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Journal of ASPR - Winter 2013 - The journey from misunderstood to monumental
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The journey from misunderstood to monumental

Miranda GraceBy Miranda Grace, DASPR, Physician Recruiter, Lewistown Hospital

Thomas J. Watson, International Business Machines (IBM) chairman, 1943, once said, “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” Boy, was he wrong! Decades later, computers seem to consume our lives; nevertheless, I can’t imagine living without them. Lee Aase, Director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media, speaks on the phenomenon of the internet and how far we’ve come since 1994. Aase said, “On YouTube, there’s this cool video of Bryant Gumbel and Katie Couric talking on the Today show about ‘What is the Internet Anyway?’...That was 18 years ago, and email was just this wild and strange thing.”

Just like the misunderstandings that have taken place in the past, so too, are we (and/or our senior leadership) misunderstanding the potential of social media and its vast capabilities. Social media facilitates networking, marketing, and potentially, recruiting.

So when it comes time to sell social media to your “C” suite, how do you share the merits of this tool? Here are some tips to make a case for social media use in the office:

Why use social media?

  • Everyone else is doing it
    While this may not have been a good excuse to use with your parents, executives love replicating the marketing tools and strategies of others in the industry. Share with them the social media sites of some other successful healthcare entities. When they see that others have done it successfully, it might put their minds at ease.
  • Increase website traffic
    There is potential to increase website traffic, not only to your main page, but your job opportunities as well. The more eyes that see it, the better.
  • Quick and easy
    Depending on your learning curve, social media is quick and easy to use. Messages will be delivered instantly and your audience won’t be waiting weeks to read a job posting in the next journal coming out in a few weeks.
  • Increases credibility and brand marketing
    The more positive exposure your company can get, the better. Social media sites are called “outlets” for a reason. They let out your message and establish or enhance brand recognition.
  • Reach passive candidates
    Those who might not even be looking for a new position could come across your posting on a site where they weren’t expecting to find it.
  • Reach them where they are
    We know they’re out there; it’s just a matter of finding them. Reach the medical students, residents, and physicians where they are.
  • Be searchable
    Many times when searching for someone online, for example, a physician recruiter, social media sites are the first to populate results. We want our potential candidates to be able to find us anytime, anywhere.
  • It’s cheap (maybe even free)
    All social media sites are free to use. If you decide to jump in further, there are applications that can help you manage content at a minimal fee; all of which pale in comparison to advertising costs (Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, Tweet Button, etc.).
  • It’s measurable
    With the help of analytic data, our social media efforts are now measurable. You can create reports using Google Analytics to learn the number of clicks per day/month/year, etc.
  • Background checking
    Although controversial, social media sites allow recruiters to delve in even further to complete a comprehensive background check on candidates.
  • Keeping track of lost candidates
    So you lost a good one; that doesn’t mean you have to lose track of them. Keep in touch using social media sites. Your engagement might change someone’s mind or bring him/her back at a later date!
  • It’s expected of us
    This is what it all boils down to…it’s expected. Medical students and residents will be seeking us, our patients, and/or our physicians using these social sites. If we’re not there to answer their questions, who will be?

Remember, it’s important to first gauge the learning curve of your audience, be patient and allow time for questions. If you, yourself are not confident using this tool, be sure to scope it out ahead of time. Ask colleagues how they have used or are using it, and make sure to do your research. It might also be helpful to draft a social media policy ahead of time. In it, address items such as who will act as “social media administrator,” goals and benchmarks to go by, how often posts will go up, and what is allowed and not allowed as content. Lastly, if necessary, avoid using the word “social.” Unfortunately, sometimes this word can have a party-like connotation with senior leadership. If you address the issue as a content management or marketing strategy, it might come across as more agreeable.

Keep this discussion going:

Share how you convinced your senior leadership to adopt social media recruitment at #csuitsocialmedia on Twitter.

Journal of ASPR - Winter 2013

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