As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, companies across nearly every industry were forced to transform the way they operated, whether this meant temporary shutdowns, restricting access to their facilities, or moving operations from brick-and-mortar to digital venues.
While some companies temporarily furloughed workers, others were forced to hire people in droves, offering substantial bonuses and higher pay to compensate for challenging hours, overwork, and possible health risks.
As businesses slowly adjusted to the “new normal” towards the end of 2020 and early 2021, employers and recruiters noticed that the recruiting dynamic was still undergoing radical changes – especially in the healthcare industry.
Healthcare Personnel: Front Line and Essential Workers
It’s been widely acknowledged that healthcare workers were on the front lines during the height of the pandemic. These workers had unprecedented demands placed on their time, as well as their physical, mental, and emotional faculties. The demand for healthcare professionals is projected to rise 19% through 2023 – representing more than 2 million new job opportunities in the healthcare industry.
As the dust continues to settle from both COVID-19 and economic factors that were already in play prior to the pandemic, employers in the healthcare industry and the talent acquisition professionals serving them are realizing the need to update their recruitment strategies in order to keep up with the new dynamics at play in the job market.
Today, job seekers are more judiciously vetting employers, using the ever-increasing number of online tools to research companies. In 2022, recruiters have seen a significant shift in candidate motivations and sentiments as regards prospective employers. Apart from traditional aspects such as pay and benefits, job seekers are prioritizing things such as corporate responsibility, DEIB issues, and how companies communicate their employees’ values.
As such, career sites need to reflect all of the aspects job seekers are looking for and answer the questions they’re asking about companies today, as opposed to two years ago. If prospective candidates perceive a deficit, they’ll move on to the competition.
Here are six areas that companies in this sector can address to ensure that they cover all of the necessary bases.
1. Showcase Company Brand and EVP
Most employers offer similar benefits when it comes to pay, benefits, and other traditional perks. Thus, a company’s employee value proposition (EVP) continues to be one of the best ways to differentiate from the competition during this turbulent time.
With all things being more or less equal in terms of what employers traditionally offer, healthcare companies need to focus on the things that will help them shine through and convert candidates. This is even more important than in some industries, since the candidates already know the higher-than-average demands that will be placed.
Some things that healthcare companies can do to highlight EVP include:
Prominently Feature EVP In Job Postings
Job seekers typically include a summary of qualifications at the top of their résumés to engage the recruiter. Similarly, including aspects of the EVP front-and-center – as the first things candidates see in job postings – can be instrumental in impressing those differentiating factors upon them.
Add Engaging Content
Today, employers across most industries are coming to terms with the fact that blogs, employee-generated videos, and multimedia are essential components of their recruitment marketing. They're also perfect for use on a career site because they highlight the company's culture and show healthcare workers what it would be like to work there. This, of course, can incentivize them to apply.
Highlight Company Values
This is one of the dynamics that were in play even before the pandemic, and it carries even more weight now. More than ever, job seekers and workers are evaluating a company’s core values before accepting an offer. This covers everything from how a company facilitates work/life balance, to its corporate responsibility, to its stand on social issues. Company values have become a top-level priority to job seekers in healthcare (as well as other industries) over the last several years. This helps differentiate a company from the rest and humanizes the company’s brand.
2. Update Content to Ensure Relevance
One might be surprised at how many companies neglect this basic aspect of recruitment marketing – until they’re forced to look at their content and realize how dated it has become. Many healthcare workers work long shifts (10 to 12 hours), and many are on-demand (ex: emergency rooms, ICUs). Thus, they tend to be even more scrupulous in their employer vetting process. Making an audit of any media or marketing materials a prospective candidate is likely to come into contact with and making sure it’s up-to-date can help make sure that candidates aren’t dismissing the company out-of-hand for being “behind the times.”
Anything related to recruitment marketing should clearly state or include:
- Basic company information
- The benefits of working for the company
- What makes the company an attractive place to work
- Company mission, vision, values
- What a candidate needs to know to apply
- What the company can offer the candidate/employee (Here, think work/life balance to get the creative juices flowing). For example, some companies share information about the area in which the company is located: In San Francisco, when you’re not working, enjoy going to the beach, visit the Golden Gate Bridge, diverse restaurants, and other great amenities! This can help candidates visualize what their life could be like if they take the job at the company.
3. Optimize the Candidate Experience
This is about putting oneself in the candidate’s shoes. Thinking about the candidate experience and their journey from seeing the job posting to onboarding will not only give a clearer picture of what they’re experiencing on their journey, but what they want and need to see and hear. This should encompass everything from considering the candidate’s demographics and values to the types of technology and media they’re likely to use.
Some basic guidelines to employ with recruitment media include:
- Test, test, and test again: If it hasn’t worked, or conversion rates have been low, re-evaluate, revise and replace. This goes for all recruitment media.
- Ensure mobile-friendliness: In 2021, almost 70% of all job applications were made from mobile devices. Companies should look at user experience on various devices (ex: PC, tablet, and mobile) to ensure the journey for the candidate is simple to use and intuitive.
- Ensure media is easy to engage with: If an application on a webpage isn’t accessible across most popular browsers, it’s an application-killer. Employers must rectify problems like this.
- Recruiters should look into the PC/mobile traffic split: This can be found on Google Analytics for their website. Companies should look into this because some job categories can be heavy on PC or mobile. For example, legal roles tend to see heavy PC usage, while retail tends to be mobile. This percentage split might help companies avoid designing an amazing PC experience if a lot of traffic from job seekers to view the job pages is from mobile devices – which can help companies better to invest their time in getting the job adverts right.
Tip: Hiring professionals need to limit (or remove) any speed bumps in the way of job seekers trying to apply on the career site. Companies should complete the application process themselves to see if it goes through as expected. This internal test should be run every four to six weeks – and don't forget to look at the application process on various devices!
4. Ensure That Site Performance Can be Measured
This speaks to “test, test, and test again” above. Still, it’s the aspect that encompasses any web content with which candidates are likely to interact (ex: job postings, application pages, company webpages, pages linked from recruitment emails). Measuring a website’s performance is essential in determining how effective a company’s recruitment marketing efforts actually are.
Many savvy healthcare companies have elected to partner with a platform that can utilize key metrics and effectively analyze the story that the data tells. Here are a few key performance indicators (KPIs) that employers and recruiters typically use to analyze and understand their website's overall performance:
- Audience Reach and Impact
- Traffic Sources
- Average Session Time and Bounce Rate
- Conversion Rates
- ROI and Profits
5. Nurture Candidates Using ATS and CRM Integrations
Since not everyone who lands on a career site or internal jobs page will be ready to apply for a job immediately, integrating these with ATS and candidate CRM is a key strategy. This allows organizations to establish talent communities with different skills and interests and to send targeted communications to different candidate segments. In so doing, both active and passive candidates, as well as candidates who abandon applications (for example) can be engaged on an ongoing basis. The healthcare industry is notoriously fast-paced, and with candidates often being on-the-go, nurturing candidates and having the ability to store their information can help make the application process smoother in the future.
6. Enhance Job Search Functionality
Updating media and content isn’t the end of it. Throughout the process, healthcare companies should be mindful of the back-end processes and formulate their content to increase the chances of the right talent being made aware that suitable jobs are available to them. The same online search algorithms that help merchants and employers in other industries court customers and talent apply to healthcare companies.
In keeping job descriptions clean and search-friendly, it’s important to keep them generic. For example, there are many job titles in the healthcare industry, so it's important to ensure information is generic so that candidates can find the position when searching. If the word "rockstar" is inserted into the title, it may sound cute and clever, but the company could be losing out on candidates, since "rockstar" isn't what they're searching.
Areas that healthcare companies can concentrate on to refine their content to ensure engagement include such things as:
- Adhering to SEO best practices
- Keeping job titles and descriptions updated and generic
- Tailoring content to the appropriate audiences
This way, candidates will have an easier time finding the organization’s career page(s), and a smoother overall journey from the time of their first visit. Simply, the job functionality needs to respond to candidate searches. After all, what good is it to post about a job with a company when candidates can’t find the positions?
Right now, there is a quiet revolution across most industries among companies that have recognized the necessity for keeping their recruitment marketing efforts current in the face of the various changes that are taking place in the job market. Given the key placement of healthcare workers (read essential) and the demands they face, this makes remaining competitive in recruitment even more critical for companies in this industry. Updating career sites for healthcare recruitment – and doing so on an ongoing basis – is the most effective way to address this important task.
If your healthcare company is looking to spruce up its recruitment marketing strategy, feel free to reach out to Recruitics!
Posted by John Cotton
John Cotton is Director of Career Site Programs at Recruitics. He is a brand-savvy technologist who empowers organizations with insightful solutions that drive business success, endeavoring to create exceptional user experiences and journeys by converging technology with marketing. His passion is leveraging and combining media, analysis, cutting-edge technologies, creativity, and design to deliver innovative concepts and applications that improve marketing funnels, increase ROI, and exceed business expectations and objectives.