Social media for nurses – a new recruitment toolbox item

Developing a strong presence on social media can help you and your organization, your nursing staff and your job applicants.

Social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, Snapchat and others are for many reasons, important places to be for nurses. They continue to grow in popularity, and the ones geared to business professionals are the ones most valuable to you and your recruitment work.

A recent article on Betterteam.com, defined recruitment via social media as a great way to advertise jobs, find applicants and communicate with potential hires—all crucial parts of your role as a successful nurse recruiter.

Success is all about exposure, so if you, your organization and nursing staff are not using these platforms, you’re not getting the exposure you need. They can help you connect with other recruiters; get your organization in front of the best applicants; highlight your nurses; provide information not found in interviews, cover letters, or resumes and narrow your applicant pool to those with special backgrounds or unique skills.

You and your organization

Not everyone joining sites like LinkedIn, Jobcase, Lunchmeet, Xing or MeetUp is joining for the same reasons. Some are looking for a new position; others want to get more connected. But everyone is trying to reach the movers, shakers  and influencers who may see them, maybe contact them and share employment opportunities and professional news.

Being on one of these platforms with information about where you work, your educational background and experience, something about your memberships with professional organizations or groups, special interests, perhaps a photo, offers a great way to promote yourself. Staying connected and going back with new and interesting posts or information over time will be of continued benefit to your entire organization. Remember: when they see you, they see your organization, too!

You and your nursing staff

As a leader, part of your role is to encourage staff to keep taking that next step needed to move their careers forward, and one good way is being on social media. They need to get themselves known in the nursing community and depending on their goals and objectives at any one time, they can always find the platform best for them. They should consider social media for nurses as career-building.

We all like to think staff will never leave us, and many argue you don’t need to move around to move up. But whether nurses’ careers move ahead in the same organization or elsewhere, they have more alternatives than in times past, and their upward mobility is important. Through advanced education, certification, experience and promotions, many can and do move ahead within the same organization, but the days of farewell dinners for nurses retiring after three or four decades in one facility are just about gone.

On any of the large social media sites, there’s a world of employment information for nurses on clinical and new, lucrative non-clinical positions including consulting, writing, sales and publishing, health coaching, community and public health management, patient safety roles, military, justice and law enforcement to name a few.

It’s likely we’ll be seeing new roles involving national readiness and preparedness based on what our country is learning during the current pandemic. According to themuse.com, companies still are hiring during the COVID-19 outbreak, which could lead to whole new way of where and how nurses will work in the future.

A few important tips to share with your staff about social media for nurses:

  • As a professional nurse, you should be on the professional social media on the one right for you. There are big ones, small ones, niche ones and general ones; they’re not “one size fits all.”

  • It’s never too soon or too late to join; your nursing career is an ongoing journey.

  • To interest the right people, your online profile needs to be informative and engaging. To be real, it must be self-authored—never have someone else write it.

  • Your profile needs to be attractive and all your posts professional.

  • After joining, do not disappear—maintain a presence on the site. Continue to grow and contribute.

You and your applicants

Keep changing with the times and with your applicants and help them see the importance of social platforms. At present in most organizations the largest percentage of job seekers comes through social media because they see it as the best tool to use. And according to careerarc.com, last year 91% of employers were using social media for recruitment.

Whether you hire certain applicants, and whether they accept a position with you, you’re in a good position to discuss career opportunities and next moves with them. Use the time as a professional teaching moment. Ask about what they did to prepare for the job search and the interview; what was good or bad about their search process and what they would do differently next time.

Encourage them to learn about professional branding and relationship-building. Tell them honestly how they compared with other applicants and in what ways. You have much to share, and they will remember you, be grateful for your advice and support and perhaps recommend you to a future applicant.