Physician Recruiting and the Social Scene
Which scene is right for you?
Part 1: Are physicians really there?
Nearly all physicians are somewhere on social media, with a reported 90% using at least one network for personal reasons, and 67% for professional reasons.
According to a Merritt Hawkins survey, 75% of the doctors hired will work for hospitals, which includes new graduates. New graduates, and younger physicians, are most likely social media savvy. This creates unique pathways for physician recruiters to deliver their opportunities to potential candidates. The question remains, which networks are right for you?
Part 2: What are other organizations doing?
A report from the “Hospital Social Network List”, 870 hospitals manage at least one social media site. Several organizations regularly use social media as a recruitment tool, using Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube.
A survey of over 4,000 physicians by QuantiaMD found that the most active network, outside of online physician communities, was LinkedIn (17%), followed by Facebook (15%) and Google+, YouTube and blogs (8% each). Twitter was the least used network (3%).
A JobVite 2012 Social Recruiting Survey showed 92% of recruiting professionals use, or plan to use, at least one social network. Their numbers showed LinkedIn had the highest engagement at 93%, followed by Facebook at 66% and Twitter with 54%.
These social networks have mobile platforms to deliver information; a technology widely used to access social networks. The QuantiaMD report showed 70% of the members posted comments via smartphones.
Part 3: But we use LinkedIn!
Since LinkedIn is a social platform for business networking, it’s no surprise that it’s also the most successful. The JobVite survey indicated that of the 73% of their respondents who made a hire using social media, 89% was made through LinkedIn.
While the numbers suggest LinkedIn is the place to be, you might not want to dismiss other channels so quickly. Messages delivered through Twitter, Facebook and YouTube can be used as attention getting tools, funneling traffic to your other channels or your recruiting website. Your next successful hire could be a matter of being on the right social network at the right time.
Part 4: Going Off-Target!
Recruiting through social networks can be difficult. Many people use these platforms for personal use. Getting the attention of potential candidates may take some effort, but other organizations have been successful, even using Facebook. Your messages don’t always need to be that you’re looking for a candidate. Once you’ve made a connection, you might post about how great it is to live where you are, about activities in your organization and region, and updates on staff and new hires. Make it personal! And, don’t forget to include photos and videos. These types of media get more attention than just text posts.
Part 5: Connect and Engage!
The most important factor in using social media for recruitment is to connect with and continue to engage potential candidates and appeal to things that are important to them, and perhaps even their spouse and family.
While LinkedIn may not be the largest social network, it does have a professional focus. It’s a great platform to begin to make your connections. Recruiters should have a page enabling them to invite potential candidates into their connections. Your facility should also have a complete company profile that potential candidates can follow. You should join as many appropriate groups as possible and participate in the conversation.
Part 6: Consider other channels!
By utilizing more than one channel to deliver your messages you’ll make it that much easier for physicians to find you. Doctors will likely spend time on networks other than LinkedIn. Having messages in the places they spend their time is important. It’s the same reason a product uses different marketing channels, and their commercials appear on more than one station. The product might not be needed at the moment, but when the time arises they may very well remember the commercial, or advertisement. Likewise, when a physician is considering a change, they may well remember that your organization made an impression that resonated with them.
Too many times people create social media profiles and expect the crowd to flock to them. Your demographic doesn’t know you exist. By participating in ongoing discussions you increase your visibility and your chances at being discovered. On your networks, understand what topics and issues are important to potential recruits and post regular, sharable content.
Part 7.1: The Facebook Connection
Facebook allows you to post longer messages, and messages in a variety of formats. But sending a friend request to a potential candidate that you don’t already know might not be the best approach; it could be viewed as an unwanted intrusion. Instead, make sure you have a business fan, or like page, where the candidate can connect with you. It’s also possible to show the personal page of the administrator(s) of your page so once potential candidates discover you they can connect with your personal page on their terms. Targeted Facebook ads might also help get your message in front of your audience.
Facebook also has wonderful analytics. By visiting your page’s insights you can learn about your current demographic, such as gender, age, location and what days and time of day your network is using Facebook. You can also view information about your posts to see if they’re having any impact. With this information you can modify your posts to increase your chances of discovery. With social networks, especially Facebook, they key is to create content people want to share with their network.
Part 7.2: Tweeting
The statistics show Twitter will not be how you directly recruit your next physician. However, it should not be so easily dismissed because it might be network they first notice your message. Use Twitter to help channel potential candidates to your other networks, like Facebook and LinkedIn, or your primary recruitment platforms such as your website or blog.
The default settings on Twitter allow you to connect with, and follow virtually anyone. Unless they’ve taken the extra step to make their page private, it’s expected others will follow them. The drawback is that posts are limited to 140 characters, including private messages sent directly to an individual. And, to send a private message to someone you must be connected with them. If you’re following them, they can a message to you but you cannot reply to them or directly message them.
The key to Twitter, like all social networks, is having interesting, sharable content. Twitter allows you to ‘Favorite’ a post as well as re-tweet a post – each sends a tweet to people in their networks. You may also post photos and videos.
If you wish, through a third part application you may link your Facebook and Twitter accounts together. Whenever you post to Facebook it also sends out a Tweet, and vice versa. By connecting your accounts this decreases your message maintenance time, but it’s rather impersonal and may not work well with developing individual connections.
If you’re new to Twitter, then we’re in the same boat. We’re just now beginning to develop our network; follow us and we’ll be sure to follow you back! https://twitter.com/Ki_Services
Part 7.3: Let people watch you!
YouTube can be a valuable tool – people love to watch and share videos!
One key to a successful YouTube campaign is not just to create content worth watching, but rather content worth sharing. Creating content worth watching is a great way to share information with your audience; creating content worth sharing is how you influence others to follow you, increasing your audience and the chances your next recruit will discover you.
A humorous video is one way of attracting people to your channel, but many of the top videos involve other categories which you might wish to explore. The other top video categories include inspirational, creative, music and newsworthiness. Your campaign might want to consider a mix of these categories.
You can use a short two minute video to showcase your facility or specific departments, introduce physicians and their success stories, and talk about what makes your area of the country a great place to live. You can also talk about special events, or maybe a talent night you host.
You might even get a little creative by introducing your recruiters to potential candidates through video, which is a bit more personal than a dry “Meet the Team” page, or a LinkedIn profile.
Another key to a successful YouTube campaign is engagement. Creating a channel and hosting a video or two isn’t likely to get you the results you want. It, like all social networks, is a community. At functions people rarely speak to the shy, quiet person sitting in the corner. If that person seems to have little to say, then who wants to listen? The social butterfly, on the other hand, may become someone known as interesting; someone you wish to speak with; someone worth getting to know, following and telling others about.
With YouTube, discover other videos that capture your interest. You can like them, share them, and comment on them. When we go further in-depth with using specific social media channels, we’ll share with you how to engage your community with questions, soliciting feedback and brainstorming a topic.
Bonus: Videos hosted on YouTube can be posted to many of your other networks, as well as embedded in your website.
When you create your channel, be sure to subscribe to us so we know you’re there. We’ll be more than happy to subscribe to you, too!
Part 7.4: The new network on the block!
Google+ is still in its infancy, but it’s definitely a growing network, and one that should not be ignored. It took a while for Facebook to steal MySpace’s social network thunder, but it happened. In fact, Google boasts it now has over 540 million active users, with 300 million monthly “in-stream” users, and 1.5 billion photos being uploaded weekly.
With Google+ Hangouts, you can use location-sharing and text messaging, as well as host live conversations. You can now create your own custom URL, also known as a vanity URL. As with Facebook, there are some minimum criteria however. You must be a member for 30 days, be followed by at least 10 people, and have a profile photo. Once these criteria are met, you will receive an email about URL customization, or a notification at the top of your page once you log in.
While it may take time to develop a following on Google+, keep this in mind: Google loves its products, and Google is still the search engine most people use. It’s a great way to help boost your online presence and possibly increase your search engine rankings. It’s a great tool to use for potential discovery and for channeling candidates to your other networks or primary recruiting sources.
The key to using Google+, and other social networks, for increasing your SEO, is consistent keyword rich content.
When you do create a Google+ page, be sure to add us to your circle, and we will happily add you to ours!
Part 8: Join in the fun!
You should take advantage of some popular networking themes. For example, Throwback Thursdays on Twitter and Facebook is a great opportunity to post pictures from the past and to show growth. On Twitter there’s Follow Fridays where you send out a #FF tweet mentioning the people you like to follow; it would look something like this: #FF @Ki_Services
On Friday, feel free to copy and paste the above into a tweet!
Using the hash tag (#) on Facebook, Twitter and even Google+ also allows you to create searchable content; content that might even help your SEO rankings.
In addition to the themes already being used, you can create your own, like thought of the week Thursday, or wacky Wednesdays. By doing this on a regular basis, and at the same time of day, you can create anticipation for your posts. Perhaps then, instead of seeing a random post in their news feeds, they’ll go looking for you. On Facebook, your followers can elect to ‘Get Notifications’, which is an option in the dropdown menu of the ‘Liked’ button. By doing this, any time you make a post it will show up in their notifications display.
Part 9: Some networks you might consider using include:
Whichever networks you decide to adopt, make sure you make it easy for potential recruits to find you. You can have the links on your recruiting website, as well as use them in your email campaigns. As you adopt a new channel, invite followers from your current channels to join you.
You might want to consider adopting specific content, or themes, for each network so you’re not just duplicating content. You should also consider adopting a regular schedule for posting to each network.
Part 10: Let’s Get Rich!
No, this is not a get rich quick scheme (literally or figuratively). There is no magic formula, or in our case set of words or phrases, that will propel your SEO into the top of the rankings. But, using social media, including diverse channels, can help. But it takes time, consistency and content – even if you’re only using Facebook.
Regardless of the platforms you’re using, or decide to adopt, please remember that the keys to success include regular, keyword rich content, content potential candidates care about, content that is sharable, active participation and persistence.
Diversity with keyword rich content can help boost your online presence, including search engine optimization. While we not seen definitive proof, yet, we can’t imagine Google ignoring its own product in its search engine algorithms.
Part 11: 5 Stages of social media success
There are five key stages you might want to consider building in to your social media plan to help build the audience you want. These stages are:
1. Discovery – The Breadcrumbs Effect: If you follow your keys to success (which should be part of the social media plan you should prepare), you should allow potential candidates to discover you ‘on their own’ without forcing an agenda or appearing to be spam. One great way to do this is through breadcrumbs.
Make sure your brand is seen in as many places as you can. Digitally, that might mean using multiple social media channels, each as a breadcrumb, to get your name out to potential recruits. You need regular content for each of these networks, but each one has the potential to reach your target audience. With your breadcrumbs you can guide them, at their own pace, to discovering you and their next employment opportunity.
2. Consumption – The Exploration Phase: By developing a credible, trustworthy network, potential recruits who discover you will begin to explore your network and your message. You can exceed their expectations by having great, value-added content. You could provide access to content such as industry FAQs and articles, mixed with your more direct, on-target messages.
Make sure your network is linked together by making sure to provide easy to locate links to all your social media sites, blog, main website and recruiting website.
3. Interaction – The Mingling Stage: You should understand that building your audience can be a time consuming effort. Having an online presence doesn’t mean anyone will find you. Most people use social networks to be social, except, perhaps, with LinkedIn. Remain proactive in your networks and invite users to comment and participate at their leisure.
A dormant page could be worse than having no page at all. You should have regular content, but if you don’t have something, share relevant content from someone you’re following. Take advantage of opportunities to solicit feedback. You’ve caught their attention, now you want to keep it.
4. Connection – The, I Like you moment: Potential candidates should have multiple platforms from which to connect with you and consume your content on an ongoing basis, or as they’re able. Your networks and content should attract candidates to want to join your network through one of the portals you have available. Be sure to connect with candidates on many levels, including personal. Whether they’re looking for an opportunity yet or not, they’ll be open to following you if you’re posting content they want to consume.
5. Consent – The Opportunity Phase: Once the candidate has joined your network they’ve agreed to be a part of it and will want to engage with you. You should market the benefits and solutions your organization offers and continue to provide value-added content.
Part 12: Planning for social media success
As you explore your options for an effective social media presence, and begin to adopt a social media plan or strategy, don’t forget to include a couple of key components: A social media code of conduct, and an online reputation management plan. Your primary target audience will likely not need to be reminded of common courtesy, and will conduct themselves professionally. But, you may also attract people who like to cause trouble or who are more than ready to share a bad experience on your network, even if that experience doesn’t involve your recruitment efforts.
Part 13: 13 Keys to social media success
As you plan your strategy you should identify several keys to a successful social campaign. Consider using, or modifying, some of these keys:
- Not only recognize, but accept that an effective social network campaign will take time, energy and resources, as well as constant monitoring, evaluation and adaptation to trends and the needs of potential recruits.
- Reinforce your sincerity to potential recruits, be empathetic to their needs, and display integrity throughout your social campaign to show your dedication and commitment in order to gain their trust.
- A social media campaign is a long-term investment, and your resources will take time to mature. Engage in new trends, tools and developing sites but don’t neglect the resources you have implemented.
- You should not try to hard-sell your network or open positions. Create your network with a focus on helping your current team and potential candidates. Social networking isn’t all about advertising. You should be there when they’re ready to be discovered and open to hearing about the benefits of working for your organization.
- Continue to participate with any community activities which you are engaged. A branded presence can create a buzz and invite your community to join your network. What you say about yourself, your organization and your geographical area is great, but nothing beats unsolicited comments. Let potential candidates see what the people in your community have to say about you.
- You can look for ways to expand your organizations’ social marketability being aware that great ideas can come from anywhere, including off-target messages. Consider hosting a brainstorming day and solicit the advice and opinions from people within your organization as well as members of the community.
- Create messages that other people in your network will want to share with people in their own networks. This is a great way to help build your social presence. You may not have an actual connection with your next physician, but someone you are connected with might deliver your message to him/her for you.
- On a recurring basis offer free, no strings attached sharable content. You can also have additional content available for people who sign up for your networks, including a monthly newsletter, for example.
- Create clear, short, precise messages that will resonate with potential recruits that can be clearly understood, personal, and easy to replicate and transmit to people within their networks.
- Continue to keep users engaged so they’re more open to sharing your network by encouraging comments and soliciting their opinions. Solicit feedback so you get to know your audience and what’s important to them.
- Monitor and capitalize on trends, not only about what’s important to physician recruitment but on issues important to your potential recruits. Understand your demographic and use their issues and concerns to connect with them on a personal level.
- Be sure to capitalize on your success stories by sharing them with your networks. This is a great opportunity to use YouTube.
- Be sure you have multiple entry points and your networks are connected.
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