The Importance of PR in Recruiting

If your organization is like many in the healthcare industry, you’ve probably spent thousands upon thousands of dollars on recruitment advertising- especially for physicians, nurses, and highly specialized positions.  But, have you been executing a public relations strategy to complement your advertising?  Most organizations don’t, and they are loosing the war for talent to those who do.  Integrating PR and advertising is crucial for successful searches.

Many recruiting managers only think of contacting their public relations department when there is an issue that might become a problem, such as the recent snafu in Wisconsin where a nurse was laid off during a surgical procedure at a Dean Heath Care facility. While Dean may not be recruiting nurses right now, imagine how difficult it’s going to be when they need to in the future?  Thanks to the internet, the story will have a very long “shelf life” and this will come back to haunt them if a good PR strategy is not deployed to counter that bad ink. Clearly, HR needs PR.

Organizations with the best PR departments do more than handle a crisis or respond to media; they are engaging a proactive, strategic communications campaign to brand your organization as a good employer and make the most of your advertising- I call it integrated recruitment communications. PR tactics cost very little, but can pay off in big ways when done strategically.

There are a number of ways to leverage PR to build your brand as a good employer: a positive news story that highlights your culture, employees or community impact will immediately boost applicant interest.  This recent article about hard-working surgeons at Ohio State University Medical Center is a fantastic example! Not only did the OSUMC public relations department identify the story, but they boldly went to local media with it. Bravo!  And this quote is fantastic:

“We happen to have a group that are very good at what they do, and there’s a demand for their services,” said Dr. Thomas Ryan, director of the Ohio State’s heart and vascular center.

A hospital leader publicly acknowledging what a good job you do; think about the impact this article has on recruiting physicians- OSUMC has positioned themselves as THE organization to be at.  And not just for cardiologists; every recruiting manager, no matter what the speciality, can point to this article and ask “want to be on the winning team?” This kind of article is the result of a strategic PR effort that you can’t accomplish with a press release- it takes relationships with media that only a good PR person can provide.