The re­cruit­ing net­work

So­cial me­dia sites, tools be­come in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar on both sides of job search

Modern Healthcare - - STAFFING -

Health­care may have found an un­likely ally in the quest to stream­line op­er­a­tions and in­crease ef­fi­ciency as hu­man re­source de­part­ments and re­cruiters are dis­cov­er­ing that so­cial me­dia’s sole pur­pose isn’t just to dis­tract em­ploy­ees dur­ing the work­day.

Pri­mar­ily, re­cruiters rely on so­cial me­dia’s own big three—Face­book, LinkedIn and Twit­ter—to search for job can­di­dates. And now more than ever, more health­care providers are us­ing those net­works, ac­cord­ing to a study, So­cial Re­cruit­ing in the

USA, by Bos­ton-based re­cruit­ment firm Bull­horn. De­spite the view shared by many that LinkedIn is the pre­ferred net­work for pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment and that Face­book is for leisure, health­care pro­fes­sion­als are still quite fond of Face­book. Health­care ranked No. 4 on the list of in­dus­tries that most use the so­cial net­work to share job open­ings with the pub­lic.

Face­book of­fers health­care re­cruiters faster re­sponses com­pared with other net­works, es­pe­cially in fields such as nurs­ing, says Joe Zeff, di­rec­tor of strate­gic pro­grams at Bull­horn. Last year, Bull­horn re­leased its new so­cial me­dia re­cruit­ing soft­ware, Reach. Zeff says the prod­uct now counts more than 100,000 users, scat­tered across 90 coun­tries, mostly in the U.S., the U.K., Aus­tralia and In­dia.

“The over­ar­ch­ing goal that led us to build this prod­uct was that re­cruiters need to go where their au­di­ence is,” Zeff says. “So, for a long time, it was fo­cused on want ads in the news­pa­pers, and then with the In­ter­net ex­plo­sion in the late ’90s, it was all about job boards.”

An­other medium that health­care HR de­part­ments are fond of is Twit­ter. Health­care ranked No. 9 on Bull­horn’s list of in­dus­tries that use the 140-char­ac­ter plat­form to post job va­can­cies.

Christina Thielst, vice pres­i­dent at Tower, a Santa Bar­bara, Calif.-based con­sult­ing group, is a for­mer chief oper­at­ing of­fi­cer for 160-bed Ven­tura County Med­i­cal Cen­ter, Ven­tura, Calif. She calls LinkedIn the best place to build a vir­tual net­work, but also ac­knowl­edges the pop­u­lar­ity of Twit­ter searches. She uses Tweet­Deck, an ap­pli­ca­tion that al­lows users to eas­ily fil­ter through Tweets to find sub­ject mat­ter that in­ter­ests them. The same prin­ci­ple that ap­plies to a user look­ing for sports news about his fa­vorite team goes for a job can­di­date look­ing for a ca­reer op­por­tu­nity in a spe­cific field of ex­per­tise.

“You’d be amazed on how many hos­pi­tals are search­ing for pa­tient-ex­pe­ri­ence

“Re­cruiters need to go where their au­di­ence is,” says Joe Zeff of the Bos­ton­based staff re­cruit­ment firm Bull­horn.

co­or­di­na­tors, man­agers, vice pres­i­dents,” Thielst says. “You name the ti­tle, and if it’s got ‘pa­tient ex­pe­ri­ence,’ it’s pop­ping up on my Tweet­Deck, and the hos­pi­tals are hir­ing these peo­ple.”

There’s still plenty to be worked out, such as how to han­dle post­ing em­ployee rec­om­men­da­tions. Many hos­pi­tals have poli­cies that re­quire HR to re­view rec­om­men­da­tions, but no writ­ten rules about on­line job searches. Ques­tions about what ap­plies to those on­line job queries might be one of the big­gest fac­tors why some hospi­tal ex­ec­u­tives are stay­ing away from so­cial me­dia post­ings: “Peo­ple are still afraid,” Thielst says.

Thielst re­mem­bers when she first dipped her toe into so­cial me­dia in 2005, when she started her first health­care-ori­ented blog. The only ones who seemed to want to join her in the bl­o­go­sphere were physi­cians and in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy work­ers. “I couldn’t find one hospi­tal ad­min­is­tra­tor,” she says.

Now, more ad­min­is­tra­tors are on­board and em­brac­ing so­cial me­dia with their own ac­counts. “It will be ubiq­ui­tous with the work­flow of the health­care or­ga­ni­za­tion; it’s go­ing to be like e-mail and the tele­phone in health­care,” she says.

It’s also a mar­ket­ing tool, as more on­line con­tent posted by providers— in­clud­ing job open­ings—boosts the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s on­line search engine rank­ings, Thielst notes. The in­crease in ac­tiv­ity leads her to dis­agree with the no­tion that only en­try-level jobs aimed at younger em­ploy­ees are the ones be­ing pro­moted on­line.

“Ab­so­lutely not—chief med­i­cal of­fi­cer, chief med­i­cal in­for­ma­tion of­fi­cer— ev­ery­thing’s go­ing out on Twit­ter,” Thielst says. “And part of it is be­cause it’s more con­tent-driven.”

Like­wise, Bull­horn has seen a wide va­ri­ety of health­care po­si­tions posted on­line, Zeff says. They range from $9an-hour jobs to ones with an­nual salaries of more than $600,000.

Tech­nol­ogy, such as so­cial me­dia, helps con­nect job seek­ers of all lev­els, es­pe­cially those with the busiest sched­ules, says Mike Soisson, se­nior vice pres­i­dent of Pin­stripe Health­care, a con­sul­tancy. Au­to­mated on­line sched­ulers help Pin­stripe con­nect pas­sive job seek­ers, those who are work­ing while look­ing for new em­ploy­ment, to re­cruiters. It’s a much bet­ter way to con­nect ver­sus trad­ing voice mails, Soisson says.

“When we think and see the need to hire tal­ent a lit­tle dif­fer­ently as or­ga­ni­za­tions get paid dif­fer­ently through pa­tient sat­is­fac­tion

and based on clin­i­cal out­comes, or­ga­ni­za­tions need to look at hir­ing dif­fer­ent types of peo­ple,” he says.

Pin­stripe also im­ple­mented a client-track­ing sys­tem for providers. The sys­tem al­lows re­cruiters to keep track of job seek­ers af­ter they have com­pleted the on­line ap­pli­ca­tion process so down the line, if a bet­ter job op­por­tu­nity opens up, they can eas­ily re­con­nect with the can­di­date.

Soisson counts SSM Health Care in St. Louis as one of its clients that uses this add-on, but he es­ti­mates that only about 10% of Pin­stripe’s health­care clients use it.

“Typ­i­cally, dol­lars are—and right­fully so— spent on pa­tient care, new MRIs and new tech­nol­ogy to help sup­port pa­tient care,” he says. “Most hu­man re­source de­part­ments in acute-care hos­pi­tals don’t get enough re­sources from a tech­nol­ogy stand­point to pro­vide the sys­tems that can help them.”

The push to­ward re­duc­ing costs and mak­ing health­care more ef­fi­cient could also drive more providers to­ward al­lo­cat­ing these types of re­sources to HR, Soisson says. The sys­tem is de­signed to make searches faster, which could free up HR em­ploy­ees for other tasks, he says.

But any suc­cess­ful re­cruit­ment strat­egy, in­clud­ing those that in­clude so­cial me­dia, needs to be tai­lored specif­i­cally to a client, and that in­cludes the cost.

“The cost of these pro­grams will de­pend on a range of in­ter­nal and ex­ter­nal vari­ables such as ge­og­ra­phy, size, type of hires and the level of tech­nol­ogy the or­ga­ni­za­tion al­ready has at its dis­posal,” Soisson says. “One of the core ben­e­fits of iden­ti­fy­ing a re­cruit­ment part­ner is the in­clu­sion of re­sources and tech­ni­cal ex­per­tise that would oth­er­wise be in­cre­men­tal— and of­ten pro­hib­i­tive—costs for health­care or­ga­ni­za­tions.”

That means providers don’t need to spend large amounts of money to reap those ben­e­fits, says Wil­liam Wer­hane, global manag­ing di­rec­tor of Hay Group In­sight, a Chicagob­ased con­sult­ing group. He notes that while net­works such as LinkedIn do charge for pre­mium con­tent, the stan­dard, ba­sic mem­ber­ship of­fers plenty of use­ful fea­tures.

“I won­der how much ef­fort and money peo­ple need in de­liv­er­ing and im­ple­ment­ing their own sys­tem ver­sus us­ing sys­tems that are out there to be able to at­tract and re­tain peo­ple,” Wer­hane says.

Bull­horn’s so­cial me­dia re­cruit­ment prod­uct also comes in dif­fer­ent va­ri­eties, in­clud­ing a ba­sic free ver­sion, and the com­pany in­tends to al­ways of­fer the free ver­sion, Zeff says. He says he’s al­ready seen the re­lease of many new re­cruit­ing ap­pli­ca­tions as soft­ware de­vel­op­ers flood the mar­ket­place while they fig­ure out what works and what sells.

Ex­perts say so­cial me­dia isn’t just a fad, and will soon be­come the norm for find­ing health­care jobs for all lev­els of ex­pe­ri­ence. It’s not only for younger peo­ple, Wer­hane says. He brings up his 70-year-old mother, who doesn’t let her sta­tus as a se­nior ci­ti­zen keep her from us­ing tech­nol­ogy: “She uses a Kin­dle, she e-mails, she Skypes.”

Zeff says there’s no rea­son to be in­tim­i­dated by the shift. So­cial me­dia should be used in concert with ex­ist­ing strate­gies; the tool is merely a com­ple­men­tary re­source. For ex­am­ple, Twit­ter users don’t need a mas­sive fol­low­ing; Zeff says it takes only 30 to 50 fol­low­ers to gain trac­tion.

“It’s not that hard of a moun­tain to climb and to start see­ing re­sults,” he says.

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