Now, more than ever, healthcare organizations are being asked to reduce their expenditures on recruiting. But the needs have not changed. The challenges in filling more positions than there are qualified individuals are still present and worsening every year. So how can you do more with less?
One way to get more bang for your advertising buck is to implement a relationship marketing program. This was a "hot" new idea several years ago, but sadly, it doesn't get the same attention or priority these days with so much focus on social media and emerging technologies. But some oldies are goodies and this should definitely be a core component of your overall recruitment strategy.
A relationship marketing program is not spamming candidates or blasting them with regular emails. It is about getting candidates to opt-in to receive on-going communications from your organization that are relevant to their interests so they will be more willing to convert to a hire down the road.
Here are just a few reasons to include a relationship marketing program in your recruitment plan for 2011:
- Reduce time-to-fill by getting in front of viable candidates quickly. If you build your database appropriately, it will have strong candidates who will have been exposed to a variety of relevant and interesting bits of information on your organization. You can deploy a message to these highly desirable candidates in a matter of hours after a requisition is opened.
- Enhance your brand. The emails and/or newsletters that you send to your database provide a means to reinforce your employee value proposition and employment brand. Do you tout your excellent tuition reimbursement program? Show how that has helped one of your employees gain an advanced degree. Do nurses have the ability to impact care delivery? If so, tell that story. You can really breathe life into your organization's employment differentiators by calling them out in your messaging.
- Get more out of your ATS. If you can export all rejected offers over a period of time, you'll have a great list for marketing. Just because a candidate didn't come on board a year ago doesn't mean they wouldn't consider making a move now. By keeping them abreast of activities within your facility, they will be more likely to consider you when they are ready to change jobs.
- Reduce expenditures on media sponsored email blasts. Email list rentals cost $.10 to $4 per name for a one-time communication. If you can capture even a fraction of the candidates by getting them to opt-in, you can save thousands on future list rentals.
- Maximize your return on other media placements. Anytime you advertise, you should drive candidates to a landing page or site that has the ability to capture candidate data. With every placement, you should be adding more and more candidates to your database, and that is only going to expand the reach of your program, increasing the rate of return over time.
- Capitalize on the ability to segment your audience. Are you hosting an open house for certain positions? Send special email invitations only to the candidates you need. Putting the right message in front of the right candidate at the right time is going to achieve better results.
In order to implement an effective program, it is critical that you keep the communications fresh and relevant. These are just a few ideas for email content:
- Profiles of employees — especially those who have won service awards or received special recognition
- New technology or procedures now being used at your facility
- Updates on new buildings/wings/expansion plans
- New hires
- Unique benefits offered by your organization
We all know that when it comes to recruitment advertising, there is no silver bullet. But we do know that certain programs cost less to implement and provide a more efficient return on investment. That is why relationship marketing should be a key component of any recruitment strategy.