Sponsoring posts on job boards is an effective tactic for healthcare recruiters to increase the visibility of open positions. You’ll get more eyes on your open positions because sponsored job posts appear at the top of the search results, reducing the time it takes for candidates to find the position and for you to receive their applications.

Sponsorship also enables enhancements, like text bolding, logo inclusion, or highlighting, making your ad even more noticeable. In fact, organizations that use sponsored healthcare job posts saw five times more traffic than non-sponsored job posts, according to Indeed.

We sat down with Sean Parlin, Senior Director, Extended Enterprise, at HealthcareSource, to ask a few questions about the value of using sponsored healthcare job posts and tactics for increasing ROI.

HealthcareSource: What criteria should recruiters use to determine which positions to sponsor?

Parlin: There are three factors that work together: typical volume of applicants, turnover rate for the role, and time-to-fill.

If you usually receive a lot of applicants, you may not need to sponsor that specific job. But look at the turnover rate for the position before deciding. If you find yourself refilling a position consistently, it may be time to try sponsoring the job. The increased visibility could improve the quality of applicant by reaching a wider candidate pool with a greater variety in candidates — some of whom will be higher-quality applicants.

Another factor is typical time-to-fill. Roles that traditionally take longer to fill may benefit from a broader distribution, as with positions that fill quickly but carry a high turnover.

Sponsored job posts are also effective for attracting high-competition candidates, like talented, experienced, licensed, and compassionate nurses, because the top placement and visual enhancements make sure your ad stands out from the others.

HealthcareSource: What else should we consider?

Parlin: Available budget. It’s important to plan out as far ahead as possible to forecast what you need to strategically sponsor jobs and what goals you hope to accomplish in doing so. This is critical to staying on budget.

It’s also useful to review the type and cost of the enhancements available. For instance, on the HealthcareSource Job Board, a client may choose one or more of the following options: highlight a posting in search results, move a listing to the top of the search results, or include a logo and bold the job title. They can go a step further and feature their posting, which places it in rotation on the home page.

Ease-of-use is another important factor. For example, HealthcareSource recently completed an integration that allows our senior living and post-acute clients to sponsor posts on Indeed without our hiring system.

HealthcareSource: What’s the advantage of sponsoring posts on healthcare-specific sites like HealthcareSource?

Parlin: The average audience on larger, general job boards and aggregators isn’t nearly as skilled in healthcare competencies as the average audience on a niche healthcare site. The traffic on healthcare-specific boards will be significantly smaller but will include more qualified applicants. A hospital or senior care facility could even sponsor posts on job boards specific to department or function.

HealthcareSource: How do you make your sponsored job posts more effective?

Parlin: Starting with a job title that accurately represents both the role and level of the opening is critical to reaching the right audience. An obscure title can attract vastly over or underqualified applicants — or too few applicants — as well as frustrate the job seeker. It’s also important to put in the position’s actual location so you don’t draw candidates who can’t or don’t want to travel to that place for work.

Next, create a clear and concise job summary. This is your chance to illustrate what the job entails, so make it is as accurate and detailed as possible without becoming verbose. You can also include a job preview, which is essentially a written “day-in-the-life” that provides a bit of information about an average day for a person in that role. Your effort here goes a long way towards increasing the quality and alignment of applicants.

It’s also important that you only add the absolute necessary requirements. If you list a requirement in an ad and hire someone who doesn’t meet it, you open yourself up to potential litigation from individuals who didn’t apply because they didn’t meet the stated requirement. Relegate anything that isn’t a true requirement to the “nice-to-have” section.

Finally, show off who your organization is, what you do, and what you stand for. This improves the cultural fit of your applicant pool, so you can spend more time evaluating behavioral and technical fit.

HealthcareSource: What else should healthcare recruiters know about using sponsored job posts?

Parlin: This is ultimately a statistics game, and having sound tools and processes in place is the only true way to reduce your time-to-fill and increase the quality-of-hire with sponsored job posts. You can ensure your organization reaps the benefits of spending incremental revenue on sponsoring jobs by implementing additional tools throughout the entire hiring process, such as pre-employment behavioral assessments, structured interview guides, and a quality applicant tracking system.


Download our eBook, “A New Way to Look at Recruiting: Think Bigger and Broader” to learn more about improving your recruitment processes.


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Margot Carmichael Lester

About Margot Carmichael Lester

Margot Carmichael Lester is a North Carolina-based freelance business journalist who has been covering healthcare and staffing for more than 20 years. She also writes about moviemaking for the International Cinematographers Guild, specializing in action cinema. Margot co-authored the award-winning teen writing book Be a Better Writer with her husband, Steve Peha. She earned her BA in journalism from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and is a rabid Tar Heel basketball fan.