At a time when job growth in the health industry is at an all-time high, candidates are often free to pick and choose the position that best suits their needs and desires. And this means that for some less well-known employers or lower ranked healthcare facilities, finding suitable candidates who are willing to apply is an extremely difficult task.
Thankfully, there is something that healthcare recruiters and their employers can do about it, and it all revolves around employer branding.
Standing out from the crowd
The vast majority of healthcare employers have one thing in common – their mission statement.
Often it highlights the importance of patient care or developments in their research that will have a direct influence on patient care. In other words, it’s all about the patient and rightly so.
But this means that it’s increasingly difficult for employers in the industry to stand out from the crowd. And this is particularly true of hospitals and facilities that are lower ranked than their illustrious counterparts.
Everyone cares about the patient and takes great pride in providing the best care and perhaps even the latest innovative procedures and medicines. So what makes your facility or company a more attractive option for a qualified candidate?
Of course, benefits can play a key role in this regard, but it’s not as simple as offering more money to candidates. According to a recent survey on healthcare employment trends, 57% of recruiters surveyed report that candidates are now asking for more money than they were just six months before. The same survey also found that 56% of recruiters were unable to fill positions due to strict salary guidelines.
The same can be said for other benefits such as additional holidays. In a time when many healthcare facilities are understaffed, offering more time off to new employees isn’t quite so simple.
Unfortunately, even if an employer can afford to offer a lucrative salary and those additional holidays, it still won’t set them apart from the crowd. And this is why employer branding is key to a successful healthcare recruitment campaign.
If there’s little to choose between two potential employers in terms of salary and benefits, work culture and career prospects will often be the deciding factors. And you can highlight your dedication to both by creating an employer brand image that entices prospective candidates and makes them want to work for you.
How to build a positive employer brand image
Building a positive employer brand image is no mean feat and it certainly cannot be done overnight. It requires both commitment and consistency in equal measure, but any employer who values their workforce can easily get started right away by taking the following steps.
Write a unique mission statement
While we did mention earlier that mission statements in the healthcare industry are often similar, candidates still want to see one. However, yours doesn’t need to be straight from the cookie cutter.
Candidates will no doubt expect a mission statement to reflect a dedication to the health and wellbeing of others, but they may not expect it to highlight a working culture or how highly valued employees are. Find what it is that makes you unique as an employer, and make sure to refer to it in the mission statement.
Make your employer brand visible
Social channels, websites, careers pages – anywhere your brand exists, the image portrayed must remain consistent. Potential candidates will do their research so make sure that every piece of content and copy created by the company reflects positively on the brand.
As we mentioned previously, diversity is hugely important in the healthcare industry. Not only does it foster an innovative working environment but it’s proven to have a positive effect on patient satisfaction.
Be clear that you are an equal opportunities employer by highlighting the achievements of a diverse range of employees in newsletters, on social media channels, and on your website. An employer that clearly values diversity will often find that they have no trouble filling their pipeline with potential hires.
Show that you value career growth
Employees want a clearly defined path for career progression. They want to be able to upskill and have the opportunity to advance with the same employer. However, very few employers see this as an important benefit. In fact, a survey by Careerbuilder tells us that only 32% of employees surveyed report being satisfied with the opportunities for career advancement within their company.
Highlight promotions and the career progression of your valued employees. Be sure to place a particular focus on those who made significant progress such as an admin who is now a financial officer. This demonstrates your willingness to help employees achieve their career goals and could easily be a deciding factor as a potential candidate weighs up their options.
Create a seamless candidate experience
A poor experience that includes a seemingly endless application process or inconvenient interview arrangements hints at an employer’s disregard for their workforce. After all, if they fail to put any effort into ensuring a positive candidate experience, how can a candidate expect them to take care of them as an employee?
Take this opportunity to let potential candidates know that you value them regardless of their success or failure at the interview stage. This reinforces your brand image as a responsible and caring employer that respects its employees.
Make your employees your brand ambassadors
Employee retention matters, even to recruiters. This is because generally speaking, employees who stay with an employer are happy in their role. As a result, an employer who has many long-term employees will be considered a safe bet.
This perception can be further reinforced by highlighting your employees’ achievements as we mentioned earlier, through testimonials and interviews in your regular newsletter or on your website.
You can also ask current employees to get involved in the hiring process by encouraging them to share job vacancies on social media. More often than not, employees who share job postings will mention how much they enjoy working for their current employer. And that can only help in your efforts to find suitable candidates.
Social proof is incredibly powerful so be sure to take full advantage of it whenever possible.
Remember, no matter where a potential candidate comes into contact with the employer, they should be reminded of the employer’s brand image. Whether it’s on social media, in a medical publication, or at the interview stage – a potential candidate must feel that this is a responsible employer who truly values the happiness and wellbeing of its staff as much as the patients in its care.
There’s no doubt that a positive employer brand image will help immeasurably when potential candidates are weighing up their choices. But what if you’re having trouble finding the right candidates in the first place? At vsource we take great pride in our sourcing skills. Our innovative technology combined with our extensive experience in the field means that we know just where to look to find those elusive candidates.
If your sourcing efforts need a kick-start or you just need more time to focus on your employer branding, get in touch today and we’ll show you how vsource can augment your team and give your recruitment drive a well-earned boost.