The University Medical Center of Utrecht and the Wilhelmina Children's Hospital (part of UMC) have made a Social Shift two years ago. Before, they mainly made use of the usual means to recruit new employees: advertisements, vacancies at the known vacancy agencies, a "work-at"-website, LinkedIn... But sharing special stories about their own employees? And giving potential new employees the opportunity to take a look inside the organisation? That was something the UMC did not apply sufficiently. “In the meantime, we focus on the power of storytelling”, says interim-recruiter Tonny Keijers.
The goal of the Social Shift was to increase the awareness of the UMC Utrecht and the WKZ as an employer. This does obviously not start with a job offer, but at the organization itself. Keijers: “That is the reason that we strongly believed in the deployment of our own employees. They can tell above everyone else which fantastic, special and sometimes emotional moments they experience during the execution of their job.” Thanks to the Social branding platform of Apostle, we can easily share and spread these beautiful stories via the social media channels of our employees and not only via our corporate channels.
In general, health care workers are very modest about their job. They think that the work they do is very normal. However, they experience very special moments, that are more than worth it to be shared with the outside-world. These same stories, can function as a magnet to attract future employees.
Let go and trust
Regarding the content of the messages, the senior advisor marketing & communications Liszy Bisschop needs to learn to 'let go': “You are used to be in control within your profession, but in this case the employees themselves are the senders of their unique messages. And yes, we need to accept that some of these messages will be formulated a bit different than we are used to. Or that some pictures will not be as high quality that we are used to. Moreover, in practice this is not too bad, because the system also makes an editorial. But this was a point of consideration before we started using the system. While the fact that the employees are the ones that post and create the messages themselves is what makes the communication authentic.”
Our employees promote messages and vacancies on their own social media channels and serve as our ambassadors. This activated our employees to actively think about their daily job and talk about it. “Because of this, they are starting to see how special the work that they do is,” according to Keijers. “And even more important: they understand that this is also interesting for others to hear and see about it. Activities and experiences that they see on a daily basis, can be very exciting and fascinating for people on the internet.”
Corporate en employer branding in one
Bisschop: “The personal networks of our ambassadors are very valuable. Ex-colleagues, old fellow students, friends and family: they all see our content on their timelines. But also their (corporate) relations that work at other hospitals or health institutes. It is corporate and employer branding in one, but then in very personal - and thus powerful - way. Storytelling has become an essential part of recruitment.”
“However, make sure to not forget the power of advertisement campagnes on social media and other channels,” adds Keijers to the conversation. “Especially a combination makes it work well. We promote our vacancies to be able to also reach the latent job seeks. And with the help of re-marketing, shortly after people that take a look at a vacancy, they get to see an advertisement where we invite them to spend a day at our department. In this way, we guide them step by step. They are already enthusiast before they have entered our building, because of the stories our ambassadors shared. Isn't that great?”