminal justice as your local community college could be an ideal addition to your security and safety team.

Plus, attacking social media from the standpoint of education also positions you as a thought-leader within your industry and community and demonstrates your ability to think outside the box, understand the needs and desires of your followers both inside your community and out, and propel the narrative that your health care organization cares more about the people than the bottom line by putting employees in the best position to succeed both short and long-term.

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Nick hails from Northern Illinois where he writes, runs, home brews, and spends time with his wife, daughter, and pug.


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