Healthcare HR’s Role in Building Employer Brand

Marketing Specialist

Attracting quality talent, increasing retention, and reducing cost-per-hire are just some of the reasons why developing a successful employer brand is crucial to an organization’s long-term success. In fact, recent reports reveal that companies who prioritize employer branding typically see a 50 percent increase in qualified candidates; a 28 percent decrease in turnover; and a 43 percent decrease in cost-per-hire. 

“Employer branding is telling your company story to attract people that will excel in your work environment and repel people that will not,” says Audra Knight, Recruitment Operations Manager at Tenable. “There are many ways job seekers will research what it’s like to work at your company[,] and branding lets your company and employees be an important part of that conversation.” Regardless of the industry you’re hiring in, employer branding must be a key component to your talent acquisition strategy because three out of four job seekers consider an employer’s brand before even applying for the job. 

In healthcare, there’s never really a convenient time to sit down and re-evaluate your recruitment strategy—you just have to do it, like pulling off a band-aid. If you want to establish a brand that resonates with your ideal candidate, here are a few things to consider.

Create Employees Who Are Brand Ambassadors

Engaged employees are more likely to refer friends to their organization than those who are not. This is important to consider as 71 percent of candidates say that they use referrals from current employees of an organization to learn about existing job opportunities, according to a recent Gallup report

When you’ve successfully developed a winning culture, everything else just falls into place. Employees can speak genuinely and convincingly about your organization and describe why it’s a great place to work, which naturally attracts people who are seeking a positive workplace to expand his or her career, state researcher Nate Dvorak and writer Ryan Pendell at Gallup, in the report.

Foster a Culture of Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) or social impact is one of the top concerns for millennials, the largest generation in today’s U.S. labor force, when searching for a job. According to a Deloitte study, 70 percent of millennials listed a company’s commitment to their community as a major influencer when making a career move. “I can understand why they would think that,” says Entrepreneur contributor Jeffrey Hayzlett. “The millennial generation has lived through a lot of disasters – political, natural and corporate – and feel a sense of empowerment to make the world a better place.” 

Here are four ways you can practice CSR, according to Sammi Caramela, a B2B staff writer.

  1. Environmental efforts: Businesses of any size have a large carbon footprint. Any steps toward reducing those footprints are considered good for both the company and society.
  2. Philanthropy: Organizations can donate money, products or services to social causes such as charities or local community programs.
  3. Ethical labor practices: Companies can treat their employees fairly and ethically. This is especially true for businesses that operate internationally with labor laws different from those in the U.S.
  4. Volunteerism: Actions speak louder than words. By doing good deeds without expecting anything in return, companies can express their concern for specific issues and support for certain organizations. 

Adopting socially responsible initiatives is a win for all. Not only will your organization appeal to socially conscious employees, but you will also make a real impact in your community and the world.

Convey Your Culture Through Storytelling

Presenting your culture through storytelling is 20 percent more effective than recruiting through your standard career site alone. Many candidates are mistrustful of the information provided directly from the organization and its leaders. The old adages “our team is like family” or “the best thing about working here is the people” no longer stand out and resonate with today’s candidates because it’s all been seen and said before. 

Experts suggest your story should contain the following five elements:

  1. Narrative: Must have a clear arc to your story.
  2. Authenticity: Incorporate real, lived experience from employees.
  3. Detail: Avoid vague dialogue.
  4. Meaningful Challenges: Demonstrate how obstacles have been overcome in the role and show candidates how they can grow.
  5. Practical Tips: Include achievable steps or advice for the candidate to take.

For example, instead of saying, “the best thing about working here are the people,” have employees describe how they’ve collaborated as teams to save an ailing patient or how they’ve helped each other during rough times—because in reality, not every day is going to be smooth sailing. “By telling more detailed, meaningful stories that come straight from your employees, your employer brand is built in an authentic way that persuades the right candidates to take action and apply for a role,” says recruitment expert Alon Laniado, co-founder of PathMotion.

An overwhelming majority of candidates (94%) say they are likely to apply for a position at a company that actively manages its employer brand. What are you doing to ensure your company’s brand is attracting and retaining the best talent? Please share in the comments section below.

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