Finding — and keeping — top talent is challenging in today’s competitive job market, and the healthcare industry is no exception. Strong marketing and social media campaigns that express your organization’s culture and mission can make recruiting and retaining talent a lot easier. As your brand becomes stronger and more recognizable, potential employees (and even customers) will begin to pursue your organization. By the time candidates submit an application they will already have a strong emotional bond with the company and understand your corporate values.

And while the healthcare industry may have once been considered a slow adopter to the world of social media marketing, it’s safe to say that these creative examples of employment branding initiatives are busy making up for lost time:

1.  Henry Ford Hospital

In 2009, the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan shocked the healthcare industry by live-tweeting a medical procedure on Twitter. As medical sites such as become more popular and patients and providers flock to the internet to give or receive advice, social media will play an increasingly important role in how we access healthcare. The Henry Ford Hospital received accolades from the press for their tweets and started a wave of similar videos and live-feeds throughout the healthcare industry. This marketing campaign harnessed the reach of a viral video to engage and interest potential talent and show them what a day in the life at Henry Ford looks like while simultaneously validating their staff’s capabilities. Talk about a dual benefit to recruiting and employee recognition!

2.   Doctors Without Borders

Doctors Without Borders lets their current employees serve as marketers and recruiters. Their homepage and blog offer “news and stories from the frontlines,” and frequently feature personal accounts of healthcare providers in the field. This tactic demonstrates ongoing, real world experiences that promote the brand mission with little effort (and a big ROI). This unique marketing campaign also allows applicants to project themselves into the work they would be doing and imagine what their story might look like or how they’d like to share it.

3.  Mayo Clinic

Recognized as the best hospital in the United States by U.S. News and World Report, it’s no surprise that the Mayo Clinic is also leading some of the most innovative marketing campaigns in healthcare. Lee Aase, social media manager at the Mayo Clinic, led a conference call for their representatives with the American Heart Association using social media. Participants could tweet questions or discussion points to the hashtag #AHAchat to engage in the call. When potential candidates search the organization’s online presence, these digital artifacts will illustrate the thought leadership and innovation that make the Mayo Clinic such an outstanding place to work.

4.  Go Ask Alice!

Colombia Health’s wellness forum, Go Ask Alice!, allows young audiences to pose healthcare questions in an accessible, judgment-free environment. The community forum and casual writing style speaks to Colombia Health’s own energy and culture. By attracting young audiences in this vibrant, open community, Colombia builds a loyal readership to draw talent. The blog’s topics range from issues of puberty through adulthood, keeping the audience engaged from a young age and into their adult careers. When these readers seek jobs in the healthcare industry, the stickiness of this blog will keep Colombia at the top of mind.

5.  Carilion Clinic

Four years ago, to raise awareness about breast cancer and the need for early detection, Carilion Clinic of Virginia’s Roanoke Valley started the “Yes, Mamm” campaign. Whether using the hashtag to answer common breast cancer questions in a Twitter chat or driving traffic to their website to encourage women to make an appointment at one of their screening locations, #YESMAMM is a perfect example of the power of hashtags to start a movement and raise awareness of Carilion Clinic as a healthcare organization that’s committed to women’s health. Who wouldn’t want to work there?

6.  Anne Arundel’s Medical Center

This contest, organized by Anne Arundel’s Medical Center, asked participants to post their best “stachie” — otherwise known as a selfie with either a real or fake mustache. The purpose was to raise awareness for men’s health during November (or, “Movember” or “No Shave November,” as it has popularly come to be known). This clever contest not only took advantage of a social media phenomenon, but it also drove traffic to the medical center’s webpage for Men’s Health, which has links to other valuable content including their blog, podcasts, calendar of events, and a link to their career center so applicants can easily find and apply for open positions.

7.  Floating Hospital for Children Tufts Medical Center

One of the main covenants of effective marketing is catering to your target audience — and does exactly that. The content and community of support that Our Circle of Moms offers for mothers whose children are patients at the Floating Hospital for Children lives up to their slogan: “Just what moms ordered.” By creating this space for mothers to find the support they need, the Floating Hospital for Children is positioning their medical center as a trusted resource for parents and building its brand for potential candidates.

8.  Arkansas Children’s Hospital

In order for a hashtag-driven marketing campaign to be successful, it has to be memorable and worth sharing. The shock factor of the #100DeadliestDays social media campaign from the Arkansas Children’s Hospital (in partnership with the Injury Prevention Center) aimed to raise awareness of the dangerous time period between Memorial Day and Labor Day when the risk of death for children and teens is increased. Arkansas Children’s Hospital shared safety facts and tips on their social media channels, including popular infographics, which can be seen here and raised awareness in their region as a provider — and potential employer — of choice.

These are just a few examples of how healthcare organizations have adopted social media marketing principles to increase brand awareness and drive potential candidates to their organizations. What’s your organization doing to increase awareness on social media? Are you leveraging other marketing tactics to drive potential candidates to your  career site and strengthen your employment brand? Has anyone on your recruiting team collaborated with the internal marketing organization to come up with new, creative ways to promote your organization as a great place to work?

Share your story with us by leaving a comment below, or email us to be included in a future blog post. We look forward to hearing your ideas and hope you will use this as an opportunity to share what’s worked (or even what hasn’t worked) for you and your organization.

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About The Editorial Staff

The Editorial Staff is a team of writers with a passion for helping healthcare organizations manage their biggest and most important investment: their employees.