By Carol Burke, AMN Healthcare
Recently, the National Association for Business Economics forecast the unemployment rate at 7.5% by the end of 2013, based on a survey of 54 economists. And, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, through tracking the steady addition of healthcare industry jobs (27,000 jobs per month this past year), projects registered nurses and other healthcare professionals to be among the occupations with the largest numerical growth between now and 2018 in the U.S.
With healthcare hiring a given, the question is, are hospitals and organizations in the sector considering how job seekers’ are looking for jobs today?
The results of AMN Healthcare’s second annual social media survey, “Use of Social Media and Mobile by Healthcare Professionals,” highlights that one in three healthcare professionals are now using social media for job searching; last year’s results showed one in five using social media for this purpose. In addition, nearly half (48%) of the 2,790 healthcare professionals surveyed said they use social media for professional networking, an increase from 37% reported in 2010.
With job creation moving in the right direction and new tools enabling job seekers to connect with prospective employers through social media, some hospitals and other healthcare employers are in fact embracing this opportunity.
Ginger Anderson manages social media for Scripps Health in San Diego, California, and shared with me that social media has provided the organization an opportunity to share the Scripps employment branding and awards, encouraging healthcare professionals to experience this “best place to work,” as noted by Fortune Magazine and other publications.
Ginger explained that methods like a job feed on Facebook, selecting specific jobs to promote on Twitter, and a weekly recruiter chat on the organization’s website are providing Scripps with access to clinical candidates—especially nurses and harder to fill candidates.
The AMN Social Media survey would support that view, with Scripps’ social recruiting strategy reflecting the varied ways in which clinicians are job searching via social networks. Facebook was selected the top site for healthcare professionals, followed by LinkedIn.
“Since 2009 we’ve seen more healthcare professionals through Twitter and Facebook asking about the application process,” Ginger explained, although using social media for recruiting purposes wasn’t initially top of mind for Scripps when they started using social media. That’s since changed, as the organization has made a system-wide commitment to social media by encouraging sharing across the social channels by all employees.
In a report published by Computer Science Corporation (CSC), “Should Healthcare Organizations Use Social Media? A Global Update,” the CSC contends that healthcare organizations have been slower to adopt social media, as compared with other business sectors; although hospitals lead the healthcare sector for adoption of social media.
Typically, in the U.S., social media usage by hospitals is most prevalent in large, urban, nonprofit/private teaching hospitals and children’s hospitals. Internationally, European countries, including the United Kingdom are higher adopters of social media usage among hospitals, the CSC reports.
The report also provides recommendations to healthcare organizations regarding social media. They include: Having a presence instead of taking a wait-and-see approach, developing a social media policy, using social media to be where your customers are, and using social media to enhance marketing, branding, recruitment and reputation management, among other areas.
AMN’s social media survey does highlight that other methods remain viable sources for job searching today, even though social media usage in this area has increased year-over-year. In fact, one of the top job search methods used by healthcare professionals seeking jobs in 2011 was “Referrals” (70%) and “Recruiter Found Me” jumped from 46% in 2010’s survey to 54% in 2011. Of course, with the advent of LinkedIn, groups, discussion areas and a multitude of ways to connect today, these sources could very well have been initiated via social media.
How is your organization or hospital using social media today? Are you connecting with job seekers? We’d like to hear from you. Share your best practices here or e-mail me directly for an upcoming blog.
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Carol Burke, Sr. Director, Marketing & Communications, is the survey architect and author of the report: “Use of Social Media and Mobile by Healthcare Professionals: 2011 Results,” as well as the 2010 results, published last year. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.