Social Recruiting: An Opportunity for Healthcare HR

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Editorial Note: This is a guest blog post written by Mira Greenland, the Vice President of Sales for CareerArc’s social recruiting division. This post is part one of a series of three blog posts where Mira will offer her unique perspective on how to develop and execute a social recruitment strategy with industry-specific tips for healthcare talent management professionals.

In high school, I babysat for a woman who worked as Director of Telecommunications at a mid-sized software company. Telecommunications technology advanced but she didn’t keep up and eventually she was laid off. She was no longer relevant. The industry had passed her by. There’s a lesson here for people in recruiting and talent acquisition: social recruiting is changing our world. You need to keep up or you will fall behind — and risk the consequences. (That’s the bad news.)

Here’s some good news: social recruiting is creating a way recruiters and talent acquisition decision makers can extend their influence beyond HR. If you understand social recruiting and what it means, you can do more than keep from falling behind; you can use it to advance your career.

The healthcare industry was slower to move to social media marketing than some other industries, but a few years ago, marketing professionals in that particular industry began to realize that it was critical they get in the game. Social media had become mainstream and patients were judging healthcare organizations without a social media presence as behind the times.

With the increased use of social media by healthcare organizations, healthcare professionals followed. Today, the use of social media by healthcare professionals is at an all-time high, and the adoption grows each day. With healthcare professionals on social media, recruiters have followed, and this has created a new generation of recruiting specialists: “Social Recruiters.” Many argue they have become the ultimate HR-Marketer hybrid.

If you’re not involved in social recruiting yet, stop what you’re doing right now (no wait, don’t stop reading this!), and consider the following stats: Considering the following stats:

  • 28 percent of an individual’s online activity is spent on social networking sites. (Yep, that’s 15+ minutes of every hour spent online!)
  • 43 percent of healthcare professionals find social media outreach from their peers at the company hiring as an effective way to learn about new job opportunities. (Are you advertising your open positions Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn? You should be.)
  • 64 percent of healthcare professionals are planning to look for a job in the next year. (Are you supporting your employment brand through social media to reach passive candidates?)

Look at what you’re missing! It’s time to reprioritize. To be effective as a social recruiter you have to develop your strategy. Once you have your strategy blueprinted, it’s time to cozy up to Marketing. In social recruiting, there are three distinct approaches to consider when developing a strategy.

SED: Sourcing. Engagement. Distribution.

I often reference these approaches with the simple acronym, SEDSourcing, Engagement, and Distribution. An organization may choose to attack one, two, or all three of these approaches over time. It’s not important how big your strategy is, what is important is that it’s done well and supports your employment brand, and your ultimate goal — hiring people!

  • Sourcing means to proactively search for qualified job candidates through social networks. A common example of social sourcing is searching Linkedin to find a good fit for a hard-to-fill role, and reaching out through LinkedIn’s InMail to start a conversation. Recruiters also use free platforms like Facebook Graph Search or Twitter search tools like Twiangulate to source candidates as well.
  • Engagement means communicating well enough that your audience pays attention. As part of a social recruiting strategy engagement takes advantage of one of social media’s greatest strengths: two-way dialog. Engagement allows job seekers to have a relationship with a company they are interested in working with, before, after or during the recruiting process. For example, Memorial Hermann  who utilizes Facebook to reach candidates through their careers’ page, or HCA who engages physician job seekers at their careers specific Twitter handle @PracticeWithUs. Participating in LinkedIn groups is another fantastic way to engage job seekers. (It’s a great way to source candidates too, but let’s not get too fancy!)
  • Distribution pushes jobs to active and passive candidates through the social networks. In the healthcare industry, it is not uncommon that distribution is a stand-alone strategy, however it certainly can be a complement to the others.  Here is Yale New Haven Hospital piggybacking off of their Marketing Facebook page with a Careers Tab. This application allows job seekers to easily access information about the organization and apply for jobs-or share them to Facebook friends.  Here is Mercy Health System’s Job Distribution page on Twitter.  Using effective hashtag optimization Mercy targets an audience well outside their followers. (More on this in an upcoming blog.)

Most organizations in healthcare start with social sourcing. Next, they coordinate with marketing to add social job distribution. Finally, they work closely with Marketing to develop a recruiting engagement strategy which matches the strategy that Marketing is using for the rest of the organization. The good news is, there is no one correct way to approach social recruiting. You have to match your plan and your pace to your organization. There is however, one wrong way to social recruit, and that’s to do nothing at all.

So…think it through, pick an approach, and get started. If you’ve already started, take a look at all three dimensions of social recruiting and see where you can “up your game.” And remember, although you’re building this strategy to help your organization, it’s going to do more than that, it’s an opportunity for you to learn and grow as a recruiting professional. Seize it!


Are you interested in learning how leading healthcare organizations are using behavioral-based assessments to recruit and retain top healthcare talent? 

Download our white paper, Identifying Today’s High Performers and Developing Tomorrow’s Leaders: Leveraging Behavioral Assessments for Healthcare Talent Managementto learn how you can revolutionize the way you attract, assess, select, and develop your employees. 

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Mira Greenland

About Mira Greenland

Mira Greenland is the Vice President of Sales for CareerArc’s social recruiting division. As a HealthcareSource Certified Integration Partner, CareerArc is the leading social and mobile recruiting solution helping today’s employers reach the 21st century job seeker. Before joining CareerArc, Mira was a recruiter and recruitment consultant for over 12 years and now often presents at industry seminars and conferences about social recruiting.