6 Ways Marketers Can Tackle the Healthcare Talent Crisis

Healthcare workers were in high demand before the pandemic. But as nurses, allied health workers and hospital workers exit the field due to a variety of COVID-related stresses, healthcare organizations are more pressed than ever to focus on recruitment and retention of talent. While financial incentives, healthcare benefits and paid time off tend to be the bargaining chips talked about in talent discussions, marketing can also play a meaningful role in closing the talent gap.

How Marketing Can Help Attract New Healthcare Talent


1. Sell your company culture on social media.

Marketers often think of social media as a tool for engaging with consumers, but prospective employees are another important audience you must consider. Channels like LinkedIn, Instagram and TikTok are some of the most authentic views of what it’s like to work for your company that prospects can get. The great thing about these channels is that you can control the narrative, unlike websites like Glassdoor, where one disgruntled employee’s review can drag down your image. Marketers can help craft stories for these platforms that highlight employees, showcase team-building events or even give virtual tours of the facility.


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A post shared by Kaiser Permanente (@kpsanbernardino)

2. Streamline job applications.

Most marketers are very familiar with form fatigue—the concept that the longer the form, the fewer people will complete it. The same is true of applications. Marketers can lend their expertise to recruiters and help streamline application forms to gather only pertinent information and reduce redundancies.

3. Optimize your career pages for search.

Today’s applicants are likely to start their job search online, and the best way to ensure they consider you is to be discoverable. According to PeopleScout, each open position should have a dedicated webpage, complete with the following information:

  • Employment type (full-time, part-time, temp-to-hire)
  • Salary or hourly pay rate
  • Minimum education requirements
  • Minimum experience requirements
  • “Valid through” date
  • Work hours and schedule type
  • Industry sector: i.e., biomedical, hospital food service, laboratory work, etc.
  • Required skills such as “ability to lift more than 20 pounds” and “MS office proficiency”
  • Qualifications, certifications, and experience
  • Responsibilities and job duties that are clearly defined

Marketers can help their HR counterparts ensure that job listings are complete and use SEO-friendly terminology.

How Marketing Can Help Retain Healthcare Talent


4. Communicate policies and plans clearly and consistently.

Uncertainty has been the theme of the pandemic, and it’s one of the primary stressors weighing on healthcare staff. According to research by Gallup, less than half of healthcare workers strongly agree that their employer has communicated a clear COVID-19 plan, and only one-third say they feel that their employer’s policies will keep them safe.

Marketers can work with leadership to outline and polish communications that are clear and respond to worker concerns. Marketers can also coordinate distribution of messaging to ensure it is delivered consistently across the organization.

Vibhas Ratanjee, a senior practice expert with Gallup, wrote in the American Journal of Managed Care, “Leaders must reiterate their commitment to workers’ safety and clarify how their strategies support that priority.”

5. Recognize employees’ hard work and challenges.

Recognition is essential for good employee morale across industries, but even more so in healthcare, where frontline workers report feeling burned out and underappreciated—even by the patients they serve. Marketers have unique access to a variety of media, from emails and newsletters to flyers and posters, to recognize and celebrate workers. Marketers can work with team leaders to identify employees for their unique strengths. They can use national observances, such as Nurses Week, to celebrate whole teams and engage the community.

self-care instagram story for healthcare workers6. Promote resources for well-being.

Although marketers may not be able to select health benefits or finance paid time off, they can raise awareness of free self-care habits and mental health resources. Whether it be a guide to getting started with meditation or a list of free community classes, make self-care as easy to find and access as possible.

Click the image to the left to see how Virginia-based Augusta Health used Instagram stories to offer stress-relief tips.

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