Employer Branding Recruitment Marketing

Webinar Q&A: Hard-to-Fill Roles, Fulfilled!

Profile photo of Kaitlyn Holbein
Written by Kaitlyn Holbein
Webinar Q&A: Hard-to-Fill Roles, Fulfilled!
Rate this post

We were thrilled to have Kelly Piccininni and Jessica Summerfield share their expertise with us last week during our Hard-to-Fill Roles, Fulfilled! webinar. We had so many wonderful questions at the end of the webinar, but not enough time to answer them all, so Kelly and Jessica were kind enough to answer them for us afterwards.

Here’s a categorized list of everything submitted so you can learn from what your peers are asking – or so you can track down your own question and get the answer you’re looking for!

If you couldn’t attend the webinar last week, you can get a recap of some of the key points on our blog post, Top 7 Ways to Attract Candidates to Your Hard-to-Fill Roles. You can also access the full Hard-to-Fill Roles, Fulfilled! On Demand Webinar.

The presenters

Kelly Piccininni, Talent Acquisition Manager

Kelly is responsible for recruitment, retention and employer branding at Northside Hospital, where she manages a team of 40. Prior to Northside, Kelly owned a Snelling Staffing Services franchise for five years.

Jessica Summerfield, Social Media Specialist

Jessica helps tell the Advocate Aurora Health employer brand story through social media, employee stories, employer ambassador activation, career site strategy and more.

Questions & Answers: 
Social Recruiting & Content 

Do you use Pinterest or Instagram for recruiting?

Jessica: Not at Advocate Aurora Health, but I have at past organizations.

Instagram is a great place to showcase “day in the life of” imagery of your employees, events, etc. Our Advocate Health and Aurora Health Care brands both have corporate Instagram handles that showcase employees frequently and we see a ton of great engagement.

I’d recommend Pinterest only if all your other channels are working – and working well – as a nice-to-have. Pinterest can be great, but it can be labor intensive to start and maintain, with potentially very little measurable hiring benefits.

In a past job, where we had more resources and significantly more candidate traffic, I used Pinterest. We used it as a place for candidates to learn more about our culture and organization by creating boards like Milwaukee Life, Interview Tips, Volunteer Efforts, etc. We focused on creating content geared at job roles on Pinterest that we thought would be most likely to be Pinterest users: product developers, graphic designers, marketing and child care professionals.

Where is the best place to start when beginning to build an employer brand and create content? 

Kelly: In a nutshell? Look at what makes you unique and what content and resources you have available to showcase that uniqueness.

Jessica: Start with uncovering your employee value proposition (EVP)! Once that is defined, you can start to build content based on the words, phrases and feelings in the EVP and then spread the content on whatever channels you can manage.

Rally note: Looking for more info on creating EVPs? Take a look at this blog post authored by RallyRM Mentor, Ben Gledhill: A Simple Model for Creating Your People Proposition.

Who takes the lead on social recruiting at your organization? How much do you rely on peer-to-peer social networking?

Jessica: I manage our posts for LinkedIn, as well as careers-focused Twitter and Facebook accounts. I partner with our marketing social team to ensure we’re staying on brand and that we cross-pollinate content with each other.

In terms of peer-to-peer social networking, it’s definitely a focus area as well for us. I do a “road show” where I travel to different locations and present on LinkedIn, Glassdoor and social media in general, working to create strong employer brand ambassadors. I think a lot of people (especially leaders in healthcare) are afraid to use social media for professional purposes. My goal is to dispel the myths, educate about the different platforms and encourage people to help us share the message that we’re a great place to work.

You mentioned using real employee photos is a best practice. How do you get employees consent to use their images? 

Kelly: We have all employees sign a release when they’re hired – and we definitely get releases for all patients, family members or non-employees!

Jessica: For website photos, we have a simple release that is used company wide as we leverage a lot of employee photos throughout the organization, not just for recruiting. For social posts, it’s typically a verbal agreement, especially for large-group shots.

How often do you recommend posting to social media: weekly, daily, hourly?

Kelly: We post 2-3 times per week on each of our platforms.

Jessica: I post to LinkedIn 6 times each week, Facebook 5-7 times per week and Twitter 2 times a day. If I had time to source more content, especially team member stories, quotes and testimonials, I’d love to do 2-3 posts per day on Facebook and up to 5-6 times on Twitter.

Career Site

How many career areas do you personalize towards on your career site?

Kelly: We have three personalized career streams on our site: 1) nursing 2) allied health and 3) corporate. However, we have five overall career areas that we provide landing pages and enhanced job ads for: nursing, allied health, non-clinical, physician practices and physician/MD opportunities.

Jessica: We have 15 career areas listed on our site and some of those are broken down further. For example, “Clinical Professionals” has links to additional landing pages for Medical Assistants, Certified Nursing Assistants and Surgical Services. You can see the full list for yourself on the Advocate Aurora Health career page.

What are your tips and recommendations when there are not many active roles to display on your website?

Kelly: Focus on culture, advancement opportunities and what makes you unique instead. This way people may gain the interest and desire to check back or build brand awareness so they’ll pay attention when they see future job postings.

Jessica: Play up the culture and treat the jobs that are posted as “special.” If you don’t post jobs very often because you’re a smaller organization, when you do have a job open, make a big deal about it: “these don’t come often, but this is YOUR opportunity to join our team!” When you have a small number of jobs, you can also pay much greater attention to writing a stellar job description. Include quotes (or video testimonials!) from the hiring manager or rest of the team, specific to that opening. Then get every employee you can to share that posting with their networks on social media, via email, etc.

What’s most important for a company just starting out to think about as they build their career site and get started with Recruitment Marketing activity?

Jessica: The first thing to do is work on your employee value proposition. That becomes your north star. Figure out what sets you apart from other employers in your industry or geography, and then build your content from there. Build your career site and include open positions. From there you can use social media to get the jobs out without spending as much money as you maybe would on some other job boards or using other digital marketing tools.

Any recommendations for a company with subsidiaries who operate as their own entity in terms of recruitment but that also have shared career sites?

Jessica: You can build out an EVP that is overarching for all of your brands and subsidiaries. Every location, subsidiary, department, etc. has a little bit of a different culture, but there will be major commonalities and themes that exist across the entire organization. Some examples could be: giving back, a friendly culture, a focus on environmentalism, promotion from within… Once an overarching EVP is established, you can create different “flavors” for the subsidiaries that builds on this EVP, but that features the unique attributes of each. 

Technology & Tools

Northside Hospital, how are site visitors delivered such a personalized experience? Is this technology powered by your ATS?

Kelly: Our site personalization is driven by a candidate’s IP address and their previous engagement with the site, like what jobs they showed an interest in. The user is then presented with a custom experience based on that past interaction with jobs and other pages. Symphony Talent helps us to execute on this from a technology standpoint.

Which ATS is Aurora Advocate Health using?

Jessica: PeopleSoft currently. This is great because we use PeopleSoft as a full Human Capital Management (HCM) software, so it’s fully integrated. But it can offer a lot of challenges from a candidate experience perspective. Advocate is on a different platform, so we’ll likely both be moving to a new HCM and ATS in 2020.

What tool do you use for social media distribution? And how does it interact with your ATS (if at all) to encourage job sharing?

Kelly: Our team uses Hootsuite! It’s a great tool, but no, there’s no ATS integration for job sharing.

Jessica: I use Sprout Social for publishing and analytics. It does not integrate with the ATS, so there is some manual work for sharing jobs. I’ve heard CareerArc offers a job feed to Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, though that’s not a product we’re currently using.

What are some free or low-cost marketing tools you would recommend for gaining blog or job exposure?

Kelly: Our Facebook careers page is a free platform that works really well for us and that I’d recommend as a good starting point.

Jessica: Facebook is a great bet. If you can engage your hiring teams, recruiters and other employees, you can reach a pretty large audience for free. And you can enhance that with incredibly small investments. For as low as $10 you can boost your post (or create an ad) to a targeted audience and see results.

Occasionally hard-to-fill roles are fewer than the number of qualified applicants you receive. How do you keep candidates who aren’t selected interested in future opportunities with your company?

Kelly: Having a good solid CRM (candidate relationship management) tool is really important. That’s the next phase of what we’re working on at Northside as we build out our talent network. Our recruiters will be aligned to use our talent network to reach back out to those silver medalist candidates engaged. We have template examples our recruiters can customize as a starting point to send out to potential future hires and keep them engaged. People can also opt in to hear about new job postings this way.

Healthcare Specific

Do you have a certain tactic or suggestions when filling in for customer service / patient services roles?

Jessica: This is an area that has not been hard-to-fill for us. The administrative and patient service rep roles are consistently the most viewed and have the most applicants, so I haven’t had to focus any efforts there in my first year with Aurora (and I count my blessings for that!).

Can you provide any strategies or technologies they you’ve used for Healthcare IT specifically?

Kelly: We look at strategies at the role level and work with our agency partner (Symphony Talent) to research the best media strategy as well as any past hire metrics to define how we will approach the role or hiring area.

Jessica: I’ve done some general brand awareness around IT but haven’t been asked to help with specific roles as of yet. As an example, Aurora partnered with other local companies and organizations to invest in local technology startups and I posted that content on all of our channels. Recently I also started promoting the post as an ad on Facebook to all technology-focused individuals within our footprint. The goal is not to fill a specific job here, but to increase the awareness of Aurora in our market so we’re known as having a huge focus on technology. I want people to know us as a tech-focused brand, so if a job happens to show up in their feed or a recruiter reaches out to them on LinkedIn down the line they’re willing (or even excited!) to talk.

Can you expand on the compensation structure with the Aurora Advocate Health sponsored Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) reimbursement program? Is there a retention component?

Jessica: We have an offer for newly certified CNAs: when they’re hired, we reimburse their program tuition for up to $1,000. If they were certified through Aurora, we also pay them an hourly wage for their time in class, which adds up to close to $1,400. We know that the cost of certification can be a huge hurdle for some of the potential candidates for these positions. While we can’t pay them upfront, we found this to be a great incentive to encourage high school graduates or others looking for a more stable career to consider being a CNA. Part of the reason this is a hard-to-fill position is there just aren’t enough CNAs out there, so this strategy addresses that. There may be a retention component involved, like having to sign a one or two-year contract, but I’m honestly not sure about the exact policy there.

Measurement, Reporting & Results

Jessica, was the applicant traffic report that you showed captured in Excel or recorded using a different platform?

Jessica: I track a lot in Excel and Google Sheets, but the report I demoed was created in InDesign – I’m sure PowerPoint or even Word would work as well!

What do you consider a good cost per hire?

Kelly: This is a tricky one to answer because it depends on several factors like the type of role, location, competition, etc.

Jessica: I haven’t dug into that in my role, yet, but I know it varies greatly. The cost to hire a food service worker or patient service rep is going to be significantly different than a systems analyst or oncology nurse.

Have you tried paying a bonus for referrals from current employees and if so how has it worked for you?

Kelly: We pay a bonus for each and every employee referral that is hired! It works very well.

Jessica: Legacy Aurora does not have a system-wide referral program, though Legacy Advocate does. Aurora has done several one-off referral bonuses for in-need roles though, typically with great success. Bonuses have ranged from $500 – $2500, depending on the severity of need and difficulty to fill. To make this successful we do a large internal communication push through the intranet, email and via cascading leadership messages.

Which channels are most fruitful for you in terms of candidate leads? (i.e., LinkedIn, Monster, ZipRecruiter, Twitter, Facebook, Craigslist)

Jessica: It depends on the role. We’ve seen success for some niche IT roles on Glassdoor. We get a ton of volume of applicants from Indeed. We had good success for certified clinical roles (MA, CNA, Surg Tech, Phlebotomist) from Twitter. We don’t currently use any of the others listed.

What kind of success has Aurora Advocate Health had with getting applicant volume in Wisconsin from sites like Indeed or LinkedIn, rather than from the company website?

Jessica: We’re seeing more and more hires from Glassdoor, so we put a lot of effort there and make sure we’re getting lots of employee reviews to paint a good picture of what life looks like at our company. We don’t spend a ton of money on Indeed, but we do get a lot of applicants from there because our jobs are scraped and posted automatically on their site. So, we do see quite a bit of applicant third-party traffic, but when I look at where applicants are coming from to our site, a lot are coming from Aurora.org, so just from our main hospital site.

Which tools are you using to track performance metrics like clicks and applications?

Kelly: We pull a number of metrics from Google Analytics and we attach tracking tags to our media spend to see what’s performing best for us.

Jessica: I have an amazing colleague who pulls data from our HCM/ATS and creates customized Tableau workbooks. We’re also working on pulling Google Analytics data into Tableau so we can have more comprehensive funnel reports.

Do you track number of hires from sourcing tools within your Recruitment Marketing plans – and if so, how?

Jessica: Not as well as we’d like to 🙂 I’ve started doing more robust reporting in the past few months and have focused mostly on number of applicants to date. The next layer will be to add hires to that reporting. We currently look at hires on a weekly and monthly basis, and recruiting teams look by their own job areas, but we haven’t yet tracked it to all back to our Recruitment Marketing efforts.

What was Jessica’s budget for Glassdoor during her campaign? How effective is Glassdoor for Aurora Advocate Health?

Jessica: I can’t share our specific Glassdoor budget, but we worked closely with our Account Manager to optimize the money we’re spending. About 25% of our budget goes to nursing roles, 25% to other clinical professional roles and the remaining 50% to “other.” Though we have 1,000+ jobs posted and scraped to Glassdoor, we have an average of about 250 jobs promoted, using our job ad budget. We also have an enhanced profile page and see about 40% of our applications come through the enhanced profile.

Rally note: This webinar was hosted in partnership with Glassdoor and Symphony Talent. Thanks to our sponsors for helping us to develop and share educational resources like this one!

Webinar Q&A: Hard-to-Fill Roles, Fulfilled!
Rate this post

About the Author

Profile photo of Kaitlyn Holbein

Kaitlyn Holbein

Rally Content Strategist, and employer brand & recruitment marketing specialist.