Companies are waking up to the need for social media, but very few have done more than dip a toe in a pool. Today, I’m going to introduce you to a company that did a cannonball in the deep end, and is still coming back for more. (Disclaimer: This company was a client of mine in 2007. I got them started on the journey, but the growth of its social media program has been a result of the hard work of its staff).
The company is RehabCare, a provider of physical rehabilitation program services headquartered in St Louis. Each year, RehabCare is tasked with hiring hundreds of college graduates with degrees in physical, occupational, and speech therapy, as well as replenishing its current employees despite a severe shortage of therapists. The campus relations department is a lead generator for the company. Its job is to make contact with students early in their college careers, and shepherd them through the employment process until their graduation. In December of 2007, Leslie Stevens posted here and wanted some hard numbers. The department doesn’t share hiring numbers, as it works in tandem with the recruiting department, but last year, the company beat its goal for college hires, a number not easy to achieve in its market.
RehabCare’s Barbara Wallace, assistant vice president of campus relations, believes social media has been part of its success.
“We’re a very small department of five people and have an enormous number of students to connect with. Social media techniques have enabled us to reach out and stay connected with thousands of students, every day.”
The most visible aspect of its web presence is still the Rehabcare Campus Relations Blog. The blog was started in August of 2007, and is the focal point of its web campaigns. Written entirely by staff, the blog discusses its trips to different colleges, showcases its top facilities, shares interesting stories about the industry, and serves as a platform to launch new initiatives. The biggest value is the ease of use.
Barbara’s team has made a real effort to integrate social media into its daily work routines, which means the work is spread out, other departments don’t have to be involved, and time spent on the sites can directly be tied to candidate tracking. While no one can definitively say that a student joined because they listened to a podcast, we do know that the site offerings give the recruiters something to talk about, and candidates have something to come back to besides job postings and a vague benefit page.
In the last two years, the company has used a number of free services to enhance the site and its offerings: