Become a physician talent magnet with this employer branding checklist
These days, a company's brand is everything - and it's everywhere. That goes for healthcare organizations as well, from the mighty health systems to the local, community provider. But how does this effect your organization's ability to recruit top talent to key clinical roles like in-demand specialists? In a market with far less candidates than there are jobs, physicians understand that they hold the power to make insightful and value-based decisions on where to provide patient care, beyond the usual metrics like salary and traditional benefits. The way you position your healthcare brand, not only to a consumer audience, but also to current and future employees, can have a significant impact on the quality of your talent and your success at retaining that talent.
What is employer branding?
The idea of employer branding, while rooted in the broader concepts and theories of branding as a marketing strategy, has a distinct set of objectives and considerations. There are often incremental business benefits to a strong employer branding program like improved consumer sentiment, increased revenues, and expanded visibility in the marketplace, but at its foundation an employer branding approach seeks to elevate the perception of an organization as someplace where people not only want to work, but ideally, decide to stay for a long time.
Conduct an employer branding check-up with this checklist
There are volumes written on employer branding and multiple subtopics to explore. A comprehensive strategy needs to be uniquely tailored to an organizations goals, challenges, industry, and the ebbs and flows of its recruitment and retention stats. But to help you conduct an audit on where you may have gaps or need a tune-up, we've provided this checklist.
- Have you clearly defined your healthcare organization's core values and mission? What's your "why"?
- Are your values differentiated from those of other employers who are vying for the same talent pool?
- Is your workplace culture authentically aligned with those values?
PRO TIP: Conduct regular audits of online review sites such as Glassdoor and Indeed and create a plan that operationalizes addressing any commonly occurring negative issues that have validity.
- Are those values readily accessible on your company's website?
- If so, does the website also share examples of how those mission and values guide organizational initiatives?
- Are those values further humanized by demonstrating how they are supported by key leadership?
- Is your organization active on multiple social media platforms?
- Is your social strategy diverse in its content and media? In other words, are most of your posts "We're hiring" posts, or do you have a robust mix of organizational news, voice-of-the-employee content, and coverage of community initiatives? If all your posts follow the photo + flat copy + link to a webpage, you may want to explore video content (both professional and informal, if appropriate) and other more engaging media like infographics and polls.
PRO TIP: These days anyone can be a graphic designer or videographer. Tools like Canva, Visme, Magisto, and Slidely are all relatively affordable options for creating different content formats so you don't need costly staff or software do make your digital presence more interesting.
- Is your website dynamic with frequent, timely updates? Does it include a blog or news feature that invites your audience to return so they can get to know your company better?
- Do you have a mechanism for newsletter subscriptions or other permission-based email communications that can keep passive job seekers up-to-date on any local events, job fairs, educational opportunities etc.?
- Are you exposing physicians to your brand where they are actively seeking professional and clinical information? Current medical journals, print and online versions, are the top two sources of information for physicians, across all specialties. (Source: Kantar Media, Sources & Interactions, 2018)
Key takeaway for your employer branding strategy
Think about your own social media, internet browsing, and email reading habits. Do you stop using all those channels for months at a time? Probably not, and your physician candidate pool doesn't either. That's why employer branding needs to be a holistic, & "always on" endeavor. Rather than wait for the next flurry of job openings that need to be filled (yesterday) and then try to ramp up your efforts, you need a plan that maintains consistent visibility to your target audience.
Maintaining a consistent brand presence in medical journals and their related websites, on social media, and in other channels where physicians spend their time will keep you top of mind when physicians begin to consider making a job change. Highlighting key clinical advances related to your organization, promoting educational opportunities, featuring your internal thought leaders, and talking about innovative wellness programs are just a few different ways to hit the marketing "Rule of 7" and make your healthcare organization the one they remember!