hospital recruitment

Hospital Marketing: Recruiting is Part of the Brand

Your hospital’s recruitment efforts should be an extension of the hospital’s brand.  It reflects the brand and should be consistent with the brand message and personality.

HR handles recruitment efforts.  The marketing department handles external and internal branding.  And far too often the two are totally disconnected.  In many, if not most hospitals, the recruitment efforts and marketing efforts are managed in separate silos with little or no interaction.   Marketing works hard to establish a strong brand and invests lots of money building brand equity.  HR invests lots of money developing collateral materials and advertising trying to attract needed talent.  And in most cases, looking at the two efforts, it appears as if they are coming from two totally different organizations.

Recruitment advertising for healthcare organizations generally looks and feels the same. There’s not a lot different from one hospital to another.  In times when there are an abundance of qualified people looking for healthcare jobs, that was fine.  It was easy to attract numerous applicants for the jobs available.  But that’s not currently the case.  For many healthcare job categories there are shortages.  And there is extreme competition between healthcare organizations for a limited number of qualified personnel.

Thus, recruitment efforts should stand out, be noticeable and communicate a bigger message than just job openings signing bonuses.  The recruitment efforts should reflect the hospital’s brand.  These efforts should be consistent with the marketing efforts to create and strengthen its brand.  Recruitment advertising should mirror the brand message, tone and manner.  A synergy should be created between marketing and HR.

The consistency of the two will certainly enhance the hospital’s brand.  It will reinforce the brand and drill the brand effort deeper.  It will also allow the hospital’s recruitment efforts to stand out, reflect a personality and differentiate itself from the competition.   And it will also set the tone for new employees because communication with them will be establishing the brand essence and personality even prior to employment.

The days of marketing doing their own thing building the brand and HR doing their thing entirely unaffected and separate should come to an end.  The two should work together, consistently building an even stronger brand and thereby enhancing the efforts of both functions.  It’s important to communicate the brand essence to all audiences and constituencies including those being recruited for future employment.


Healthcare Marketing: Social Media for Hospital Recruitment

Social media is proving to be very effective in recruiting efforts.  And it can also double as a great brand building strategy for a hard to reach audience.     

Human Resource professionals are finding that posting jobs on Twitter can be very effective in recruiting new employees.  But it is also a way to advertise and market brands to 18-34 year olds, the mainstay of the social networking site.

Alejandra Cancino in a recent article in the Los Angeles Times discussed how Sears and K-Mart are using recruiting efforts on Twitter to also communicate a strong brand message to a sometimes skeptical and difficult to reach audience. “It allows for multiple ways to communicate a positive message and achieve multiple goals within an organization from marketing to human resources,” stated Mike Dwyer, a social media strategist for Aon Consulting.

Cancino quoted Lance Brolin, a Sears human relations executive, when he stated the company wants to see what social media can offer in employment, advertising and in ensuring their messages are getting to the right candidates.

The strategy has a least two objectives.  Recruit quality employees and communicate a strong brand message. Twitter has proven to be effective with the first objective and now companies are realizing they can accomplish the second objective among a younger, hard to reach audience.

Healthcare HR and marketing professionals can work together to create a very effective synergy in achieving goals for both departments.  And together build a stronger brand.


Healthcare Branding: Branding is Important for Recruitment Too

CB022478In a market where the competition for employees is only increasing, a hospital’s brand is extremely important.

There is keen competition for healthcare workers. Ample, qualified, dedicated employees are not easy to find. In many markets, recruiting hospital staff and professionals is ever increasingly difficult. The down-economy and anticipated healthcare reform will not ease the burden. And the brand reflected in your recruitment efforts is becoming more and more important.

Here are some interesting facts:

  1. The President’s Council of Economic Advisors recently released a study that stated there would be 3.5 million new jobs created in the healthcare industry by 2016.
  2.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 20,800 new jobs in healthcare in June of this year and over 125,000 new jobs in the first half of the year.
  3. As the population ages and babyboomers get older, there will be greater demand for healthcare workers.

So the days of simply running help-wanted ads and hiring a recruiter have passed. The competition for workers demands that a strong and effective brand image be created and projected to potential employees.

Job applicants will have more choices where to work and how a hospital projects itself to these applicants is becoming more and more important. More creative and strategic thinking will be required to be successful.

With young job applicants, pay is important but it is not the most important issue. The new generation of applicants is seeking a certain quality of life.  They want to work at a place that shares their values, and they want to be proud of where they work and what they do.

Obviously, the typical help wanted ad does not communicate to any of the felt needs of the applicants. So the hospital brand and personality must be communicated in recruitment efforts.

The applicant is not simply wanting a job, but a place to belong, a place to receive satisfaction and meaning, a place that connects with the consumer, a place that values employees and a place that offers professional and personal growth.

In this competitive market hospitals must project a brand that is appealing and speaks to the needs of those seeking employment.  Hospitals must be successful creating a brand that resonates to potential employees. A brand that will attract the most qualified, most caring talent.  Otherwise the brand we project in the marketplace to consumers will be greatly compromised.