Why a Strong Healthcare Employer Brand is More Important Than Ever

By 2035, the healthcare industry could be in a workforce crisis.

Predictions from organizations such as the National Center for Health Workforce Analysis are anticipating shortages of nearly 65,000 registered nurses and 140,000 licensed vocational nurses and licensed practical nurses by 2035.

With these staggering numbers in mind, it’s clear that the demand for talent in healthcare will not subside any time soon.

For healthcare employers competing for top-tier talent, it’s no longer sufficient to promise higher salaries, robust benefit packages or extra vacation days. They certainly help, but in today’s world, where employees are increasingly willing to sacrifice financial gains for personal ones, it’s equally important that brands showcase their values. In fact, the perception of an employer could be the reason whether a candidate even considers a potential opportunity.

When competition is tight in the job market, potential employees need a compelling reason to choose you over other employers. By being seen as a better place to work, you’ll stand out in the marketplace, attract the right employees and increase your chances of retaining them. All of that stems from your employer brand.

What is an employer brand?

To put it simply, an employer brand is the image a company projects to attract and retain talent. It encompasses a company’s values, work culture and reputation in the job market. Beyond recruiting, a strong employer brand can also provide a foundational element for employee retention.

These factors make having a strong employer brand a crucial aspect of a company’s overall branding strategy in any industry today, but especially in healthcare, where attracting and retaining top talent is increasingly challenging.

How to build a strong healthcare employer brand

To build a positive healthcare employer brand, you must lean into what makes your organization strong and unique. Highlighting your culture is a great place to start.

Of course, in today’s day and age, every company says its culture is great. How can you actually demonstrate this to a prospective employee and reinforce it to a current one?

Think about the perks that have kept employees at your company for years and those that are unique to the healthcare industry: flexible scheduling, extra days off, robust internal continuing education offerings.

Then, think about how you can show a potential applicant that they’ll enjoy an average day at work while instilling the fact that healthcare is truly fulfilling. There are always going to be challenges at work; emphasizing the opportunity and value of your organization in your employer brand will show potential candidates why the job is worth it.

After determining your unique hiring points, engage staff to bring your healthcare employer brand story to life. In a world where every employer is “great,” your employees must be your ambassadors so that others can hear from them directly about what it’s like to work at your organization. Find the most engaged, passionate staff and work with them to create content highlighting the benefits of working at your company, favorite patient interactions or other memories in blog posts and videos that can be shared on social media. Secure media opportunities about an employee’s rise from a clerical role to senior management to show others what’s possible at your organization.

Finally, once you’ve developed and begun sharing stories that emphasize your employer brand, it is critical for you to adapt it on an ongoing basis. No company is stagnant. Create a culture of constructive feedback where employees are encouraged to share not only what’s making them happy but also challenging them. Consider querying potential candidates about their thoughts, too, as they will likely provide tremendous insight into the strengths and weaknesses of your employer brand and perhaps your broader organizational culture.

Developing and nurturing an employer brand can provide many benefits for employers in any industry. But in a highly competitive healthcare hiring environment, employers must develop a strong employer brand to attract and retain employees.

Reach out to us today to get started on your healthcare employer brand and see how it fits into your organization’s overall branding and recruitment strategies. If the projections are true, it’s not going to get easier to attract talent anytime soon. There’s no better time to get started than now.

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