“The overarching goal that led us to build this product was that recruiters need to go where their audience is,” Zeff says. “So, for a long time, it was focused on want ads in the newspapers, and then with the Internet explosion in the late '90s, it was all about job boards.”
Another medium that healthcare HR departments are fond of is Twitter. Healthcare ranked No. 9 on Bullhorn's list of industries that use the 140-character platform to post job vacancies.
Christina Thielst, vice president at Tower, a Santa Barbara, Calif.-based consulting group, is a former chief operating officer for 160-bed Ventura County Medical Center, Ventura, Calif. She calls LinkedIn the best place to build a virtual network, but also acknowledges the popularity of Twitter searches. She uses TweetDeck, an application that allows users to easily filter through Tweets to find subject matter that interests them. The same principle that applies to a user looking for sports news about his favorite team goes for a job candidate looking for a career opportunity in a specific field of expertise.
“You'd be amazed on how many hospitals are searching for patient-experience coordinators, managers, vice presidents,” Thielst says. “You name the title, and if it's got 'patient experience,' it's popping up on my TweetDeck, and the hospitals are hiring these people.”
There's still plenty to be worked out, such as how to handle posting employee recommendations. Many hospitals have policies that require HR to review recommendations, but no written rules about online job searches. Questions about what applies to those online job queries might be one of the biggest factors why some hospital executives are staying away from social media postings: “People are still afraid,” Thielst says.
Thielst remembers when she first dipped her toe into social media in 2005, when she started her first healthcare-oriented blog. The only ones who seemed to want to join her in the blogosphere were physicians and information technology workers. “I couldn't find one hospital administrator,” she says.
Now, more administrators are onboard and embracing social media with their own accounts. “It will be ubiquitous with the workflow of the healthcare organization; it's going to be like e-mail and the telephone in healthcare,” she says.
It's also a marketing tool, as more online content posted by providers—including job openings—boosts the organization's online search engine rankings, Thielst notes. The increase in activity leads her to disagree with the notion that only entry-level jobs aimed at younger employees are the ones being promoted online.
“Absolutely not—chief medical officer, chief medical information officer—everything's going out on Twitter,” Thielst says. “And part of it is because it's more content-driven.”
Likewise, Bullhorn has seen a wide variety of healthcare positions posted online, Zeff says. They range from $9-an-hour jobs to ones with annual salaries of more than $600,000.
Technology, such as social media, helps connect job seekers of all levels, especially those with the busiest schedules, says Mike Soisson, senior vice president of Pinstripe Healthcare, a consultancy. Automated online schedulers help Pinstripe connect passive job seekers, those who are working while looking for new employment, to recruiters. It's a much better way to connect versus trading voice mails, Soisson says.
“When we think and see the need to hire talent a little differently as organizations get paid differently through patient satisfaction and based on clinical outcomes, organizations need to look at hiring different types of people,” he says.