Using Social Media for Healthcare Recruiting

Using Social Media for Healthcare Recruiting

Susan Swayze (The George Washington University, USA), Thomas M. Gronow (University of Colorado Hospital, USA) and Johanna Sweet (Roanoke College, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5829-3.ch010


Healthcare organizations have turned to social media to attract applicants to hard-to-fill positions. This chapter is focused on the use of social media as part of e-recruiting strategies in two healthcare organizations—one located in the Rocky Mountain region and the other in the Mid-Atlantic region. Interviews with human resources recruiters and administrators provided insight into the mechanisms by which healthcare organizations are utilizing social media to move the needle within their organizations.
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Often Internet-facilitated employee recruitment is referred to as electronic recruiting or e-recruiting (Galanaki, 2002; Stone, Deadrick, Lukaszewski, & Johnson, 2015; Waddill & Marquardt, 2011; Wozniak, 2014). E-recruiting emerged as a recruiting tool in the mid-1990s and thus has been utilized as a human resource tool for more than 20 years. What began as a competitive strategy has become a necessity for healthcare organizations that are trying to fill critical shortages in specific positions, such as nurses. But e-recruiting represents more than a human resource tool or strategy, but a “change in the culture” (Capelli, 2001) because e-recruiting fundamentally changed the recruitment process from batch submission and processing of applications to continuous submission and processing more aligned with the 24-7 nature of the technology-enabled or online environment (Lee, 2005). E-recruiting also contributed to greater efficiency in the recruitment and application process as Holm (2010) found in their qualitative study of three Danish companies; e-recruiting replaced the traditional process consisting of unique tasks into a process where some tasks could be performed concurrently resulting in greater efficiency of the recruitment and application process.

The progression of e-recruiting has moved from augmenting traditional recruitment methods (e.g., company website job postings and application submission) to developing a recruitment strategy on the foundation of social networks (Priyadarshini, Kumar, & Jha, 2017). What constitutes e-recruiting is wide-ranging and consists of posting open positions on job search websites such as Indeed or Glassdoor to utilizing social media applications including Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter as well as real-time recruitment activities such as virtual career fairs and interactive dialogs. Stone et al. (2015) suggest that approximately 90% of large organizations engage in e-recruiting and allow online applications. The rise of e-recruiting can be aligned with the growth of the Internet as well as the increased use of handheld Internet-enabled devices, such as cell phones and tablets (Mackelden, 2013).

Organizations benefit from e-recruiting strategies because they make the recruitment process more efficient and effective, and reach a larger pool of potential candidates resulting in a larger volume of applications for open positions. Through the use of social media sites, such as Linkedin, recruiters can connect with a large number of passive job seekers (those who may already be employed but may apply for a new position if they see one of interest), screen candidates, and send targeted position announcements when an applicable position becomes available which has led to greater efficiency in hiring (Boscai, 2017; Gupta, 2016; Roth, Bobko, Van Iddekinge, & Thatcher, 2016; Van Iddekinge, Lanivich, Roth, & Junco, 2016). Additionally, the use of social media for job search and application is particularly beneficial for organizations seeking to attract younger job seekers, such as Generation Y or Millennials, who conduct the majority of their daily business via cell phone.

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