Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Health Care vs. Social Media

Social Media and Health Carephoto by rosefirerising

Since the launch of HealthCareerWeb a few months back, I have been digging and searching to find the gap that exists between Social Media and health care recruiting. In my quest I ran across Phil Bauman, a Social Media advocate who is also a Registered Nurse. This is 1 piece of a 3-part discussion we had about Social Media and the Healthcare industry. The other 2 parts can be found at the Orlando JobSpot and the Employment Guide Spot Blog.

In this session we are looking at ways that the Health Care industry has embraced open communication via Social Media and some hindrances that are stopping Health Care HR professionals from using these tools.

Being a registered nurse, Phil Bauman has the opportunity to offer hands on information as to what is available to him on his job. (Disclaimer: Phil works at just one health care company and may not necessarily have the access to tools that others do.) We are looking at on the job tools and not personal profiles on Social Networking sites. His thoughts on the technology available on the job as well as tips that can be implemented on the job are as follows;

  • Most online tools that I have seen seem to be based on the employment and recruiting models of the 20th century. I think we need to move away from the resume-interview-cog model to a personal/professional branding model. A well-crafted and interesting blog can improve a person's awareness of their own skills and provide a deeper understanding of a candidate's background.
  • Likewise, a hospital blog that allows its employees to blog is a great way to show prospective candidates "Hey, this hospital is WAY ahead of the game. I should check them out."
  • Word of mouth is the marketing (and recruiting) of the future. It always was the best way to go, but in light of the Long Tail advanced by online social media, it's important that facilities intelligently investigate, invest and maintain the right kinds of social media. Again, a LinkedIn version for healthcare could make sense.
  • Hospitals could even use social media for their staffing, their staff scheduling and job promotion.

I can attest to the recruiting end that Social Media is starting to make an impact on the way professionals are brought into organizations. With the rise in job boards and the ease of use in mass applying, HR professionals need to find ways to better position themselves apart from their competitors as well as passive job seekers. Using Social Media as a tool to filter through candidates, proactively search through great employees and showcase their institute is only the beginning.

Like Phil said, blogging can lead to an increase in brand awareness and recognition. This goes a lot further than recruiting great talent. If your great talent can increase the visibility of your company through blogging and Social Media you can increase business and your ROI starts to increase. Both are win-wins in today’s economic state.

So, why aren’t HR professional in the Health Care industry using these tools such as blogging, video, Social Networking and the like? Phil goes on to state:

  • There are nurses who use social media. But in my experience, many nurses are unaware of the tools out there. Perhaps because Main Stream Media paints a caricature of blogs and social media. Also nurses get so busy with providing healthcare and don't sit at desks with internet access at work all day that it's easy for the world to pass them by. Facilities should encourage, not discourage social media.
  • HR professionals in health care might also feel that healh care professionals aren't online. A solution would be for HR professionals to develop educational materials to their employees and prospective employees. A web page devoted to Social Media Education could go a long way for adoption. The process has to be active, not passive.
  • HR professionals need to understand the value to empolyees, patients and the facility itself in using social media. Education is the key.

The second point is a strong one. If there are no other health care professionals networking online then essentially you will have no one to talk with. That’s the theory at least. Well, it’s a good thing theories are meant to be tested and changed.

Why not be the first to market? Why not be the innovative leader? Putting yourself and these organizations out to the web will start a conversation, whether you know it or not. People will find you via the network, word-of-mouth or through search engines. Web 2.0 is all about conversations. Allowing your peers, clients and other professionals to converse with you is a great thing to have.

On HealthCareerWeb we have made this an easy option for health care companies to say YES to. When you have an account with HCW, you have the ability to connect with other professionals, job seekers and industry players as well as post events and forums. The tools have been built, now we need you to join the conversation!

So, where is your institution? Are they talking online or still trying to figure this Social Media thing out? Please leave your comments, answers and questions in the comments. If you have other needs or questions, please send an email to and we can set you up with a consultation on Social Media and HealthCareerWeb.

The other 2 articles in the series can be found here:

Orlando JobSpot

Employment Guide Spot Blog

-Greg Rollett


Jim Farrell said...

Great information Greg. everyday,I see Social Media is becoming more of a preferred method of communication.

I just wrote a post on "Social Media For Health Care" I would love to know your opinion on it.

I am planning on doing a post on how Social Media is being used by Health Care recuriters and found the information in your post very usefull.

Keep up the great work.


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