Category Archives: Strategic HR

How to choose a social media platform

Social media platforms massively changed how people connect and share. In June 2017, Facebook announced that there are 2 billion registered users.  Worldwide, there are 7.5 billion people.  Approximately 27% of the human population is on Facebook.  Across all social media platforms, there are 2.8 billion users.  That’s 37% of the human population on social media. In the United States, 83% of Americans have at least one social media account.
Given these numbers, healthcare organizations of all sizes should use social media as part of a strategic recruitment plan.  Before moving forward, organizations should consider certain factors when identifying what role social media will play in recruiting efforts.

Platform Choice
There are dozens of options for social media platforms. Before deciding, leaders should research the benefits and drawbacks of each.  Organizations should also consider how they will use social media in their recruiting efforts.  These answers will help drive the decision making around platform choice.
Facebook has the most users, and it offers powerful targeting options.  Many organizations enjoy the ability to target certain audiences with their Facebook ads.  The platform recently started offering Facebook Jobs.  Since it is still new, many organizations (and candidates) haven’t fully embraced it yet.
As the most popular professional social media platform, LinkedIn is used by many healthcare recruiters.  When users are on LinkedIn, they are usually seeking to connect professionally.  Although smaller than Facebook, LinkedIn has an audience of over 500 million users.
Choosing a social media platform will naturally limit the available audience.

Users Location
Location does not matter if an organization aims to increase their number of followers.  Although many marketers consider follower count to be a vanity metric, there are still some organizations who want to have a lot of followers.  Instead organizations should work to engage with their followers. A highly engaged smaller audience can be more powerful than a large disengaged audience.
Generally, healthcare organizations will want to build an audience that includes a large number of people from their local region.  Most jobs in healthcare require employees to be on site.  By building a local audience, recruiters can more effectively use social media to target candidates who are in their local area.
Although an organization will want to have a mostly local audience, out of area visitors can provide an important resource.  Perhaps these people used to live in the area, and still support the organization.  People in this group could also share information and refer people (and qualified candidates) to the organizations.

Statista. Most Famous Social Network Sites Worldwide as of April 2017, Ranked by Number of Active Users (in Millions.)  Accessed June 26, 2017.
Walters, Kendall. 125+ Essential Social Media Statistics Every Marketer Should Know, Hootsuite, 30 November 2016. Accessed June 26, 2017.

Bainbridge Island, Washington

Bainbridge Island is both an island and a city with 23,000+ people. It is located west of Puget Sound and the Cascade Mountain Range and east of the Olympic Mountains. Easily accessible from downtown Seattle, Bainbridge Island offers a variety of different opportunities.


See all openings in Bainbridge Island!

For generations, the Suquamish Native Americans lived in the area. In 1792, English Captain George Vancouver landed on the island. In 1842 by US Navy Lieutenant Charles Wilkes while he was surveying the area. Throughout the 1800s, the area continued to grow with a mix of settlers and soldiers living in Fort Ward, Port Blakely, and Port Madison.

Bainbridge Island was one of the first communities send its Japanese-American residents to internment camps after the attacks on Pearl Harbor. The Bainbridge Review newspaper continued to track the displaced residents throughout the war, occasionally featuring editorials written by camp residents. At the end of the war, the island welcomed their neighbors home.

Today’s Bainbridge Island was created by two events in 1991. First, the city of Winslow annexed the rest of unincorporated Bainbridge Island. Then, residents voted to change their name from Winslow to Bainbridge Island.

Bainbridge Island has a mild climate. Average summer temperatures range from the low 50s to the mid-70s. Average winter temperatures range from the mid-30s to the high 40s. Precipitation rates peak around 8 inches monthly during the late fall and winter months. In the summer, rates drop to approximately 1 inch per month.

The 2010 US Census listed 23,505 people living in Bainbridge Island.

The Bainbridge Island economy historically depended on timber and shipbuilding. At one time, the Port Blakely Mill was the largest in the world. The sawmills and the shipyards attracted a diverse group of residents to Bainbridge Island. Today’s economy includes technology, healthcare, and construction industries.

Bainbridge Island is 10.1 miles west of Seattle. It’s easily accessible with a 60 minute ferry trip. Downtown Bainbridge Island (formerly Winslow) is walking distance from the ferry terminal.

On the island, there is a collection of things to do. The downtown area, also known as Winslow, has a variety of shops and restaurants. Outside of downtown, the city has several wineries, a brewery and a distillery. A variety of island parks offer an assortment of outdoor activities including camping, hiking, and picnicking. The Bloedel Reserve has 12 distinct garden environments. The New York Times called it “one of the country’s most original and ambitious gardens.” History and art enthusiasts will also enjoy visiting the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art and the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial.
Bainbridge Island has a rich history and a wide assortment of activities for residents and visitors alike. Make the time to take the ferry ride. Find what fascinates you first.

Bainbridge Island Chamber of Commerce. “History” 2016. ( retrieved September 13, 2016Bainbridge Island Chamber of Commerce: Visitor’s Guide. 2016 “Welcome to Bainbridge Island.” ( retrieved September 9, 2016.

Bainbridge Island, Washington. “Island History.” ( retrieved September 13, 2016

Blodel Reserve. “Visit.” 2016. ( retrieved September 16, 2016. “Bainbridge Island, Washington.” ( retrieved September 16, 2016.

Trip Advisor. “The Top 10 Things to Do in Bainbridge Island.” 2016. ( retrieved September 16, 2016.

Wikipedia. “Bainbridge Island, Washington.” September 6, 2016. (,_Washington) retrieved September 9, 2016.

Winslow Cohousing. “A Short History of Bainbridge Island.”

Community Highlight: Auburn, Washington

Although it is only 26 miles from Seattle, Auburn, Washington is a world unto itself.  With over 70,000 residents, the city offers a variety of opportunities for nearly every interest.

The Skopamish, Smalhkamish, and Stkamish tribes lived in the Auburn area long before the first explorers came in the 1830s. The first settlers arrived in the 1850s.  By the 1890s, the city was incorporated as Slaughter, Washington.  It was originally named after Lieutenant William Slaughter who died in a battle with local tribes. In 1893, the city was renamed “Auburn.”

In 2008, Auburn doubled in size when it annexed the nearby neighborhoods of West Hill and Lea Hill. The 2010 US Census listed Auburn with 70,180 residents.  2015 estimates suggest that the population is now 77,006,

Auburn has a mild climate.  Summer temperatures typically range from the mid-50s to the high 70s.  Average winter temperatures range from the mid-30s to the high 40s.  On average, Auburn gets 37 inches of precipitation (mostly rain) annually.

There are three major highways (Hwy 12, SR 167, and SR 18) that all run through Auburn. Additionally, the Auburn Transit Center connects commuters with other nearby cities (like Kent and Puyallup.)  The Sounder Transit Rail delivers commuters to downtown Seattle (and other locations) quickly without typical traffic gridlock. For air travel, SeaTac International Airport is the closest airport.

The top three employers in Auburn are: Boeing, the Muckleshoot Tribal Enterprises, and the Auburn School District.

The Auburn School District has 14 elementary schools, 4 middle schools, and 4 high schools. Green River Community College is the nearest college.

Auburn is located 26 miles south of Seattle and 154 miles north of Portland, Oregon. The city also straddles both Washington’s King and Pierce Counties.  It’s the 14th largest city in Washington.

In Auburn and its surrounding areas, there are a lot of different things to do.  There are 2 rivers, 28 parks, 23 miles of trails, and 247 acres of open space.  Shoppers can spend hours at the Outlet Collection.  Muckleshoot Casino and Bingo and the White River Amphitheater both have regular events.  Emerald Downs offers people the chance to watch horse racing.  The White River Valley Museum has different educational programs and exhibits for all ages.

The 29.62 square miles of land in Auburn pack in a rich local history, a strong school system, and a variety of activities.  As the 14th largest city in Washington, it’s hard to get bored in Auburn.  Check it out and see what captures the imagination first!

Auburn School District ( Retrieved August 28, 2016.Muckleshoot Casino. “Entertainment.” 2016. ( Retrieved August 26, 2016.Wikipedia. “Auburn, Washington.” August 23, 2016. (,_Washington)  Retrieved August 26, 2016.White River Valley Museum and Mary Olson Farm. “Visit the Museum.” (    Retrieved August 27, 2016.

Community Highlight: Wenatchee, WA

Wenatchee, Washington

Wenatchee WA 2009Compared to the frenetic energy of its west side (of the state) counterparts, the city of Wenatchee is relaxed yet beautiful. There are usually 300 days of sunshine and all of the apples you can imagine. Here are some more facts about Wenatchee, Washington.

East of the Cascade Mountains, Wenatchee is found at the confluence of the Wenatchee and Columbia Rivers. It’s 140 miles east of Seattle and 169 miles west of Spokane.

Located in the rain shadow of the Cascade Mountains, Wenatchee typically has 300 days of sun per year. Additionally, Wenatchee is warmer and drier than other areas. Average summer temperatures range from the highs in the 90s to lows in the mid-60s. Average winter temperatures range from highs in the mid-40s to lows in the mid-20s.

The 2010 national census lists 31,925 people living in Wenatchee’s 7.77 square miles. Regardless, Wenatchee is the largest city in and the county seat of Chelan County. In central Washington, Wenatchee is the 2nd largest city and the 33rd largest city statewide.

The town was named after the Native Wenatchi people who lived in the area. There are multiple translations of the meaning of the name that range from the “Great Opening Out of the Mountain” to the “Place of the Rainbow.” Although there has never been agreement on what the correct translation of the name means, one thing is true. The name is so unique that it doesn’t get confused with other nearby areas. (However the town shares its name with the Wenatchee River, the Wenatchee National Forest, and Lake Wenatchee.)

The first white settlers arrived in the 1870s. Fruit orchards were created as early as the 1880s. The first apples were shipped out of Wenatchee in the early 1900s. The Wenatchee Valley has been closely tied to apple production ever since, and apples are ever-present in the town.

There are a lot of different activities to do in Wenatchee. Professional sports enthusiasts can watch the Wenatchee Fire FC, soccer team, or the Wenatchee AppleSox baseball team. Outdoor adventurers can do a variety of hiking, camping, snow, and water activities. Wenatchee also has a growing number of wineries and breweries. On top of all of these options, there are annual events like the Apple Blossom Parade that one can watch or participate in.

Pangborn Memorial Airport has 3 daily flights to and 3 daily flights from Seattle. There’s bus service run by Link Transit which covers most of Chelan County and some of Douglas County. This public bus system was funded in 1989 and began operation in 1990.
Living in Wenatchee means that you’re close to beautiful Washington mountains and rivers, while also accessible to the biggest cities in the Pacific Northwest. It is a win-win proposition.

The City of Wenatchee. “City Growth”
Pangborn Memorial Airport. “Pangborn Connects.” 2013. (
Radar, Chris. Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center. “Wenatchee is the Apple Capital of the World.” Spring 2007. (
United States Census Bureau. “Wenatchee city, WA QuickFacts” (,00)
US Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Economy at a Glance: Wenatchee-East Wenatchee, WA.” July 29, 2016 (
Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce. “About Wenatchee” 2016 (
Wikipedia. “Wenatchee, Washington” July 13, 2016. (,_Washington)

Healthcare Forecast: Over 4 Million New Jobs! Jobs

The #Healthcare industry is projected to add more jobs—over 4 million—than any other industry between 2012 and 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

2013 healthcare employment by industry sector

  1. Hospitals, private, federal, state, and local: 6,110,000; 39%
  2. Offices of health practitioners: 4,057,000; 26%
  3. Nursing and residential care facilities: 3,228,000; 20%
  4. Home health care services: 1,238,000; 8%
  5. Outpatient, laboratory, and other ambulatory care services: 1,194,000; 8%

2012-22 projected new jobs by industry sector

  1. Offices of health practitioners: 1,226,000
  2. Hospitals, private, state, and local: 826,000
  3. Nursing and residential care facilities: 761,000
  4. Home health care services: 716,000
  5. Outpatient, laboratory, and other ambulatory care services: 522,000

To read more visit: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

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Add Images to Your Job Postings

Include Your Logo and Pictures.

A pictures worth a thousand words (circa 1911). Your Hospital spent a lot of time and money to #Advertise your organization. Why wouldn’t you want to use it to your advantage? Here’s how you can insert your logo or a picture of your facility into that #Healthcare job board.

A Pictures Worth 1,000 Words

Ask your IT or Marketing department for the link (URL) to your logo, or to the picture of your new tower or NICU.

Before the URL add: <img src=”
After the URL append: “> 
Include the result into your advertisement, such as:
<img src=””> We’ve been Helping people help people® since 2001!

The competition for experienced #RN #Job Seekers will only get harder as RNs retire and the demand for health care professionals increases. Magazines being displayed at the check-out counter are all about catching your eye so you’ll look inside. Now YOU can do the same with your advertisements.



Easiest Formatting for Improving Your Job Postings

HTML formatting 101: Enhancing Sentences (bold, italics and underline)

Oftentimes when you COPY information from your Hospital job posting and PASTE it into a #Healthcare job board, you will notice that you have lost some formatting (ie. words are no longer bold or in italics).

Boring Job Posting


Fortunately, adding it back in again is as simple as ‘b’, ‘i’ and ‘u’! Adding bold, italics and underlines in a sentence are the most common html formatting people learn.
Adding BOLD, italics and underlines are simple html tags
Adding <b>BOLD</b>, <i>italics</i> and <u>underlines</u> are simple html tags
Adding BOLD, italics and underlines are simple html tags

You know your Physical Therapist #Job Seekers love to see: Manage Your CareerIt’s Your Practice … Talk with us about your control over clinical decisions!

So make sure your #Physical Therapist candidates can see your marketing distinctives (“sizzle”). It’s only a benefit if they know it’s there!


Here’s the Fastest Way to Improve Your Job Postings

Basic Legibility: the Best Payback for Improving Your Job Postings

Everybody’s in a hurry. You’re already working overtime. Some Hospitals have to funnel volunteers to HR to help with filing. So how do you #Advertise hard to fill Jobs? Someone cuts and pastes some job description text into a #Healthcare job board and announces this important hard to fill opening is posted!

Hard to Read Job Posting

Quite often each field (job description, requirements, etc.) is displayed as one big block of text: no paragraphs; often missing punctuation; and definitely hard to read. Did anyone notice? Only takes a second to click on the ad. Maybe they don’t think it’s a problem. Maybe they don’t know easy it is to fix.



Breaking up a block of text is faster than getting a cup of coffee.
a line break takes 4 keystrokes: <br>
a blank line takes 8 keystrokes: <br> <br> (or less if you’re in PASTE mode)

No formatting example Run-on sentences Lost in the translation
No formatting example<br>Run-on sentences<br><br>Lost in the translation
No formatting example
Run-on sentences

Lost in the translation

Improve Your Advertisement

Faster than getting that coffee!

But the second problem is harder to solve. We’ve been told, ‘We do that on our website.’ Someone needs to ask why they won’t make this advertisement legible, when its sole purpose is to compel an experienced #Physical Therapist (for example) to visit your website.

Ours is a ‘hurry up I want it now’ culture. Especially on the web. People expect to see the answer without a lot of reading. Take the extra seconds so the ad is legible. After all, that is why you’re displaying it.


Busting a myth about your Advertising metrics

What are your advertising metrics really telling you?

As a Healthcare #eRecruiting website we expect you to measure our effectiveness. It’s our job to make sure active and passive job seekers see your opening. But we can’t make them respond and click the “Apply Now” link.


Time and again a #RN Job ad simply states the generic duties of a #RN and, more often than you might think, it doesn’t include anything about the unit. Not the best way to win over the serious job seeker.



ExcitingJob (282x400)

Your Hospital needs an experienced RN. Your focus should be on why they should choose you! Add your logo, a picture of your facility, video, and any other marketing distinctives (“sizzle”) that you can think of. What reasons do you use to convince a RN to accept your offer over your competitor’s? That’s what you need in your advertisement.

A thousand job views on our website says people are looking. The number of conversions to your website measures the effectiveness of your presentation.

The checkout line magazine rack is a good analogy. The RN clicks to view your job. Does it get their attention, like a good magazine cover, and compel them to look inside (to go to your website)?

Stop posting your #PT Jobs. Start advertising your #23Physical Therapist opportunities.

Why are you asking for references?

Interviewing is an emotionally charged event – and especially since 2008. Think about it from the candidate’s perspective.  There’s an implied message when you ask for references. But the message can be different based on the candidate’s personality (fox terrier, or golden retriever) and stress levels (out of work, or my spouse is a millionaire).

First of all, when do you ask for references? This tells a lot about why you want them. As a headhunter I wanted the references up front because they were more leads (pursued delicately, of course)! Do you tell the applicant to bring them to the interview at the end of a phone screen? Do they email them after the first onsite (or video) interview?

Here are some of the perspectives I’ve seen in recruiters when they ask for references.

  1. The Bureaucrat, who’s working down a list and checking all the boxes.
  2. The Mirage, who thinks giving a false sense of hope is building a positive corporate image.
  3. The Efficient, who is interested enough to want them in case they choose to go to the next step.
  4. The Closer, who wants to finalize a hire decision.

The key is to remove the implied message in a way that the candidate can’t misinterpret (aka, a reasonable person won’t misinterpret), since clarity is always the best way to build a positive corporate image.

I found giving the candidate a task with a specific timeframe was the most effective approach. They were to ensure the references have my name, and the candidate’s written permission for a personal reference related to their relationship at work. This is an excellent test in and of itself. The timeframe would be a 2-3 day window. And this is equally applicable when using a product like SkillSurvey or checking the references manually.