Jobhop Jobhop's blog : Can Social Recruiting Help The NHS and Its Hiring Challenges?

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"It is not the strongest of the species that survives,
not the most intelligent that survives.
It is the one that is the most adaptable to change."

The famous Charles Darwin quote and it means just as much in today's world as it did then. 

The NHS has been around for 71 years now, and throughout that time, there have been many changes; change isn't easy, but to survive, we must keep adapting to change.

Technology is changing how candidates find out about jobs, and the old methods aren't working anymore.

So, what is working? These days candidates are taking into their own hands to find the right jobs, and they're using social media networks to do so.

Candidates can Google the best organisations to work for, the best training providers, good employee reviews as well as negative employee reviews, career opportunities and more.

As well as Google, they are collecting this information from Facebook, Linkedin, Youtube, Twitter, Instagram, blogs, Glassdoor and other sites. 

Today's candidate is hyper-connected online, that means they're about 2.5 steps away from someone who works at whatever organisation that takes their interest. Candidates can quickly find out if they should soon get their foot in the door or stay well away. Today's candidates are knowledgable because knowledge is power; they also know their worth, which makes them choosy. That's right; the power lies with the candidate; they do the selecting, which means organisations have to up their game. To be chosen by a candidate, you need to be a "preferred employer."

We know that the NHS has had a challenging time recruiting the right people.

Over 40,000 nurses are required, but nursing bursaries have been abolished, making it a lot harder for the UK to grow our own. 

There's been an increase in nurses leaving the NHS; change of career, relocation, demoralisation, as well as swapping the public sector for the private sector are just some of the reasons.  

Life expectancy has gone up, and we all know what that means, people living longer, more people to look after, which means more NHS staff are needed. 

Recruiting nurses is a small bit of the problem; some parts of the NHS are only able to fill 1 in 400 job vacancies.  50% of NHS dental practices are also struggling to recruit, and in 2018, a £100m budget was set aside to recruit overseas doctors.

Currently, temp staff are filling the gaps, 65% of temp staff are asked to fill in for full-time roles, in five years expenditure on temporary staff increased from £2.9 billion to £4.7 billion.  

Add into the mix Brexit, and you can see why we need to do things differently; so how can social recruiting help?  

How do we engage the job seekers who are using social media in their search for their next position?

Is social recruiting the magic wand that the NHS is looking for? 

It's not the answer for everything but done correctly, it can help, and here's how. 

First, how do you think onlookers perceive the NHS? All the gloomy, negative stories you hear on the news, people could believe that it's an awful place to work. The worrying thing is many people believe what they hear and are put off before even reading the job description. Working with the NHS, I've been amazed by the many good, positive stories there are, but no-one hears about them.  

Social media has the power to reach millions of people globally; Facebook has over 2billion users! The NHS has this free medium to showcase the positives of working at the NHS. 

I helped to create social media posts about the NHS benefits, wow, there are a lot, and no-one was shouting about them. When you delve deeper, you find out that there are discounts offered in lots of places for NHS staff, but no-one knows about them because no-one is talking about them. Some of the hospitals I visited have wellness trails, running clubs, on-site gyms, knitting classes, but anyone looking for a job wouldn't know any of this. 

The NHS needs to build its employer brand as a great place to work and use social media to promote it. 

Everyone should take ownership in promoting the employer brand, not just the marketing team; crowd power is always better than only one. 

Social media can be used as an educational tool for the younger generation.  Jobs that involve caring, compassion and empathy, won't be replaced by robots because robots don't have those skills. 

Automation of jobs is increasing, but robots can only replace jobs that can be systemised. Robots will be a big part of the NHS, but they can't do jobs like nursing. For the younger generation, it's reassuring to know that after all their training there will still be jobs for them. 

Social media can engage the NHS, bringing nurses, doctors, occupational therapists and more together. Engaging past, present and future employees in groups on Facebook, Linkedin, on Twitter, via the well known WeChat hours, the well known one being #Wenurses 

Making the groups and chats known will encourage potential candidates to network and ask questions.

Some excellent social media posts I've helped with are: "day in the life" stories; these types of posts are a great way to show candidates behind the scenes. 

There are many ways to attract people to the NHS across social media platforms, with the use of images, videos, podcasts, live-streaming, stories, webinars, and more.

But it shouldn't all be based on attraction marketing; the NHS should also try sourcing candidates; this is actively seeking potential recruits across the platforms. NHS Returners is a big pool to fish from; you'll find them in group discussions because they're always NHS at heart.

NHS returners like to have a foot in the door and sourcing will help to open the door wider for them. 

Attracting and sourcing candidates need to come together with the candidate journey. This means that every step a candidate takes, it should be a good experience. Clicking a post on Twitter shouldn't lead the candidate to a clunky website that is slow-loading and hard to read on a mobile. Remember, most candidates are using their mobile phones to access information and sites; you will lose them if they have a bad mobile experience.

Social recruiting is not post and pray; it is strategic. 

If you'd like to chat about how social recruiting can help your organisation, then get in touch >  Click Here To Email 

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Julie Bishop

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On: 2019-07-26 12:07:25.912