Industry debate regarding the best way to recruit for healthcare positions in today’s competitive and pandemic-affected market is at an all-time high. Healthcare recruiters of younger generations support social media strategies, citing how this approach saves time, increases reach, and multiplies efficiency, while more traditionalist recruiters swear by more enduring methods like phone calls, job postings, and networking. While Corazon believes both are valuable to a healthcare recruitment effort, exploring the benefits of both and focusing on the best approach for each individual client is best.
There are many benefits to social recruiting that are missing from traditional forms of networking/ position marketing. Social recruiting can give a recruiter access to qualified individuals from across the country, a much larger pool than a local market or network may produce without the added cost of purchasing contact lists. According to the American Hospital Association’s “A Hospital Leadership Guide: Digital and Social Media Engagement,” 9 out of 10 adults in the US are online and roughly three-quarters of them are active on social media.
At Corazon, our recruitment team has expanded our network by over 4,000 connections on LinkedIn, adding over 700 in the last year and a half, simply by spending ten minutes each day asking industry professionals from across the country if they would like to join the network of one of our team members. Although it seems as though the healthcare industry was one of the last to jump on the social media bandwagon, there has been an increase in the number of health systems and facilities that are devoting marketing efforts to an online presence in recent years. Healthcare professionals are following the industry and, as new fellows and administrators enter the market every year, that number of healthcare professionals with an online presence will only continue to increase.
Networking via social media sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and even Facebook allow the recruitment team to engage physicians and administrators in more meaningful communication than just reviewing their CV and cover letter. This allows the team to learn about the individual’s demeanor, communication skills, and professionalism. Another important benefit to social recruitment is timing. Contacting an individual via InMail on LinkedIn allows for a more direct pathway to the candidate without the message getting lost among the many other emails the candidate receives daily or diverted into a spam folder.
Social recruiting also allows for direct communication with a candidate, even if their email address or phone number isn’t publicly listed. With privacy concerns continually on the rise since the birth of the internet, contact information is not as easily accessible as it once was. Social recruiting allows you to make contact with many individuals with whom you may have no other means of communication. This can expedite the communication process, allowing the recruiter to present the candidate to the hiring team without the delays often found to happen with more traditional methods.
InMail or direct messaging candidates also helps accommodate candidate availability. Leaving a message on a social media platform allows the individual to access the message and respond when their schedule permits. This is often a faster method of communication when working with physicians who are unavailable during clinical hours or are located across multiple time zones.
One thing to keep in mind if social recruiting is new to an organization, is that a strong social media presence is a requirement to have a successful social recruiting campaign. The hospital or practice needs to have an engaging social media presence to create a “name” for themselves among other companies competing for a candidate’s attention in the market. Creating a good foundation of social media presence puts the company, and in-turn the recruiter, in the position to share current opportunities with the entire media network.
A recruiter should also refrain from overlooking the benefits of traditional sourcing methods. While it may be considered an old school approach by some, picking up the phone and calling a candidate gives an in-depth understanding of the candidate and what they are seeking. It also helps establish a stronger rapport, which is important in building a foundation for good communication and upfront honesty throughout the recruitment process.
While the benefits of Social Recruiting are numerous and enhance efficiencies, a solid recruiter should go into every engagement with a well-rounded approach, ensuring a balance of social recruitment with more traditional methods. Social recruitment as a form of contact can expedite the process, but it is not an adequate substitution for human interaction.
Furthermore, it’s how you take it from there that makes the difference! Diverse experience with the full cycle process will bring success, and make the placement happen. Efforts to source candidates through social media is just the beginning – the full recruitment and hiring process can be long and challenging, but with the right elements, that empty seat can be filled in no time!