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How to Leverage Social Media for Healthcare Recruitment

"Gone Viral" sign illustrates the power of social media and employer branding in healthcare recruitment
W.Scott McGill/123RF.com

With all the buzz about social and professional networking sites, healthcare providers wonder if there’s any value in leveraging them to recruit staff. Some statistics put almost 80% of Americans with some form of social media presence, whether personal or professional. Smart utilization of social media may be of limited success in direct recruitment, but it could play a key role in capturing interest and establishing your institution’s brand.

A survey conducted by QuantiaMD found 90% of physicians are on some form of social media for personal use. Of the over 4,000 respondents, 65% said they also look to these sites for professional reasons. The data also suggested use continues to increase. With that many physicians alone on social and professional media sites, healthcare institutions, large and small, should make their institution’s presence known.

24/7 Access and Promotion

While a passive job seeker in any healthcare discipline may not be looking at career pages and job boards, they’re likely looking at social and professional media pages. Your facility may be able to attract interest from someone not actively looking for a new role by the posts you present. From personal interest posts, research announcements, or ground-breaking new technology or buildings, attracting ‘followers’ to your pages and site are an effective employer branding tool. The more you can promote your facility, the more likely you will attract candidates who may not even be considering making a move.

Professional Networking Sites

The QuantiaMD survey showed the majority of physicians look to professional networking sites for updates and to stay connected with peers. These sites offer an opportunity to view the latest research and trends in their field. Some of these sites offer advertising opportunities as well. If you’re looking to fill highly specialized positions, look for sites your specialists frequent. They might be the right place to advertise or develop an online presence.

  • Proactive Candidate Outreach

Professional sites like LinkedIn offer options to search for members by their job title or other demographic information. You’ve likely been sent recommended jobs yourself if you’re a member. Healthcare providers can leverage these options to their advantage when searching for applicants who may not be actively seeking a new position.

Third-party job boards are another option that target specialized job seekers. When you post an open role on these sites, make sure to ask if they have the option to promote the vacancy on their social/professional media sites as well.

Tweeting for Candidates?

While few search Twitter to look for work, millions follow influencers on the platform. Has anyone in your institution built a reputation of knowledge or expertise in their field? An account in their/your institution’s name could draw interest. Followers could not only hear about what’s going on at the facility, you could also share links to view what openings are available and how to apply. Facebook and Instagram accounts offer the same option.

Remember whenever you post, ask for ‘Shares.’ The more your posts are shared, the more opportunities for the right candidate to see it.

  • #Remember

Don’t forget hashtags. These ‘#’ symbols precede a phrase or word on social media to make it easier for searchers to find relevant information. Don’t limit hashtags to the just the obvious –  #pediatricianneeded, expand further #pediatriciansuperstar, #pediatricianforxyzhospital. Hashtags allow searchers who don’t necessarily follow you to quickly access your online content.

You might consider generic hashtags to place on your social/professional sites: #XYZhealthcarejobs, #caringhealthproviders. These may bring viewers who can easily link to your job pages.

Create Content to Share – Routinely

If you don’t have someone assigned to manage social and professional media, you should. Post content consistently to market your employment brand. Yes, you’ll want to post major events – ground-breaking ceremonies, new tech, etc. But don’t neglect the stories that boast your commitment to staff, patients and the community.

Employee milestones on your profile show you value staff members – an enticing draw for job seekers. Uplifting patient stores shows your commitment to care, and community activities demonstrate your worth beyond your walls. Don’t neglect the fun things either. Photos of employees dressed up in Halloween garb messages that you’re serious but know how to have fun. Ask staff members to send ideas, pictures and recommendations. They’re likely a wealth of positive potential content.

The most important aspects of recruitment messaging for social and professional media are keeping them current and positive. Whatever you post (and you should post weekly at the very least), make sure the message says, ‘Don’t you want to work here?’  Whether it’s an applicant looking for a new role, or someone just scrolling sites, interest can mean applicants.

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About Riia O'Donnell

Riia O’Donnell has over 20 year’s hands-on experience in all aspects of the Human Resource function. Beginning as a recruiter, she grew to lead in all areas of HR, including employee training and development, legal compliance, benefits administration, compensation evaluation, and staff management. She has been a contributing writer for a wealth of HR, training, and small business websites for the past 7 years. Connect with Riia on Twitter at @RiiaOD.