3 Takeaways from the 2018 NAHCR IMAGE Conference

Senior Director of Marketing

The 44th National Association for Health Care Recruitment (NAHCR) IMAGE Conferencetook place in Scottsdale, Arizona this past week. Expanding upon the previous year’s conference learnings, successful healthcare recruiters will need to adopt marketing tactics, leverage new technologies, and understand their potential candidate audiences in order to thrive in an increasingly competitive landscape. It is only by truly understanding what healthcare candidates and employees want that healthcare recruiters can truly leverage technology to yield desirable results. 

As you review your healthcare organization’s recruitment strategies for the coming year, consider the following three takeaways from the 2018 NAHCR IMAGE Conference.

Curt Steinhorst’s Secrets to Thriving in the Age of Distraction

One of my favorite presentations from this year’s conference is Curt Steinhorst’s keynote session discussing the relationship between attention and distraction. Steinhorst is the bestselling author of the book, Can I Have Your Attention? Inspiring Better Work Habits, Focusing Your Team, and Getting Stuff Done in the Constantly Connected Workplace. “Attention is a matter of selection,” he explained during his speech. “We can only attend to so many things; and attention is given to what matters.”

The key to being more effective among the infinite distractions in today’s workplace is learning to make the most out of these selections. Steinhorst defines distraction as confusion about what matters. “Distraction is one of the most important mechanisms for survival of our entire species,” he says. “We are hard-wired for curiosity and we can’t turn it off. The human attention is perfectly designed to be curious explorers.”

One of the ways to enhance attention and focus in the workplace is through the use of space. “Physical space defines what you do,” according to Steinhorst. “The most important [space] is what we call a vault. We have to build a place and a time where you are completely unavailable to the world.” 

Being always accessible to everyone all the time can have a negative effect on workplace productivity and effectiveness. “Access is the enemy of ingenuity, creativity, strategy, and prioritization,” Steinhorst warns. While we live in a world where everyone has automatic access to us, we shouldn’t feel obligated to respond as soon as possible.

Engaging a Multi-Generational Workforce in Your Recruitment Marketing Strategy

In their session, presenters Gina Goodson-Allen, System Director, Nursing and Patient Care Services, and Sylvia Alston, Associate Chief Nursing Officer, shared how Duke University Health System has updated their recruitment marketing strategy to engage five different generations of candidates. The following is a brief recap of key differences among the five key generations in the healthcare workforce:

  • Baby Boomers (born 1945-1964):Making up half of the RN workforce, they are often hesitant to technology but are attracted to messages of collaboration, teamwork, and loyalty. 
  • Generation X (born 1965-1976):Arguably the best educated generation, they are self reliant and are attracted to messages about connectivity and family.
  • Xennials (born 1978-1984):A micro-generation of inbetweenness, they are attracted to messages that appeal to a sense of purpose.
  • Millennials (born 1977-1995):Considered the largest consumer, they are attracted to messages that appeal to a sense of purpose and have a limited attention span.
  • Generation Z (born after 1996): As a generation to never know the world before the Internet, this cohort are aware of safety and security issues and are determined to pursue meaningful careers. Global, diversity and inclusion are second nature to this generation.

When developing your healthcare organization’s recruitment marketing strategy, consider each generation’s characteristics and preferences in order to effectively engage them. For example, if you want to target Millennials and Generation Z, you should consider launching Instagram and Facebook pages focused on careers. “We challenge you to think a little bit different about how to engage and retain your own workforce,” Goodson-Allen and Alston stated during their presentation.

5 Tactics for Breaking the Recruiting Stress Loop

The concept of the customer experience has been around for over a decade, but it has become so interwoven into the fabric of society, that it is now part of the talent acquisition world. As the era of recruitment marketing surfaces, presenters Anthony Gentile, Managing Partner at Katon Direct, and Leslie Phillips, Senior Director, Enterprise Recruitment at Tenet Healthcare, discussed five marketing tactics recruiters can implement to improve the effectiveness of their recruitment programs.

  1. Candidate Experience:Thirty-three percent of candidates will share stories of bad experiences with a friend. “Sending the regret letter or making that phone call is one of the most important things you can do to protect your brand,” Phillips says. “The way you treat candidates is very, very important.”
  2. Content:Chances are your organization has plenty of content available that can be repurposed for your recruitment efforts. “The content is out there,” Gentile explains. “Healthcare marketers have realized they have to create content to communicate they are the brand leader. Why should marketing be the only one to use it?”
  3. Drip Marketing:This is a system you can leverage to manage candidates at different stages of the funnel. “This technology will allow you to effectively measure different tactics,” Gentile says. “The takeaway is that many applicant tracking systems may already have this and recruiters are not taking advantage of this feature.”
  4. Geo-Fencing:This is a relatively new tactic that allows organizations to serve targeted messages based on a very specific geographic location, such as around a competitor hospital, for example. “If you need night nurses, you can turn your geo-fencing on at night and target nurses that are working during the night,” Phillips explains. “Conferences are another great example of a use case.”
  5. Virtual:Chat technology has grown in recent years and is becoming a great option for recruitment departments. Chat has experienced 24 percent year-over-year growth and 62 percent of people expect a website to offer chat, according to recent data. “Chat is becoming important in our culture and in the talent acquisition world,” Gentile concludes. 

Based on a thorough understanding of their potential candidate audience as a foundation, healthcare recruitment professionals can implement recruitment marketing strategies powered by the latest technology to achieve desired outcomes and improve key performance metrics across the organization.

Did you attend this year’s NAHCR IMAGE Conference? What were your favorite takeaways? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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