We have all heard the phrase — "There's an App for That™." Whether you need help with directions, updating your Facebook status, tweeting, banking, making dinner reservations, hanging pictures straight or even finding a date, "There's an App for That!™" A Dallas-Fort Worth news station recently did a story on an App designed for Nurses to prevent drug overdoses, invented by Dr. Harvey Castro. See the video here.
So why do some Hiring Managers still believe that Nurses are not online and demand a print advertisement? Some reasons given to support this belief are the median age of an RN, or the fact that they do not have a traditional "desk job." However, with the advances in technology in the healthcare industry, hasn't "computer skills" on an RN's resume gone from an added plus to now being required?
The time has come where organizations who do not utilize new digital recruiting solutions will be left in the dust. If RNs are utilizing iPhone apps and technology at work, we would be remiss to think they are not utilizing this technology on a personal basis. But don't take my word for it - here are 2 real-world case study examples:
A large, national healthcare organization that has several locations throughout the country engages in an annual recruitment advertising campaign to help support the RN recruitment efforts at each location. In 2008, their campaign was primarily traditional print advertising and job board contracts. In 2009, they eliminated print advertising and transitioned the spend into digital solutions such as Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Social Media and targeted online advertising. The results were amazing. They saw a 168.7% increase in the number of applications received, while reducing the Cost-Per-Application (CPA) by 71%. In addition, they saw a 3% reduction in YOY spend.
A Regional Hospital has an annual open house event for RNs. In 2008, they advertised this event through local print adverting and job board postings. In 2009, they utilized digital solutions such as targeted advertising, email campaigns, SEM, Social Media and banner advertising on a local newspaper website. In 2008, 20 nurses attended the event and in 2009, more than 200 nurses attended.
Throughout my experience, I've seen the evolution of recruitment advertising. First it was a "Help Wanted" sign posted in a window. Then it went to what I like to call "Print and Pray" — where you place an advertisement in a local newspaper and wait for candidates to respond. When the Internet job boards became players in the market, it caused a shift from print to online job postings, which I refer to as "Post and Pray." Like the case studies listed above, through new technology, recruitment can be tracked and optimized to see increased results, shorter Time-to-Hire and lower CPAs and CPHs.
So the question is...what's next? Smart phones have revolutionized how we live. Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), the semiconductor manufacturer, is predicting that, by 2015, 50% of the world will have an Internet connection and much of the Internet usage growth they predict will come from Mobile phones. Phone Count predicts that by 2012 there will be as many connected mobile phones as there are people in the world (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_Internet_growth).
With mobile Internet usage increasing, organizations need to start auditing their recruitment strategy to see if candidates can interact with your brand via mobile. The first step would be to ensure your career website is mobile friendly. A few questions to ask would be:
- Is the content easy to read and the site navigation user-friendly?
- Can users search for career opportunities using a mobile phone?
- Is there a response method for candidates viewing your website via a mobile phone? (i.e. data capture, email to yourself, email to a friend).
For an example of a mobile friendly job search page, check out www.jobsattmp.com/m. Once your career website is mobile friendly, driving traffic is the next step. With new mobile technology, the options are endless. Everything from traditional text message campaigns and response methods to more innovative options like QR Codes and Image Recognition can be used. The QR stands for "Quick Response" as the creator intended the code to allow contents to be decoded at high speeds. Most smart phones can read these codes with the camera or a 3rd party App such as QuickMark. This technology is being used by major airlines. You can now check in for your flight and board the plane by scanning your phone. A recruitment example of a QR code would be:
If you scan this QR Code, you will be brought to www.jobsattmp.com/m automatically. QR Code destinations could take users to any website or splash page, or candidates could receive text messages or emails, depending on the goals of the QR Code campaign. This QR Code could be used on all forms of recruitment communications, such as collateral materials and advertisements.
Image Recognition matches pictures taken from a mobile phone with Internet connection to your media placement without any special software. For instance, if a candidate takes a picture of a nurse and texts or emails that image to the destination, it will recognize the photo from a database and trigger an immediate response to the candidate. This response could be anything from your mobile friendly website, details of a recruitment event, etc.
Smart phone App's extends to recruitment as well. Indeed, Beyond, SnagAJob and Careerbuilder are a few organizations who have recruitment applications for job seekers. In addition, AT&T developed "AT&T Jobs" App to get in touch and stay connected with current job opportunities and events at AT&T — all from the palm of your hand.
As you can see, the options are endless with mobile technology. I am sure one day there will be an App to clone your best employee, but until then, we'll have to rely on new ideas and digital technology to help you win the war for talent!
"APPLE, iPhone and "There's an App for That" are registered trademarks of Apple, Inc."