Today’s Crisis Won’t Be the Last — A Case Study in Recruiting Preparation 

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Jan 29, 2021
This article is part of a series called COVID-19 Coverage.

Even before the pandemic, the healthcare industry was saddled with a significant nursing shortage. But now, the struggle to fill open positions with qualified talent is even more prominent. 

As one of the largest Catholic health systems in the U.S., Mercy has 40 acute care, managed, and specialty hospitals. With such a large network, finding qualified nurses is an undertaking even in the best circumstances. 

In light of Covid-19, the hunt for talent would’ve been nearly impossible if we hadn’t made adjustments to pivot our recruiting process and find the talent we needed before the crisis struck.  

The Challenge: Creating a Better Candidate Experience

In a competitive market like nursing, candidates have plenty of options. This means a subpar candidate experience will likely have them running to a competitor’s job posting. Thus, the talent search at Mercy hinged on creating a positive candidate experience; our team needed to make sure what we were delivering was easy, attractive, and tailored to each candidate’s preferences. 

The problem was, our career site wasn’t user-friendly, visually appealing, or personalized. It was a static landing page, outdated and lacking some of the modern features required to create a superior experience today.

Our initial solution was to add internal talent scouts who proactively sourced candidates through various channels like job boards, social media channels, and career fairs. However, since we didn’t have any analytics or insights, it was impossible to identify who was engaging with our career site. Instead, our scouts had to manually input all interactions and statuses into disparate spreadsheets and cross-reference names with each other to avoid confusion.  

It ended up being too time-consuming and unproductive, so we started looking for a new solution.

The Solution: Revamp Our Recruitment Strategy With Technology

The “humanized” route to a better candidate experience didn’t make our lives (or our candidates’ lives, for that matter) any easier, so we switched our focus to a technology-driven approach. We had one goal in mind: work smarter, not harder, which meant we needed a solution that helped our team efficiently and effectively execute the recruiting and hiring process. As two sides of the same candidate coin, they were both equally important to our efforts. 

With a handful of items on our wishlist, we set out to find the tools that checked all the boxes in what we needed to create the great candidate experience we were looking for. The five most important things to us were:

  • An engaging career site with a chatbot to host content; quick customization; and accurate, tailored job opportunities for each candidate
  • A robust CRM that integrates with the ATS to nurture leads
  • SMS capabilities to streamline and optimize campaigns and events
  • Comprehensive analytics to test and track performance
  • The ability to share content on social media and track its reach and efficacy to targeted audiences

Once we identified the right solution for talent acquisition, it was time to get the platform up and running.

The Results: Increased Traffic by Over 500%

Since implementation, not only has communication with potential candidates never been easier, but we’re seeing measurable outcomes. Our career site traffic has increased over 500%, and our campaigns have converted at least 69% of job-seekers. 

Having visibility into where candidates are in their job search — and being able to adjust our content and channels to match their journey — has been critical to the success of our new career site. Also, the addition of a conversational chatbot, which greets visitors coming to the page and facilitates their job search with personalized touches, has been a driving force in converting them. In the first three months of 2020 alone, 72% of the people who viewed a job through the bot had clicked to apply.

And so while it might be cliched to say that having the right technology in place can make all the difference, the reality is that…having the right technology in place can make all the difference. The key is to evaluate solutions to ensure they meet your unique needs and challenges. Moreover, this pandemic won’t be the last crisis. That we were able to prepare before the current pandemic was critical toward ensuring we were able to still attract talent last year (and continue to do so this year). With proper preparation, your company, too, can better prepare for future uncertainty.

This article is part of a series called COVID-19 Coverage.
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