It’s always easier to write about something that you’re actually interested in — something that you enjoy. I’ve come to the conclusion that if you try hard enough, you can uncover talent management lessons in the most unexpected places… like through the birth of the royal baby. In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past month or so, allow me to explain. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (a.k.a Prince William and Kate Middleton) gave birth to their second child last month, a baby girl, Her Royal Highness Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana of Cambridge.
People adore and admire William and Kate, because despite their wealth and social status, they’re still relatable and they make an effort to find common ground with the general public. If you’re going to recruit and retain talented people for your hospital or healthcare organization, you need to form the same kind of connection with applicants and employees. But how do you do that? Well, the birth of Princess Charlotte offers four lessons for healthcare talent acquisition professionals who feel their hiring processes are in need of a breath of fresh “heir”:
1. Think Socially
In a dramatic shift to the way previous royal pictures have been distributed to the public, first pictures of Prince George and Princess Charlotte together were released through Kensington Palace’s official Instagram and Twitter accounts, along with a series of casual — yet strategically crafted — messages. The photos, also published on the British monarchy’s official Facebook page, have been retweeted more than 40,000 times on Twitter and have been shared over 100,000 times on Facebook — proving how important it is to think socially.
For many people, checking up on their Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn feed over a hot cup of coffee is the new morning routine. So, take advantage of this cultural shift and advertise the jobs you need to fill where you know they’ll be seen on social media. But remember, just because recruiting via social media is cheap and simple doesn’t mean it’s foolproof. Social media is an invaluable tool for connecting with prospective healthcare hires, but it must be used the right way. If you’re not communicating the right message, at the right time, to the right person, and you’re just “spamming” information out to the masses, you’re not going to see the results you want.
In the case of the royal baby, the social media buzz provided pertinent information that people wanted to know instead of just reporting that the baby had been born. Details matter, and they provide value to the people you’re trying to reach. When you provide that value, you’ll be able to “cut through the clutter,” as people are more likely to be interested in what you have to say.
We’re delighted to share the first photo of Prince George with his little sister Princess Charlotte pic.twitter.com/lJbWwsqFva
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) June 6, 2015
Again, the use of the hashtag is a key element here. By using #WelcometotheWorld, the day became a celebration for all of those born on May 2, 2015 — not just the royal ones. The buzz around the royal baby, Princess Charlotte, was seriously impressive. And not just because it was so thoroughly covered by the media, but because of the way it was covered. It was social, happy and very, very human.
2. Be Human
It was clear from the very first moment the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge stepped through the hospital doors in front of a gaggle of paparazzi, that these were no typical royals. William’s sleeves were rolled up with his wife beside him, proudly carrying their bundle of joy, before driving them home himself, likely mirroring the experience of many other young fathers, even if the media frenzy does not. When it comes down to it, time and time again, Kate and Will demonstrate how they’re “just like everyone else.” Doing anything less would be an excellent way to alienate all of those who adore them.
There’s nothing like making people feel “less than” to turn them against you. But royals aren’t the only ones who need to keep this in mind. Healthcare HR professionals need to be careful about being condescending, too. Being human and coming across as relatable isn’t difficult, but it’s one of those things that could be easily overlooked when working in a fast-paced environment. Don’t make that mistake. Be kind, be understanding, be relatable, and be human — no matter what.
3. Offer Equitable Compensation
In 2013, Britain’s parliament passed the Succession to the Crown Act, giving equal rights to women in the royal family. Essentially, the act stated that a younger son would not be allowed to supersede an older daughter’s claim to the throne because of his gender, as had previously been the case. That was a serious step forward for equality that could someday affect the new princess. It’s also a great lesson on fair pay and compensation, both of which your healthcare organization should be offering when you’re recruiting new employees. As an HR professional in healthcare, you are in a position to address disparities and offer the sort of fair pay and compensation packages that attracts and retains top healthcare talent. Paying your employees equitably shows that you value them, but offering different compensation based on gender shows a lack of respect, a lack of progression, and it will make your employees feel undervalued. By consciously working to pay your employees fairly regardless of gender, you can do your part to make your healthcare organization the epitome of equality in the workplace. So, offer equitable wages — because no one wants to work for a company that disrespects and undervalues their contributions.
4. Welcome Fresh Perspectives
Even though Queen Elizabeth II is ruler of the United Kingdom, the buzz around the royal family is always going to be about what’s new — showing that the country is moving forward. And right now, that’s baby Charlotte. Looking to the future is essential, and your organization’s culture and processes could become stale without the fresh perspectives brought by new hires as the workforce experience voluntary and involuntary turnover. New employees shake things up, facilitate change, create excitement and offer fresh perspectives that you just won’t see unless you bring different people into the mix from time to time. Don’t fear new and different perspectives, because with them comes progress. So, embrace all the possibilities for positive change that comes with welcoming new hires.
Obviously, the birth of a princess and developing a fine-tuned game plan for recruiting new healthcare employees are two very different things. But both tasks can be achieved successfully and happily by applying the above four practices to your organization’s talent acquisition process. Don’t forget the importance of using social media as the amazing recruitment tool that it is, follow Will and Kate’s lead and always be as human as possible, make equality in the workplace the priority that it should be, and embrace the fresh perspectives that new hires can and will provide to your healthcare organization’s culture.
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