Monday, August 2, 2010

Using Marketing to Brand and Leverage Your Human Resource Recruiting Efforts

Is there a reason why most healthcare organizations do not use internal marketing expertise to improve their Human Resource (HR) recruitment efforts?

I can hear it now and have seen it myself:

No budget.
It's expensive.
Doesn't matter.
Employees leave, then we have to change everything.
How can a brand help us to attract qualified individuals?
Don't have the time for all the creative.
Non-traditional ways won't work.

And so forth and so on.....

Most help wanted ads, traditional and online in healthcare continue to look like they have over the past 25 years. Come join us! We are a (fill in the blank) organization. We care.. You're family here.. And the beat goes on. A missed branding opportunity if there ever was one. A few forward thinking organizations have embraced the concept of branding their HR efforts within the larger organizational brand. Unfortunately, those are far and few between.

A missed opportunity.

And it's not just adding the logo and tag-line to the advertisement.

Employee within the context of the organizational brand can be a powerful force in recruitment. What speaks better for you, an employee with your branded organizational values and brand promise, or an effort that looks really no different than all the other? With a nurse and primary care physician shortage, you need any edge you can get. You need an organizational HR marketing plan that supports and complements the organizational staffing plan.

Why not leverage the your brand in the context of employment?

Your healthcare organization over time has spent millions in creating a brand architecture, designing and implementing marketing plans, web sites, engaging in community outreach, marketing product lines etc. Human Resources is a product line and needs the full force of marketing, the organizational brand structure and messaging that goes along with it. You can attract those individuals that will enhance the organization and its brand while demonstrating to all your key audiences another quality value of your brand.

Employee have a much larger effect, positive and negative on your brand than you may wish to admit. So leverage that influence to the positive side of the ledger.

Healthcare will never be the same because of reform. It's time to step out from the practices of the past and embrace the innovation and change that is needed today. Your future and your ability to attract highly qualified staff depends on it.

Michael is a Fellow, American College of Healthcare Executives and a Professional Certified Marketer, American Marketing Association, and I can be reached at 815-293-1471 or

1 comment:

Wendy Flanagan said...

Hi Michael, I just completed some preliminary research into internal brand emphasis and value - and you are very right. More than just a logo and tagline, employees need to understand the relevance of any initiative to their goals and the overall brand values. I looked specifically at incentives, rewards and recognition programs and was surprised to learn that the disconnect extended even into marketing.