Targeted messaging, consistent voice help employers recruit and retain talent

Nov 16, 2023 | Digital, Healthcare, Public Relations

Now that the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic has passed, many of us are breathing a deep sigh of relief. However, the hard-hit healthcare industry is still reeling from COVID’s impacts and the recession it precipitated. Two of the most painful points are employee recruitment and retention. 

According to the 2023 Healthcare Workforce Scan, published by the American Hospital Association, the U.S. nursing workforce dropped 1.8 percent, representing more than 100,000 people leaving the industry between 2019 and 2022. This was the largest reduction in 40 years.

From registered nurses to behavioral health professionals, labor vacancies and high turnover rates have created an omnipresent strain on medical facilities across the U.S. That means competition for healthcare labor is overheating.

We know how hard hiring and retention can be for healthcare organizations right now. We worked closely with the Pennsylvania Primary Care Career Center to boost their hiring through targeted messaging and advertising visuals.

Here are GAVIN’s top three tips to differentiate your organization and receive applications from the skilled talent you need to grow.

Find your audiences and curate your messaging

Not all healthcare employees are the same. Before you start hyper-posting to social media, start with research.

Which positions need to be filled most? What does each of your unique audiences look like? Can you identify any common demographic, sociographic or psychographic characteristics?

Defining who you are talking to is the first step in understanding your audience’s values, goals and needs –– the building blocks from which you will derive your messaging.

You can use Maslow’s hierarchy of needs as a psychological tool to guide your recruitment process. If you’re hiring new medical assistants who make $35,000 a year, their needs fall into the physiological and safety blocks at the bottom of the pyramid. Your messaging should focus on addressing their basic needs such as a salary to pay bills and benefits to cover their family’s health insurance.

On the other hand, if you’re hiring a tenured physician with 30 years of experience, they may be especially interested in feeling respected, recognized and free to make changes within the organization. Consider messaging that focuses on fulfilling their esteem needs.

Tell your unique story with a consistent voice

Culture, work-life balance, mission-focused work and benefits are key. In 2022, the healthcare industry took third for the sector with the highest average opening rates at 8.8 percent. In January 2023, healthcare turnover rates sat at 3.3 percent, representing only a modest .3 percent decline from the previous January.

Such statistics emphasize the need for precision in messaging and internal follow-through. Tailor your message to your audience’s needs and showcase what sets you apart as an employer for recruitment. Then follow through with existing staff to help increase employee retention.

Get in touch with your company’s personality. Brand cohesion is key to attracting and retaining healthcare staff, and consistency is critical when presenting your company, no matter what position you are hiring for.

Develop an overarching tone of voice that reflects your company’s personality, whether you’re the fun, laid-back employer that hosts employee events during business hours or a more serious employer that prides itself in its family-friendly environment.

Create an omni-channel approach

Use your company tone of voice when creating a cohesive brand across all your paid, earned, shared and owned channels. This can include social media, email campaigns and other marketing efforts.

Consistency across all channels establishes trust. This helps potential candidates feel like they are receiving a clear and accurate representation of your organization. It can also help build loyalty among current employees who feel their organization has a strong identity and values.

Once you know what is influencing your audience’s career decisions and how to stand out from competitors, it’s time to refine the tactics and mediums for conveying your message. Geo-targeting and advertising on different platforms, including digital and traditional methods, can help you reach the right people.

Search advertising, such as Google Search, is an especially important tool to use as it allows you to target individuals actively searching for relevant job openings in a specific geographic area –– such as “RN positions in Philadelphia, PA.”

Also be sure to utilize different platforms for different targets. According to recent studies, Facebook is the most used platform among all generations, with 69 percent of adults in the U.S. using it. Younger generations tend to prefer Instagram and TikTok while older generations favor LinkedIn.

We’re here to help

Recruitment is critical during economic downturns as companies compete for a limited pool of job seekers, and understanding your audience is crucial for health care companies when developing effective, targeted recruitment messaging.

By crafting targeted messaging that speaks to the unique needs and concerns of your audience, your organization can stand out and attract top talent. Contact GAVIN today to discuss how our specialized healthcare marketing team can help you bring in and hold onto the best in the industry!