Why Healthcare Employer Brands Matter

June 14th, 2018
Ross Coyle
Employer Branding,

While less than half of healthcare companies invest in employer branding, more than 90% of healthcare candidates say that the employer brand is a crucial factor in deciding where to apply.

While there can be many different facets of an employer brand, it’s the Employer Value Proposition, or EVP, that will most directly improve the volume and quality of your applicants because it is a powerful tool to drive candidate awareness. 

According to Gartner, a strong EVP also results in:

  • 29% increased new hire commitment
  • 50% reduced new hire compensation premiums
  • 100% likelihood of employees to advocate for the organization

How to Build a Great EVP for Your Healthcare Organization

  • Start with An Employer Brand Audit An Employer Brand Audit provides you with a starting point for understanding how your brand differentiates itself from competitors. It’s a step by step examination of their sources, content, and EVP against your own. Auditing your employer brand provides you with a way to target specific candidates. An employer brand audit provides you with a deeper understanding of what sourcing areas you might be missing and what content you need to improve or expand. You’ll get a stronger sense of what your competitors aren’t doing and areas you can capitalize on. Finally, a brand audit will help you refine your EVP messaging by comparing the ways you both talk to and engage candidates.

Learn How to Conduct a Competitive Employer Brand Audit

  • Craft a specific mission statement While mission statements may seem superficial, remember that mission-driven companies have 30 percent higher levels of innovation and 40 percent higher levels of retention. Establish why you are in business. It could be anything from “to provide the best care to the elderly” to “ensuring that everyone in our community has access to medical support to live healthy lives.”
  • Show off all the roles in your organization Create testimonials and employee profiles to show what jobs help your hospital function. While the gut reflex is to interview doctors and nurses, include support and technical staff as well to provide a well rounded picture of everyone who works at there. Ensure that the profiles show off a range of diverse experiences as well as diverse jobs.Not only does this demonstrate diversity, it makes employees and applicants feel included in an organization which improves not only your candidate pool but also retention. Use this opportunity to demonstrate how each of your employees from top-to-bottom is aligned with your mission and impacts the lives of your patients and customers.
  • Demonstrate Commitment to Employee Growth In a 2017 LinkedIn survey, 44% of candidates said that career growth opportunities were what swayed them to choose one company over another. Show how an employee can grow within your organization, such as an LPN who started their career as a CNA at your hospital, or a secretary who now holds a leadership position. Focus on information about continuing education opportunities and employee culture. 
  • Use Social Media to Engage Candidates and Promote Positions Social media can show off spontaneous differences in a company, whether it’s a fast photo of employees interacting or an abrupt quote from a nurse or doctor about their work. 88% of HR professionals use social media to develop their employer brands and show their EVPs. Find out where some of your best candidates come from and encourage employees to share stories and experiences on those sites.Be active on sites that many candidates use to evaluate your company. If you haven’t claimed your company on pages like Glassdoor, now is the time. Reviews that have occurred in the last six months are particularly insightful to candidates so respond to a few positive and negative ones to show that you’re invested in and listening to your workforce.
  • Create an Excellent Candidate Experience Use tools like game-based assessments and video interviews to keep your application process short and simple for candidates and highly predictive for you. Make sure they get the chance to express their skills and aptitudes. Outside of competencies, candidates also value showing themselves and what makes them a unique add to your workforce.
  • Make Your Employee Experience Content Authentic Encourage employees featured your testimonials, job previews, and culture insights to be honest and authentic. This isn’t always easy, because it will require you to acknowledge areas of improvement. Your goal should be for current employees to look at your career page, and say that “yes, that is the company I work for.” Don’t be afraid to look different.
  • Consider Company Alumni Groups Your future employees could have already spent time working for your company and could have left for a myriad of reasons beyond disengagement or dissatisfaction. Most notably, some could have left to uplevel their skills and could be transitioning from non-clinical to clinical positions.Some could have left for reasons related to benefits, work-life-balance, compensation or others. As your organization responds to the changing workforce and needs of your employees this is a place to show off progress you have made as an organization and recruit some disenfranchised employees back.Maintaining relationships with past employees could prove a valuable not only for your EVP but a channel in recruiting talent in the future.
  • Improve your Candidate Experience Candidates who have a good experience are more likely to refer colleagues, while a poor experience could cost you business. A poor candidate experience has a number of adverse impacts on your employer brand that can translate over to your consumer brand.In the Talent Board’s 2017 CandE report, 84% of candidates with bad experiences were unlikely to refer colleagues while 82% of candidates with good experiences were extremely likely to refer others. 41% of candidates who had poor experiences said they would cut their business relationships and go to competitors.

Webinar: How to Build a Stellar Candidate Experience

While an EVP provides a starting point for the way you position your brand, remember that what defines your employer brand goes far beyond the walls of your hospital or office complex. It’s how your employees talk about working for your organization on Glassdoor, LinkedIn, or with their colleagues and patients or customers.