Tips for Successful Online Staff Recruitment at Your Senior Care Organization
1. Do you feel that online recruitment has become more popular in the past few years, particularly given the pandemic?
Online recruitment has not only grown in popularity but is now viewed as a necessity in today’s environment, especially in the healthcare sector as the war for talent continues. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, healthcare organizations had a lot of success with campus recruiting events. These face-to-face events enabled companies to fill their hiring pipeline with student candidates and get them excited about the possibility of being a part of their organization’s mission. When the pandemic began in 2020, healthcare organizations were forced to shift gears and identify creative ways to recruit candidates virtually. Companies were investing in online recruiting solutions, developing a bigger brand presence on social media platforms, and encouraging their employees to become referral sources through advocacy via their own social channels. Today, organizations are seeing the advantages of online recruitment, including reaching a wider and more targeted audience, reducing time to hire, creating a better candidate experience, and improving hiring efficiencies.
2. What are some of the best online staff recruitment strategies you would recommend to a senior care community looking to build its pool of applicants?
I believe one of the most important things a senior care community can do to attract and build their talent pool is to create and maintain a positive employer brand by highlighting their organization’s values, goals, and company culture. Candidates want to be part of an organization that has the same values as they do. Having an authentic employer brand enables candidates to envision how they can fit with your company before applying. There are many ways a senior care community can promote their brand, but there’s no question that your employees are your strongest advocates. Meet with your employees and learn about their experiences, their story, and why they love being a part of your organization to inform and reinforce your employer brand.
Hosting online recruiting sessions can also be a great opportunity to broaden the talent pool. Senior care communities can cast a wider net to engage more talent, improve their diversity and inclusion efforts, and eliminate the need to travel.
3. Are there certain marketing messages that could help a senior care community to recruit candidates online?
Being transparent about an organization’s mission and values, as well as the positive impact they have on their community, is critical. Especially for the senior care community, candidates want to know that they are working for a great cause. This goes along with workplace culture: candidates want to be able to understand what kind of company culture an organization has before they consider applying. Not only is this helpful for candidates, but it’s also beneficial for senior care communities as this can help ensure that they are attracting and hiring employees who would be a good fit for them.
Another marketing message that could help a senior care community to recruit candidates online is to emphasize advancement opportunities. Not only do candidates want to work for a great cause, but many want to challenge themselves and work for an organization that will invest in their professional development. Having a clear path to skilled positions can encourage candidates to apply.
4. How can a senior care community focus its online marketing efforts to reach its target audience of candidates?
Senior care communities need to first understand their candidate persona and where their candidates tend to go when they’re looking for a new career opportunity. Some common identifiers can include the level of education required for the role(s), specific skillsets, or even location. Once their candidate persona has been identified, organizations can begin marketing to them through a variety of online efforts.
One key marketing effort I would recommend would be to optimize their organization’s website, as this tends to be a candidate’s first impression of their company. Having a dedicated career page that’s easily accessible can enable senior care communities to gear content specifically towards candidates, such as the benefits of working for the organization, career advancements, and employee testimonials. It’s also important to ensure that your website is responsive for mobile use, as many candidates now use their mobile devices to search and apply for roles.
Once they’ve attracted candidates searching for jobs, senior care communities need to have a quick and simple application process. When the application process involves multiple pages and a lot of manual field entries, the likelihood of them dropping off increases. Creating a pleasant and simplified experience for the candidate can help them feel comfortable taking the next step with your organization.
As mentioned earlier, social media is ideal for organically showcasing your brand and culture. The possibilities of how you highlight your company are endless: work events, employee spotlights, volunteer opportunities, and other content that humanizes your organization. Having a strong, authentic social media presence also encourages your current employees to be active and engaged. Let your employees show through their eyes why they love working for your organization. In addition to visiting a company’s website, candidates are likely going to look for presence on social media, such as LinkedIn and Instagram, to learn about the culture they would be joining.
5. How should a senior care community approach the candidate screening process so that they have a greater chance of securing their top applicants?
Senior care communities serve vulnerable populations so it’s critical that they conduct a robust background check to ensure that safety is maintained. With senior care communities having their own specific requirements, they need a background screening partner that truly understands their industry, from regulatory and compliance requirements (especially across state lines) to offering deep healthcare expertise.
With candidate experience being a main differentiator in a competitive talent environment, the overall experience of how the background check is being conducted can be the deciding factor between a candidate taking the next step with you or someone else. In a recent Sterling survey of more than 3,500 job seekers, 7 out of 10 candidates considered dropping out or have dropped out of the hiring process. A longer and more complex background screening process not only increases the chances of a candidate dropping out of the hiring process, but it can also lead to a negative view of the organization’s brand. Having consistent communication with clear next steps for candidates to follow during this important process can greatly improve their experience and excite them for their new job opportunity that awaits them.
Val Poltorak is the U.S. Head of Regulated Industries Group of Sterling, a provider of background and identity services, where she holds strategic and operational responsibility in working with healthcare systems, senior living organizations, hospice care, and other healthcare companies across the U.S. to help solve their talent acquisition, onboarding and retention challenges.
This article was originally published in i Advance Senior Care on November 21, 2022.
Sterling is not a law firm. This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be construed as legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out this information. We encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.
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