How to Use Social Media to Reach Job Applicants

With no end in sight to the nursing shortage, healthcare recruiters must be more creative than ever to source top talent for their job openings. Social media can help.

The pandemic has led to a precipitous increase in the number of nurses considering leaving the profession. The 2022 Nurse Salary Research Report: Trends and Insights for Leaders and Recruiters found that 29% of survey respondents were considering leaving nursing. This percentage, which includes nurses across all licensures, is substantially higher than the 11% who indicated they were considering leaving in our 2020 survey.

Healthcare leaders and recruiters are leveraging new channels and approaches to reach nurses in hopes of keeping them from leaving the healthcare industry altogether. One of the most successful ways? Social media recruiting.

Attract candidates on social media

Recruiting via social media has become more and more necessary to stay competitive. Recent research suggests that 73% of candidates aged 18-34 found their last job through social media and 57% of all candidates use social media in their job search. With 84% of organizations already using social media to recruit candidates, there’s no time to waste.

With the ability to create company profile pages and to post and advertise open positions on both social media platforms, an active job-seeking nurse audience is at your fingertips. Combine this reach with the ability to appeal to the passive job seeker with your content and branding, and social media quickly becomes one of the most powerful recruiting tools in your arsenal. Here are some ways to effectively use it.

Establish a solid online presence

Your organization’s social media presence and content is probably more important than you think.

According to a study published in 2017 by Ghent University in Belgium, viewing a company’s Facebook or LinkedIn page has a direct, positive impact on how nurses perceive working for that company. This finding suggests that social branding does affect your recruitment success rate, so ensure your company pages are fully optimized to give your brand the best representation possible.

A great starting point is to follow best practices outlined by Facebook and LinkedIn when creating and updating your pages. Set an occasional reminder to review established best practices for updates — Facebook in particular tends to change requirements such as image size every so often, and your pages should always reflect the most recent specifications.

Focus on content that reflects your company’s work culture. For example, do you have a celebratory event for your RNs during National Nurses Week? Post about it. Potential candidates will be excited to see that your organization is one that values its employees.

Target candidates outside your network

Building a social presence and establishing a network of followers is a crucial (and free!) first step to recruiting on social media. Your content and interaction with your brand are valuable, but they are limited in that they only extend to people who already follow your company.

To up your recruitment game and reach new potential recruits, it is critical to make an investment in social media ads. Both Facebook and LinkedIn have robust ad platforms that allow you to target by geography, interests, job title and scores of other demographics.

Do keep in mind, however, that the native targeting in these platforms is only as good as the data behind it. For example, when targeting the “registered nurse” job title in Facebook’s ad platform, Facebook can only present you with targets who have chosen to identify their profession with these words on their profile page.

Bolster your campaign with multichannel recruitment

Social media recruitment, while effective on its own, returns the most investment when combined with recruitment campaigns through other channels, such as email or network digital display. Cross promoting in multiple channels enables you to reach potential candidates no matter where they are in the recruitment funnel and keeps your target engaged with your brand across multiple devices, locations and platforms.

With more than 66.8 million LinkedIn users and 2.93 billion monthly Facebook users as of 2022, it has become impossible to ignore social media as a source for potential nurse candidates. By representing your brand, highlighting your organization’s culture and landing on the right combination of targeting and cross-channel promotion, you’ll attract both active and passive job seekers for your open nursing positions.

To learn more about what matters to nurses in their careers, you can review the findings within the 2022 Nurse Salary Research Report.

Download the report here.