Why Stories Work in Healthcare Recruitment & How to Use Them
Great stories happen every day at your hospital. Why not use them for recruitment? Savvy job seekers will recognize and appreciate the difference between authentic stories from current employees and routine campaign messaging. These tales allow potential employees to see themselves as part of your organization and envision their own future stories. In this post, we’ll share ideas for leveraging your organization’s stories for healthcare recruiting.
Challenges of Healthcare Recruitment
The median overall vacancy rate for staff and bedside nurses was historically high at 10.1% in 2021, almost double the rate in 2020. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates 500,000 nurses will leave the workforce in 2022, bringing the overall shortage to 1.1 million.
Reasons for the shortages are many:
- Increased patient acuity
- Rising salary expenses (for staff and contract workers) with lower hospital revenue to offset them
- A lack of clinical training programs
Creative Healthcare Recruitment Marketing Ideas
To attract great talent, a regular job description and traditional job advertising won’t cut it. After a once-in-a-generation health crisis, healthcare workers are demanding more of their employers and want to know that any job they accept is compensated fairly, well staffed, responsibly managed and supportive of employees. You can claim all of this in a job description, but candidates want you to prove it. Stories give them the evidence they’re looking for.
Testimonials show how your current employees connect with your organization’s purpose, which resonates with job seekers looking for fulfilling work experiences. Job seekers will be leery of a testimonial they can’t verify. Record your testimonials, so your audience can see the person behind the sentiment.
Staff your booth with employee ambassadors who will evangelize for your organization and be able to answer questions about what it’s like to work there. Don’t just bring HR staff. Bring team members from departments that are hiring.
Host ask-me-anything sessions with leadership and employee ambassadors who can help candidates see what it’s like to work for your organization and share positive experiences. You can use live-streaming tools, like Facebook and Instagram, to broadcast these, or host a webinar for prospects.
Personnel profiles and Q&As are a great way to spotlight employees who represent your target candidates. Choose staff from a variety of backgrounds to match various personas, such as working parents, recent grads and aspiring leaders. Share these stories in your consumer-facing communications and on the career page of your website.
Give your audience an insider’s view of your facilities and a day in the life of your employees. This will help humanize your organization and afford you an opportunity to show off any new technology, improvements or updates. Share these videos on social media and on the career page of your website.
And themes can vary to address the many factors candidates consider when choosing an employer:
- Identity (What drew an employee to a healthcare career?)
- Growth (How has an employee progressed in their role?)
- Purpose (What motivates employees to continue being caregivers?)
- Support (How does this organization fulfill their career needs?)
Check out our post 4 Compelling and Cost-Effective Video Marketing Ideas for even more video inspiration.
As you plan content, always look for opportunities to repurpose stories, and prioritize stories that have greater potential for reuse. For example, if you are interviewing someone for a long-form piece, record the interview on video, and break it into pieces for short social content.
How to Use Social Media for Healthcare Recruitment
Your prospective candidates will be researching your organization on social media to understand your culture and values. Key to amplifying these stories is beginning with a channel strategy. Consider which channels have worked best for recruitment, and include those in your plan, but also evaluate new channels that you have not yet experimented with. Consider frequency based on best practices for each channel as well.
See how healthcare recruiters are using these popular channels to tell stories in creative ways:
Consider a dedicated Twitter handle for your recruiting function. This way, your recruitment messaging won’t get lost in the news cycle or critical messaging priorities that can arise at a moment’s notice on your company’s main account. Use hashtags, such as #NurseLife, to align relevant posts with conversations your prospects are already having on the platform.
Use the “Life” feature of your company’s LinkedIn page to give candidates a taste of your company culture. Share rich media and testimonials from employees. By linking testimonials to LinkedIn users, you add authenticity to them. Candidates can see that real employees stand behind the words. You can include photos of your facilities; highlight diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives; and connect candidates to mentors and leaders within your organization.
Use story highlights to pin recruitment content to the top of your page. You can create multiple highlight categories based on job roles or functions, or create categories that highlight different aspects of your culture, such as:
- Employee volunteerism
- Employee shoutouts/recognition
- Day-in-the-life employee takeover
- Virtual tours
- Research breakthroughs
Check out our library of social media tips and best practices for even more ideas.
Make Your Healthcare Recruitment Stand Out With Stories
In a competitive labor market, you need to stand out to prospective healthcare talent. Stories make your brand memorable, relatable and human in a way that job seekers want to connect with.