Niche recruiting is nuanced, to say the least, I’ve gotten a good laugh with people who tell me healthcare recruiting is the same as recruiting for any other field more than a few times. From the outside looking in, it might seem like any other kind of recruiting, but there are some surprising nuances.
I became a healthcare recruiter in November of 2012. To my surprise, it was a lot more challenging than my previous recruiting. It’s not so much that healthcare is harder to recruit for, but I had to rebuild my entire network because healthcare talent is drastically different than Engineering, Finance, Legal, Tax & Payroll talent. Healthcare recruiting for a faith-based, non-profit organization, such as the one I work for, has a steep learning curve because many of jobs we hire for are not found in corporate, for-profit, organizations. The nuances of both combined to one hire is one hell of a challenge.
I didn’t have the option to rely on LinkedIn for this one. To really get it right, I had to understand the interest of the talent I was sourcing – figure out where they read online, what they like and where they look for jobs. It’s tough when you’re not a clinical person, like me. I’m the type who always stayed as far away from hospitals as possible; I never did like that hospital smell and refused to be around blood or surgical procedures, so becoming a healthcare recruiter was a big stretch for me and a little intimidating. Where would I go to find information without grossing myself out?
In my first year as a healthcare recruiter, I recruited addiction counselors, social workers, bereavement counselors, chaplains and “no one dies alone” coordinators. I never knew half these jobs had existed before I started recruiting for them. My initial thought was “Where do you find these people?!” They weren’t on Linkedin; that’s for sure. So I started searching.
Niche? No Problem
After a year of recruiting for non-clinical positions, I made the transition to recruiting for clinical/allied positions. For the past 3-years, I’ve recruited for Diagnostic Imaging, Respiratory Care, Cardiology, Oncology & Echocardiography. I recruit for Technologists, RN’s Supervisors and Directors within each of these specialties. When I began recruiting for these roles, I had to build my network again because I could not rely on Linkedin for my sourcing and recruiting efforts to fill these roles.
To seek out the talent, I had to do some deep sourcing and ask a few favors.
- Listservs Still Exist: After deep sourcing, I stumbled upon (pun intended) membership lists for various chaplains associations and listservs which became my most valuable recruiting and sourcing tools. I also became reliant on professional associations such as the National Association of Social Workers and The American Clinical Social Work Association.
- Back to the ATS: Taleo became my best friend for sourcing because I found that we had hidden talent in our candidate database. So, of course, I took full advantage. It’s surprising how much talent we have in our databases that we haven’t taken the time to search and filter through! The other great thing I found about sourcing in Taleo was that I could also learn so much about each job I was recruiting for by using all the search terms to find them.
- Throwback Every Day: I found that going through old requisitions to see who we hired for past positions was also a valuable resource because I could pull keywords from those resumes to build my searches. In fact, I created and presented an entire training for Talent Acquisition at my company so all our recruiters could learn how to source in Taleo. It’s now one of our primary methods of finding talent!
- LinkedIn, Of Course: Niche means these people probably don’t exist in your network already. Over time, I have built my Linkedin network for these roles and spend a lot of time using LinkedIn Recruiter for my sourcing on these roles now. I find it’s very important to craft your InMail messages in a much more refined way than with general recruiting because clinical talent is different than say, Engineers or Accountants. The great thing about InMail is that I’ve had great success asking for referrals of clinical talent on the first contact. Before LinkedIn, I also relied on Avature CRM, which was a great sourcing tool in the beginning.
- Social Recruiting: In addition to general Boolean searches, (and having success sourcing personal blogs) I also rely on Facebook for my recruiting. I post personally created content, use Facebook Graph Search and I’m active in various Facebook groups specific to the specialties I recruit for. The trick is finding a group you feel comfortable with that will allow you to interact with the talent you’re working to attract. Do what works for you but I assure you just posting all your open jobs to all the members won’t get you any traction. Here is one of the groups I’ve used for recruiting new grad nurses: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Newgradrncalifornia/
We recruiters aren’t always going to be subject matter experts on every job we recruit for. However, our duty is to immerse ourselves into whatever industry and jobs we are recruiting for in order to gain the respect of those in a particular industry/field.
About the Author
Terry Hall is a Senior Recruiter at Providence Health & Services, which is headquartered in the Seattle-Metro area. Terry is a Marine Corps Veteran and has over a decade of recruiting experience, starting her career in agency recruiting running a desk for Select Personnel and Manpower Professional Finance before making the move in-house, where she has held strategic talent roles for Washington Mutual Corporate Human Resources, Amazon, and T-Mobile.