Content marketing, SEO, email, and social recruiting will be the top channels for healthcare recruitment marketing in 2020.
What is Recruitment Marketing?
The idea of recruitment marketing is fairly new to the recruiting industry but applies the same fundamentals as conventional product marketing.
Similar to how conventional marketing seeks to build relationships with consumers and convert shoppers into buyers, recruitment marketing seeks to build relationships with job seekers (and more so top talent) and convert them into applicants and hires.
It applies facets of both marketing and recruitment to optimize your talent acquisition efforts.
In short, it’s about attracting and nurturing talent by marketing directly to them and getting them to apply to your jobs.
Building relationships with potential candidates no doubt helps improve your branding efforts, candidate experience, and candidate engagement as a whole, but it also helps to increase your talent pipeline, improve time-to-hire, and increase retention rates, thereby improving the ROI in your overall recruiting strategy.
This is increasingly essential in the healthcare landscape where the market for talent is already highly competitive with a growing shortage of nurses.
The top channels employed for talent marketing in healthcare are the same as those used in recruiting for other industries, and, as mentioned in the opening paragraph, consist of content marketing, email marketing, social recruiting, and search engine optimization, or SEO.
I’m not going into detail on these channels; I just want to mention them briefly and possibly explore them further in future posts.
How can content marketing be used to promote a healthcare brand?
Well, maybe you don’t know what content marketing is, much less how to start. In recruiting terms, it’s simply an ongoing stream of content used to attract and engage job seekers while building brand recognition and trust in your organization.
You can do this through blog posts, white papers, forums, newsletters, podcasts, research studies, helpful videos, how-to webcasts, social media posts, and informational website content…to name a few.
You don’t have to use all of the above ideas, but pick a couple that will fit your schedule and go for it. Use analytics to see which channels produce for you and which fall on their face; then adjust your strategy until you find the right path.
I suggest starting with your career site. It is your best recruitment marketing platform as it also hosts your jobs. Nine times out of ten, that’s where the majority of people interested in working for your organization are going to start their job search.
Now, remember: this takes time. It doesn’t happen overnight. And if you already have a candidate marketing strategy in the works, you’re ahead of the curve. Just hone in with analytics to figure out which avenues work best and put your focus there.
So, what kind of content do you create? Something that promotes your organization’s brand and shows that you are the employer of choice for anyone looking at your jobs.
Regardless of the channel you choose for your content, think of your audience. To whom are you trying to appeal? Job seekers, right?
I’m not talking about posting jobs on social media or something unimaginative like that. Besides, that has been proved to be ineffective. I’m talking about things like telling stories. How about a piece on someone in your org who has done tremendous work with patients or who has won an award for performance.
Anything that shows your org is interested in its staff. Post things that promote the org’s success. Introduce new nurses. Show an interest in the people who work for you. That sort of thing.
But again, focus on what you can handle consistently.
With email, your strategy is a little different from content marketing. For one, you’re targeting individuals for roles with your organization, so you aren’t going to spam them with irrelevant content like nurse stories. Unless that content is supplementary and comes at the end of your call to action.
Your primary focus is leading that individual to apply.
The hardest part of an email marketing campaign is getting someone to open your email. So you want to focus on creating a compelling subject line.
Your best bet is to use the person’s name in the subject with perhaps the opportunity available to them.
The content should be conversational and personal, not salesy.
And make it brief. Don’t send out the job description copy with all the requirements. Send a personal note with your well-researched info about the candidate and how your organization would benefit from that person being part of your team in relation to the position you want filled.
Part of creating interest in a recruiting email is WIIFM, or What’s-In-It-For-Me. The benefit to joining your organization should be clear. What do you offer that’s going to get someone to choose you over a competitor?
As an industry in a major nursing shortage, the answer to WIIFM is dire to your strategy. It could be more money. It could be better benefits. It could be working closer to home. Your research could point to that.
Once you’re happy with your message, offer a link to the job description where they can apply directly as your call-to-action. It’s a simple as that. Get them to the apply page in as few words as possible.
Of course, follow up with any questions and I think it’s ok to send a follow-up email of your own a few days later if you haven’t heard anything. Don’t be overbearing about it, but check in a couple times a week until the person applies or it’s clear the individual has no interest.
I’ll be honest. I’m not a fan of this approach, social recruiting. I haven’t seen any data that suggests social recruiting is very effective… but it’s popular, so what do I know? To me it’s like throwing a line in the water and waiting for a bite. You don’t really know what to expect.
To be honest, the only people pushing social recruiting are the companies who provide social media recruiting services. Remember how Tweet my Jobs was going to change the recruiting landscape? They’ve since changed their name…
And before you point to LinkedIn as your go-to social media recruiting marketplace, let me suggest that using LinkedIn for your talent acquisition marketing is more akin to email marketing. Because you’re likely targeting individuals through personalized messages.
Social media is great for posting content though. And someone at your organization should be pumping your brand daily on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and elsewhere.
As for recruiting, I just haven’t seen any real numbers to suggest it’s worthwhile. It’s nominal at best.
Search Engine Optimization (or SEO)
You probably have no idea what SEO has to do with recruiting. But here it is. People use search engines to find jobs. You have a job search page where all of your jobs can be found. It’s likely a dumpster fire of an ATS default with nothing in regards to branding, important content about your organization, or anything remote to a tie-in to your main site, but your jobs are there.
Your jobs probably aren’t in the search engines, however.
I won’t go into why your ATS sucks as a recruiting platform or why it is ineffective in inbound recruitment marketing. In short, typically, and especially with legacy ATS job searches, there is no branding (save a small topside logo) or SEO capability for your organization with these systems.
Instead, let’s talk about how to transform that job search page into something the search engines love.
It will likely require an overlay for your ATS. Something that integrates seamlessly with your ATS and allows your job descriptions to be optimized for search…hint hint.
Yes, SEO focuses on your career page and job search. And if you don’t have a career page, and many of you in the healthcare world don’t, we have a beautiful recruiting marketing platform already SEO’d and perfect for your organization.
For most people, Google for Jobs has become the ideal way to get jobs found in search engines. Either connecting your ATS to the Google API, paying someone with the API to host your jobs, or paying Google directly to host your jobs.
But for people who don’t have the resources for this expense (Google for Jobs is included with RightJobNow), there are ways to optimize your career site and job descriptions to rank well in search without it.
Some of it will require your IT department to implement the behind-the-scenes SEO, like adding in header tags, metadata, and schema info; but there are some things you can do yourself with the words on the page.
Namely, add relevant keywords. What is that? Well, those are words that relate to your job posting title or page content, either using that keyword in a sentence or using similar words that are semantically related.
Google trends is a good place to look for keywords.
This is an SEO basic. There is a lot of information concerning SEO and it’s impossible for me to address it all here in a few paragraphs, but you get the gist with what I’ve put here so far. And this article has some decent basic info to follow up.
Otherwise, we’d be happy to help you with all of your SEO efforts.
As these 1700+ words imply, there is a lot involved with recruitment marketing. That’s why I suggest picking a couple channels at a time for your focus and see what is working via your analytics.
As a healthcare recruiter in particular, engaging individuals and creating a relationship with them is imperative to your success. It’s a tough market for healthcare. There’s a nursing shortage. The competition is only going to tighten and landing talent is going to become increasingly more challenging.
The channels I mentioned are a way to get your foot in the door and get an edge over others. Your individual edge will rely on your efforts, but recruiting is becoming way more personal and recruitment marketing is your way to build quality relationships with the talent you want in your organization.