Healthcare Recruitment Marketing Best Practices
If you attended this year’s National Association for Health Care Recruitment (NAHCR) IMAGE Conference, you probably noticed the leading healthcare recruitment organizations are borrowing tactics and strategies from the marketing profession. As the consumer and candidate environment continues to blend, having a marketing-driven approach to healthcare recruitment can go a long way in achieving your organization’s talent acquisition goals. Whether your organization has adopted recruitment marketing or is on the fence about implementing such a strategy, the following are three key areas to consider that have the potential to drive positive results.
Reduce Friction and Streamline the Application Process
One of the ways in which healthcare HR can improve the candidate experience is by reducing friction in the application process. As a marketer, I know that having a lengthy form can reduce the number of conversions. In recruiting, specifically, a conversion means how many candidates complete a job application from your careers site. And if your online application is long and cumbersome, your organization could be missing out on a considerable amount of candidates.
“If you don’t have them in your system within 20 minutes of them finding the position, you may never see them again,” Maggie Davis, Talent Acquisition Manager at Children’s Hospital & Medical Center Omaha, shared during a NAHCR conference presentation. “We had to really figure out how to simplify the application process and how to enhance the candidate experience so that we can engage with them.”
In-Source Recruitment Marketing
The cost of hiring permanent nurse staff is trending upward, according to research by professional services firm KPMG. In response to the scarcity of healthcare professionals, hospitals and employers have increased spending on travel agencies. Recruitment marketing, however, can help healthcare organizations control costs.
“Create your own in-house sourcing department to work on those hard-to-fill positions,” Steven Mostyn, Sourcing Manager at Adventist Health, recommended at the 2017 NAHCR IMAGE Conference. Healthcare organizations who in-source recruitment marketing can expect a decrease in statistics as well as a lower time-to-fill (TTF) over time, according to Mostyn.
Recruitment marketing is one of the fastest growing aspects of healthcare recruitment. While this department can implement social media campaigns, it is different from traditional consumer marketing. “They really are focusing on branding and creating a space that will attract people to your organization,” Mostyn says. “This profession is growing exponentially.”
Learn How to Align Recruitment to the Candidate Funnel
Perhaps the key marketing concept for healthcare recruitment professionals to leverage is the traditional marketing funnel. Marketing analytics software firm TrackMaven breaks down the marketing funnel into six stages:
- Awareness: Potential customers (or candidates) are drawn into this stage through marketing campaigns and consumer research and discovery.
- Interest: Once leads are generated, they move on to the interest stage, where they learn more about the company, its products (or jobs), and any helpful information and research it provides.
- Consideration: In the consideration stage, leads have changed to marketing qualified leads and are seen as prospective customers (or job applicants).
- Intent: To get to the intent stage, prospects (or candidates) must demonstrate that they are interested in buying a brand’s product (or apply for a job).
- Evaluation: In the evaluation stage, buyers (or candidates) are making a final decision about whether or not to buy a brand’s product or services (or apply to a job).
- Purchase: This is the last stage in the marketing funnel, where a prospect has made the decision to buy and turns into a customer (or a candidate turns into a hire).
Other marketing funnels are simpler and have only five stages. The key takeaway is that employers and healthcare HR should think about the candidate journey as a multi-stage process, and not one that begins with the job application. “Audit your conversion points,” Anthony Gentile, Managing Partner at Katon Direct, recommended during his NAHCR presentation. Specifically, Gentile suggests considering adding job alerts, establishing a talent community, and creating softer entry points for high value candidates. In other words, think of appropriate tactics for the different stages of the candidate funnel.
The healthcare industry is constantly evolving, but employers are challenged with an ongoing talent shortage. By borrowing from marketing strategies and building a recruitment marketing function at your organization, however, you can take your talent acquisition performance to the next level.