Recruitment vs. patient acquisition: the battle of the budgets
From 2020 to 2021, health systems saw a drastic change in their priorities, shifting from improvement in outcomes as their top priority to being 91% focused on attracting and retaining top talent. Because recruitment has become such an issue in healthcare, it almost seems to be stealing budget away from patient acquisition initiatives.
But wait, there’s good news! There’s a strategy that creates a win-win between HR and marketing departments, two teams that are often siloed with different budgets, efforts, and goals. We’ve discovered a two-part solution that makes the most of your budget and resources while effectively bridging the gap between the common goals and separate campaign efforts of both teams. And it might not be as daunting as you think.
Build brand loyalty from the inside out through recruitment
Are your employees ready for their close-up? It all starts with leveraging your most valuable resource: your people. This means incorporating their knowledge and perspective as you build your brand and service line campaigns. You can even take it a step further by featuring employees (as compliance allows, of course) and the day-to-day work they’re doing in the community. And it can be as simple as incorporating staff into your collateral.
And more importantly, you can involve them in campaign execution by incorporating an internal-facing launch, giving them a sneak peek of what’s to come. Moreover, this approach will help generate buzz and excitement within your organization.
The added bonus of highlighting your people in your advertising? Once the campaign launches publicly, your employees will want to share it, creating a word-of-mouth marketing domino effect and leading to more referrals and qualified candidates. You can even feature them in your recruitment campaigns. Besides, who doesn’t want their 15 minutes of fame?
This is where the second part of our solution comes into play.
Physician recruitment doesn't need to take up all of your budget
You’re probably concerned about budget allocation since it’s all everyone seems to be talking about these days. After all, recruitment is getting all the attention and taking funds from patient acquisition, right? Not anymore. Because recruitment efforts and consumer-focused marketing don’t have to be mutually exclusive.
It’s all in how you approach your audience, budget, and messaging. When you consider your typical annual campaign segmentation, you create multiple consumer segments, all with unique CTAs, targeting, and allocations that are tied to specific goals. With that in mind, it’s time to bring recruitment to the table as you’re promoting traditional service lines and overall brand. Don’t forget — your prospective employees are B2C prospects as well. Is it too radical to think of dedicating precious budget dollars that have been historically reserved for “what we’ve always done” to aligning with where 91% of health systems are focusing? We don’t think so.
“Given shrinking budgets in health organizations, it is more important than ever that marketing and recruitment work collaboratively to create efficiency and a desire of belonging, either from a patient or employee perspective.” — Kathleen Perley, DECODE Founder + CEO
Healthcare recruiting goes hand in hand with building patient loyalty
In reality, setting aside 5%-10% of a campaign’s budget for recruitment efforts that are in line with the overall campaign messaging can actually increase awareness and take your money further by maximizing visibility — and impact. From a targeting perspective, if a nurse sees a general consumer brand ad, followed by a recruitment-focused ad under the same campaign umbrella, they’ll be more likely to take note. They’ll also begin to connect additional reasons to believe and proof points that showcase the core of who your organization really is, rather than solely focusing on the typical sign-on bonus or paycheck.
This inclusion of recruitment in marketing efforts can also create synergy between the marketing and HR departments, allowing for increased collaboration, visibility, and alignment of strategy and tactics. Think of it as, in a way, having eyes in the back of your head. Teaming up can let you hear more ideas, while making sure they’re on par with brand and quality standards. No need to worry about HR going rogue with marketing materials.
Instead of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing, this new perspective built on partnership allows you to actively monitor how the brand is being used and promoted. And to make a good thing even better, these campaigns offer yet another opportunity to shine a light on your employees — and that’s music to any HR director’s ears.
How to retain employees in healthcare: show your COMMITMENT
Remember, it’s vital to refresh your perspective of recruitment and retention in 2023 and beyond, keeping your people at the core and working smarter — not harder — with your budget allocations. Prioritizing partnership over silos in your marketing efforts allows the HR department and your employees to see that you view them as more than just faces on flyers — you recognize and support their needs and the value they add to every aspect of your organization.
If you’re hungry for more recruitment strategy insights, we’re just a phone call — or email — away.