Staffing Shortages: How Marketing is Supporting HR Recruitment

Mar 8, 2023 12:00 PM1:00 PM EST

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Key Discussion Takeaways:

Healthcare organizations across the US are seeing major challenges regarding staffing and recruitment. According to a report by the Tennessee Hospital Association, 45% of hospitals are at risk for closure. So what can companies do to mitigate these issues?

One solution that has yielded extraordinary results is to leverage your marketing department in partnership with HR. Using the same marketing technology tools that resonate with patients, healthcare companies can recruit more long-term employees and proactively connect with potential candidates. This way, you’ll be able to focus on caring for patients instead of scrambling to find talent.

In this virtual event, Aaron Conant is joined by Stuart Dill, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Engagement at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Ashmer Aslam, the Co-founder and CTO of Cured, and Tom Hileman, the Managing Partner of Digital at Global Prairie. They discuss the benefits of unifying your marketing and HR strategy, how this plays out in the healthcare space, how to use authentic storytelling to connect with potential candidates, and more.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • The major staffing shortages and challenges in the healthcare space
  • How companies are combining technology and marketing strategies to solve staffing dilemmas
  • Using marketing automation to proactively seek out candidates and succeed in a buyer’s market
  • Tips to bring your marketing and HR departments together
  • The power of peer-to-peer storytelling in healthcare recruitment
  • What platforms should you use to share authentic messaging?
  • The value of investing in the middle of the recruitment-marketing funnel
  • What’s the first step in developing your recruitment strategy?
  • Key takeaways on care models, technology, and amplifying your message
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Event Partners

Global Prairie

Global Prairie delivers transformational branding, marketing and digital solutions through the lens of an organization’s unique purpose. Bringing together industry leading strategy, creativity and technology expertise, we generate measurable business and social impact for our clients, their stakeholders and the world.

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Guest Speakers

Aaron Conant LinkedIn

Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect

Aaron Conant is Co-Founder and Chief Digital Strategist at BWG Connect, a networking and knowledge sharing group of thousands of brands who collectively grow their digital knowledge base and collaborate on partner selection. Speaking 1x1 with over 1200 brands a year and hosting over 250 in-person and virtual events, he has a real time pulse on the newest trends, strategies and partners shaping growth in the digital space.

Stuart Dill LinkedIn

Senior Vice President Marketing and Engagement at Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Stuart Dill is the Senior Vice President of Marketing and Engagement at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC). In this role, Stuart focuses on internal and external community engagement and develops new strategies to build upon VUMC’s philanthropic mission. Before joining VUMC, he was a 30-year music industry veteran and served as an artist manager on Nashville’s Music Row.

Ashmer Aslam LinkedIn

Co-Founder & CTO at Cured Health

Ashmer Aslam is the Co-founder and CTO of Cured, a digital marketing and CRM platform for healthcare companies. Cured improves experiences by working with care providers to unify people, processes, and technology. Ashmer has guided the company for nearly five years to bring care full circle. 

Tom Hileman LinkedIn

Managing Partner, Digital at Global Prairie

Tom Hileman is the Managing Partner of Digital at Global Prairie, an award-winning digital marketing agency that delivers high-touch, data-driven marketing solutions for leading healthcare organizations nationwide. With more than 25 years of multi-industry experience, he leverages strategic insights, measurable engagement tactics and technology to drive business growth and success. Tom has spoken at HCIC, HMPS, World Congress, SHSMD, Adobe, and other healthcare and technology events.

Event Moderator

Aaron Conant LinkedIn

Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect

Aaron Conant is Co-Founder and Chief Digital Strategist at BWG Connect, a networking and knowledge sharing group of thousands of brands who collectively grow their digital knowledge base and collaborate on partner selection. Speaking 1x1 with over 1200 brands a year and hosting over 250 in-person and virtual events, he has a real time pulse on the newest trends, strategies and partners shaping growth in the digital space.

Stuart Dill LinkedIn

Senior Vice President Marketing and Engagement at Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Stuart Dill is the Senior Vice President of Marketing and Engagement at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC). In this role, Stuart focuses on internal and external community engagement and develops new strategies to build upon VUMC’s philanthropic mission. Before joining VUMC, he was a 30-year music industry veteran and served as an artist manager on Nashville’s Music Row.

Ashmer Aslam LinkedIn

Co-Founder & CTO at Cured Health

Ashmer Aslam is the Co-founder and CTO of Cured, a digital marketing and CRM platform for healthcare companies. Cured improves experiences by working with care providers to unify people, processes, and technology. Ashmer has guided the company for nearly five years to bring care full circle. 

Tom Hileman LinkedIn

Managing Partner, Digital at Global Prairie

Tom Hileman is the Managing Partner of Digital at Global Prairie, an award-winning digital marketing agency that delivers high-touch, data-driven marketing solutions for leading healthcare organizations nationwide. With more than 25 years of multi-industry experience, he leverages strategic insights, measurable engagement tactics and technology to drive business growth and success. Tom has spoken at HCIC, HMPS, World Congress, SHSMD, Adobe, and other healthcare and technology events.

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Aaron Conant

Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect

BWG Connect provides executive strategy & networking sessions that help brands from any industry with their overall business planning and execution.

Co-Founder & Managing Director Aaron Conant runs the group & connects with dozens of brand executives every week, always for free.

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Discussion Transcription

Aaron Conant  0:18

Happy Wednesday, everybody, my name is Aaron Conant, I'm the co founder and Managing Director here at BWG Connect. We’re a giant networking and knowledge sharing group with 1000s of organizations that do exactly that. We network and knowledge share, to stay on top of the newest trends, strategies, pain points, whatever it is that shaping on, you know, a variety of different organizations on the digital landscape. We’ll do close to I don't know, 200 of these virtual events this year, and probably 100 in person events. So you might see other invites come around, we'd love to meet you in person sometime. But while I'm talking, I spend the majority of my time talking to organizations on digital strategy when the same topics come up over and over again, it's how we get topics like this, they stay really relevant over time. And as we kick off this staffing shortages, how marketing is supporting HR recruitment? You know, it's been interesting, you know, Tom and the Hileman Group have been great friends, partner supporters, we've done a bunch of these little I don't think we we done one on HR recruitment before time, I don't think we have, we haven't. Yeah, and this is interesting, you know, as we're coming out of the pandemic, and, you know, a lot of different looks, this is across the landscape. This one is in the healthcare space. Just incredibly relevant. So, you know, I think we kind of kick off the conversation, I'll kick it over to you, Tom, if you want to do a brief intro on yourself and your organization, that'd be great. And we can go to Stuart and Ashmer, and then we'll kind of kick off the conversation. Sound good.


Tom Hileman  1:40

Thanks, Aaron. Sounds great. So, Tom Hileman, I lead the Hileman Group. We're a healthcare marketing agency focused on the intersection of creativity, marketing and technology, we help our customers, mostly health systems, connect with both patients. Actually, in this case, we'll talk about recruits and potential employees, as well as the physician channel. So looking forward to today's conversation, I'll hand it over to Stuart to introduce himself.


Stuart Dill  2:03

Hey, everybody, so Stuart Dill, I'm in Nashville, I run marketing and engagement for Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Vanderbilt Health. I've been in this role for eight years going on eight years. Prior to that I had a 30 year career in the music industry. So made a pivot in 2015. We can certainly talk a little bit about that if you want to interesting dynamics really, between both industries or having a outside industry person come into healthcare marketing, but glad to be here. Thank you for the invitation.


Ashmer Aslam  2:44

Yeah, hey, everyone. Nice to see and talk with you all. I'm Ashmer, one of the co founders and the CTO of a company called Cured. We're a digital marketing platform that focuses exclusively on the healthcare environment. So really excited to hear Stuart's point of view today. And we've worked with Tom and his team on several clients that we share in common, so a good group to get along with here. And also very curious Stuart on how music and healthcare translates. Looking forward to that, but live in Boulder, Colorado, formerly at a Accenture and Salesforce, I've kind of been in the technology space my whole career. But looking looking forward to the conversation today. Yeah.


Aaron Conant  3:27

Awesome. So quick, before we kick this off, if you have questions along the way, we want this to be as interactive as possible. So anytime something pops up, drop it in the chat or drop into the q&a. And we'll answer in pretty much real time as we go. But, you know, I think is we kind of kick off and maybe I'll kick it over to you store and then everybody can chime in as well. You know, what do you think are some of the biggest challenges, you know, health systems are seeing in regards to staffing shortages as a whole?


Stuart Dill  3:57

Well, first just say that, I think it's one of those situations where it it's it's this is a an epidemic. I mean, this is across the country, workforce stabilization and health care. You know, our stats show that in Tennessee 40% of hospitals are at risk for closure. And you start thinking about that, that's a sobering statistic is just this coming out of the pandemic, you know, the great resignation, which really hit healthcare hard so we have this issue with stabilization of the workforce, you know, come combine that with inflation and high drug costs, I don't think we've ever seen and healthcare, the headwinds that we're having financially, a lot of that certainly has to do with with with the workforce. So I think we're in unprecedented waters. And and there are other industries and others What I was making reference to but I think all industries, you know, have their time where they have to change or they have to adapt. We've certainly seen that historically with the automotive industry, certainly with airlines industry, banking industry, you know, pick one happened in the music industry to that's the connection. But it is it is Healthcare's time, time to adapt time to change. It's not sustainable with the current model.


Aaron Conant  5:32

I'd love to hear your thoughts there, too. I mean, you're dealing with a lot of these organizations as a whole. Yeah, for sure.


Tom Hileman  5:39

I mean, it is nearly every one of our clients in the last year has asked us questions, has asked for help. And it's come to recruiting for whether it's nurses, physicians, Allied staff professionals, like just across the gamut. It's really, it's really trying times the Stuart’s alluding to nearly every health system is getting hit with a confluence of rising expenses, whether it's supplies, or medic medications, everything across the board is inflating the labor shortages and traveling nursing, which I'm sure we'll talk about a little bit later, just driving all those costs up. And we'll reimbursements are remaining relatively flat. The good news patient volumes are high, right. But we still have to somehow profitably serve that. And I know that that's kind of it's kind of the challenge of our times. And I think I think Stuart's called a time to change time to adapt, because we have to, we have to change. But everyone knew every one of our clients has asked us how do we better do? How do we better reach potential recruits clinicians for that. And so I think it's a really interesting time where marketing is really driving into areas that it traditionally hasn't been in. And I think that today has been a great discussion for us to have as a see, as as many of these organizations and I know, Stuart talked about his in more depth, but the call for all hands on deck, what can we do to get more people in to work here, right and to serve our customers. So it's a really, really unprecedented time. And I think marketing has a great seat at the table where we can really help solve this problem with our colleagues across the enterprise.


Aaron Conant  7:19

Yeah, Ashmer, I can see you shaking your head at you know, nodding your head as well. I'd love to hear your thoughts here. And we can kind of then jump into the whole marketing portion.


Ashmer Aslam  7:28

Yeah, I think my quick thoughts would be, I might be a bit biased. But I think technology is a huge enabler of all of these processes. And similar to what you mentioned, we're seeing a lot of requests and requirements, focusing on being able to use the same marketing solutions we've built for our customers to leverage them for recruitment or retention or whatever it might be both for internal and external partners. And we've been fortunate enough to work with one of the largest staffing companies in North America and have seen kind of the inside track on how this is all laid out. And I think they represent two ends of the spectrum where they suffered really hard at the beginning of COVID. And then had a great kind of rebound, thanks to all the staffing shortages. But organizations like that, obviously, are also, you know, enabling some of the cost issues that we're seeing. So I think it's it's an interesting paradigm to live in, where it's creating a lot of opportunity for those providers to get staffed and temporary and short term positions. And you know, that's a great solve in the near term. But in the long term, I think the answer is kind of to your point, Stuart, how does healthcare use all of these new kind of processes things like what CHG healthcare who I mentioned, uses to get people interested in their staffing organization to do the same thing, but do it from your point of view as a health system and get people to become full time employees and stay there for the long term? And, you know, I think there's there's a huge opportunity for technology to play a role in that and combine that with the marketing strategy that that you were talking about.


Aaron Conant  9:02

Stuart, are you using or Tom, you can jump into I don't know if you had thoughts there. But you know, I was thinking like, are you using then? The same marketing tech? But just looking for staffing?


Stuart Dill  9:14

Is it Yeah, somewhat. So the question, you know, this is probably similar to lots of healthcare systems in the country, but historically, Vanderbilt really had had separate separation of HR marketing, and then our consumer marketing. So, you know, the marketing department here really did not integrate in with the HR marketing. So, again, I think that's probably probably historically common. One thing that I think's interesting and I'll give you some context with Vanderbilt, the Vanderbilt University Medical Center They're separated from Vanderbilt University in 2016. So we became legally separate entity. So I often say we're 150 year old brand and a six year old startup. And I say that because I do think, you know, some change. And, and thinking happened when we took the reins and had to, you know, drive our own ship. And in that last year, our CEO, approached us and senior staff and said, you know, why are these two elements of marketing separate? Our biggest challenge now is not volumes, which is usually you know, what marketing is concentrating on bargains, volumes and market share. And, and, you know, we have the luxury of being in a growth market, and we certainly have tremendous demand on our services. And we're, as Tom alluded more volume than ever, but still dwarfing the fact that we have these cost challenges. So basically, our CEO said, you know, what, why are we not working on our biggest problem together? Why are we separating these two strategies. And so we leaned in with our HR comrades, and have been working in tandem, since last summer on on marketing and recruiting. It's been a really good situation for us. Our our employee base, we have nearly 40,000 employees here, at Vanderbilt Medical Center, we have a big growth strategy and a big growth need for for employees, obviously. And yes, they had not used a lot of traditional marketing tactics and a lot of the innovative tactics in the stack. So for the first time, we have, you know, introduced some new concepts into that space, including marketing automation and and much more robust search and tying them into our recruitment strategies. So that is happening, we're seeing a results already. The first results came in retention, our retention with current staff is at an all time high, which I think is a direct result of the strategy. And we have stopped the bleeding and turn the corner. But we're trying to become the employee of your of choice for the entire region, which is a great challenge. But yeah, we're learning how to do this together with our HR partners.


Tom Hileman  12:47

And I think, just to dive in there a little bit, Stuart is mentioning that almost every health system that we work with HR recruiting are separate from the marketing function, nearly everyone. Stuart's is actually one of the earlier ones last summer to start that work together. And they've kind of grown up to be historically different disciplines, and with different approaches, HR recruiting much more focused on job boards, agencies, kind of traditional outreach through many the traditional channels, newspapers are the virtual versions of those, and whatnot. And marketing obviously has evolved a lot over over the years. And it's been very acquisition and retention focused in terms of patients, right. And so most health systems have developed a really fine set of marketing tools for consumer engagement. But those tools weren't really being used when it came to the one of the most important stakeholders in the health system, the employees, the clinical team and the overall professional staff. And so we've seen the answer your question here. And we've seen a lot more the use of the traditional market, the MAR tech stack, to automate and better target better to better find better target and better message. The, the prospective employees, utilizing literally the same types of technology and approaches, different messaging, of course, different places that we got to communicate than we do for patients or physicians. But we've really started to take those same tools and utilise them for another another population. And we've seen great success with it. I think marketing is really uniquely positioned because they understand the consumer and they're great at crafting storytelling. The story, the message, and I know that's a passion for Stuart, though I'm sure we'll get into and that we can in our closed group reporting and metrics are and marketing are much tighter than what you'll see traditionally in HR and recruiting for for tracking the engagement along the way. So I think there's some great opportunities for folks on the marketing team to take away the skills and technologies into the HR function and then also work shoulder to shoulder with HR folks who knows their audience extremely well, and how do we craft the best outreach possible using state of the art marketing tools, and, and a story that we need to tell and a value props for those employees. So it's a it's a really exciting, I think this is a moment for the next year or two that we really need, as marketing really, really lean in with HR. And I think as Ashmer alluded to this, the technology is also key, because we're not going to get more people to do it. We want to hire more folks who are serving patients, not necessarily more folks in marketing, HR and administrative functions. I guess.


Aaron Conant  15:39

This is awesome. Because it's like, why isn't this has been done? Why isn't this standard practice? Right? Because you as an organization? Yes, the clients are there, but also your most valuable resources, your  employees, getting the right person, you know, in the right seat? It's so important. It's like, I think that's a key takeaway. Right, as well. Aaron,


Stuart Dill  16:03

I'll just have been as I would just say, obviously, when you have a workforce of 40,000 people, those are your best brand ambassadors. No question about that. So that's, that's part of the, you know, it does seem like why didn't we do this earlier, it seems like a natural and it is, but it's just how systems were grown up and legacy systems had not integrated prior.


Ashmer Aslam  16:27

Yeah, and the only thing I was gonna have to some of your points, Tom is, you know, I equate the recruiting process very much to the sales process you see in other industries, and they all use marketing automation to power those, right. And I think the key point for all of us to realize is, you're not always trying to influence the decision that Tom is going to make right now. But when he's going to make that decision, I want to make sure that he's making the decision I would like him to make, which if I'm Stuart is work at Vanderbilt instead of UVA, or some or University of Tennessee, or whatever the alternatives might be, for me as a nurse. And that's especially important in an environment like this, where, you know, it's a, it's a buyers market, so to speak, right, like these nurses and providers have the opportunity to choose from several different organizations of I'm trying to convince them to choose me over otherwise, like assume comp and benefits and all that are relatively equal, what is the deciding factor that's going to be and sometimes it's the right place, right time mentality. And if I'm sending you an email, or a text, or getting an ad in front of you on Doximity, or wherever these things are going, you know, that that only increases the chances that, you know, I make that choice, rather than them choosing something else. So I think there's there's so much to be learned from how other groups and other industries have done this. And, you know, healthcare is always a little bit behind, okay, well, if I'm, if I'm being generous, I think we have a huge, huge opportunity to, to really level up here and, and put all these pieces together. And, you know, I think we're looking at people like Stuart, who are leading the charge to kind of serve as that lighthouse for everyone else and say, like, hey, it's working, like come and do it and do it this way. And here's all the people who can come together. Yeah,


Tom Hileman  18:14

I'll jump in the second aspect. I think, people it's interesting that you mentioned pipeline, right? In marketing, Stuart, we're always thinking about the we're always thinking about the funnel, and having people in different stages of the process, right? in HR, and recruiting, that maintaining that population of folks who are interested or who want to know about you, isn't always the same when you're in a job board world, right? Like go to the board and see what we have kind of thing, right? That only happens when people were at really particular times willing to switch or have a specific really interesting moment of that you can influence right. But I think one of the sea changes is thinking about proactively having a pool of folks that you're communicating with. So that is not just when you need it, but you have an engaged audience across the different disciplines and specialties that you need, and building that building that continuing to communicate with them, even if you may not be hiring them for the next year. Right? What's the latest happening at Vanderbilt? Well, I work here, why are we an employer of choice, right? And then that way, when they do make the choice, whether it's to move to a new location, or to a new or just to get to a new job, you're top of mind. And I think that's a different mindset. That's true that traditionally in HR recruiting, that marketing always thinks about because we're always thinking about long term communications with our, with our patients and process prospective patients. So I think there's a great opportunity there for health systems to think longer term, because this is not a short term issue. All the all the demographics and the trends. If you look at all the stats, I mean, depending on who you believe we're between half a million to 100,000 people short across the different healthcare spectrum for clinical staff, simply on kind of nursing and and related folks position so we're all fighting for the same people. Right? So we have a, we have a decade long battle to go here. So I think we need to think about how do we do use everything we got in our arsenal to be


Stuart Dill  20:13

to get to folks. I would add Tom, you're spot on as a as a, as mayor, you know, as mayor, when you said, you know, we're in a buyer's market, I think that's, I think that's where the rubber meets the road, particularly for academic medical centers. You know, for the for decades, there was this kind of mindset with academic medical centers that it was a privilege to work here. And so there, there has been a seismic paradigm shift in cultural thinking that perhaps we would be honored to have you work here. And that's what I'm talking about the different industries and pivoting and our time to change, you know, that that is not a small change for an academic medical center or for the healthcare system, to realize that, you know, we, we do need to talk about now, why we want to be the employer of choice, why we believe that we are the best place to work, what are our value propositions? And how do we go out and tell those stories, that is not something that's been innate, and HR, marketing and academic medical center. So, at the end of the day, or time word use, I think we have a huge opportunity in marketing to really influence and move the needle here with recruitment. It's really because at the end of the day, marketing is nothing more than connecting. And, to me still, in the connection between the music industry and healthcare marketing is, I believe, the oldest and the greatest tool in the tool belt belt, to connect us through storytelling now, us, you know, current innovative marketing techniques and innovation and tactics to tell those stories, but at the end of the day, you're just trying to connect through storytelling. So that's the connection. If you can combine great storytelling with state of the art marketing techniques, then then all of a sudden, you've got a win win that I think, really changed the paradigm on how we how we do this.


Aaron Conant  22:33

Who, who starts the conversation? Break is I'm thinking, I'm marketing, you know, I'm HR talent acquisition. Whose generally do you see starting the conversation? They a lot of times, you'll have the marketing side? Like, are they looking for more work? Are they already overburdened? If we already have a staffing shortage? So where do you Tom I’ll kind of kick it over to you? Where do you see that conversation starting from which department is doing the push of the pole?


Tom Hileman  23:02

Neither? Usually, it's executive driven, as was with Stuart's example, as it's one of the leaders on the C suite, or whether it's a CEO or CEO, there's someone at the top has to kind of pull the team, those teams, those departments together, how systems can be a bit hierarchical and division and department oriented, just the nature I think a little bit the nature of the Academic Medical Centre is they had Departments of Education, right. So whether you need someone at the top, whether it's a clinic, chief medical officer, a nursing officer, someone to say, hey, we need to solve this, right? And then and then the poll comes together. Because both both sides are really busy. Like they're both tasked with a lot of work to do, right. So this is another thing to do together. So you need some executive leadership to drive it Now usually, folks are willing participants because they both both departments see the value what the other side can do. And they all know it's critical to the enterprise. Because if we don't solve the if we don't solve the employment issue, well, then we can't really be a profitable enterprise that can actually survive, right? So it's an all hands on deck moment. So the the pulling people together hasn't been difficult my experience. But typically, I'm seeing it from the top from one of the sea level folks saying, Hey, we have to change and we have to do we have to work together to bring all the talented people we can to solve this problem.


Stuart Dill  24:31

I would add, Tom, you're exactly right. I would add that it will not happen. If it's not from the top down the CEO in our case, Dr. Jeff balls are and you know, appreciate the the accolades on that. You know, we're early into this. It was really his vision that just say, you know, what's keeping me up at night is not getting more patients is taking care of the patients that we have, how are we going to solve this problem? And it was it really came from him. and and again, as Tom, as you alluded, Look, we all got things to do every day. So it's not going to happen organically from the bottom up, it has to be directed from the top down, because that's where the vision needs to happen. That's why they sit in those seats that they need to be seeing around corners that others can't see, because we got too much work on our desks. Right. So that is the point. And unless you have leadership directing that, then I don't know that it would happen. There's a


Aaron Conant  25:32

kind of a comment and a question that comes in here. Curious when Stuart talks about storytelling, what that looks like, from his perspective, is that hearing from other employees from clients, helped by those employees focus on data, facts, figures,


Stuart Dill  25:46

etc. Like the etcetera. I think it's a little bit of all of that, but I would say this. I live in a town that is built on storyteller. So I've studied it my whole career and love it. And there's lots of ways to imagine how to do this. But in this particular example, where we're talking about healthcare marketing, particularly recruitment, it's really peer to peer. I think the most effective way to recruit is for nurses, to talk to other nurses, to health care, caregivers, to talk to other health care caregivers, to tell those stories to them on their own, in their own words. I don't think this is a situation where we want brand to talk to potential recruits, I think we want people to be talking to people. So what we are doing, now we do brand spots, and we certainly are capable of doing all that. But really, when it comes to this, we've done a couple of things we are first, you know, and foremost is we do research. And we looked at you know, what are our value propositions and we worked with Hileman and others to identify our personas. But then we literally went pretty low tech, as far as what we are putting out in content. We are doing iPhone testimonials, we're doing lots of them, we are targeting them in certain sectors of our Care Partners in Care provider needs. We are tying them into what it looks like, as a you know. So it's on brand. And we tie that at the end with an analyte of our value prop but I will tell you, it's impressive to hear from a nurse organically talking about without being scripted, why she thinks Vanderbilt University Medical Center is the best place to work and that she's working in other places in the region. You know, that's what you want an organic, authentic story here. When it comes to recruitment, not to flash, not too scripted, much more organic and real and authentic. I,


Tom Hileman  28:12

you said it perfectly like it this is not the best place for highly produced video, right like this. This needs to be raw more from the guide of like why peer to peer it did appear. I mean, that's where you think about why people stay in jobs. It's the relationship with their manager and their co workers. Right? Like they it's a it's a people game. And by the nature of the caregivers that you're hiring, they're people who care about people, right. So that's what they do for a living is care for others, obviously, lots of technical and training and skills, not downplaying that, but I'm saying at the core of it is caregivers care for other folks. So you can imagine that that what they care about the most is the opinions of other folks, primarily the people they'd be working with, right. And they have lots of choices. So the authenticity of that period appears is really paramount. So that's I think that's a strong, strong stories, Stuart is let that let that appears. Tell the story. And then we also need to listen to the folks in those positions, right? Like they, they know what that job is like and what the good, the bad and the ugly is right. And so when we're doing we mentioned personas, and we did a ton of interviews with new nurses, nurses straight out of school traveling nurses, and I'm picking on nursing here only because nursing is the kind of the highest need right now. But obviously, that's across other clinical areas, but the ability to do some on the ground and speak with us folks is paramount. And I think we're Ashmer would go next would be okay. And how do we do that at scale though? How do we personalize that? So we did we've done all this work, and we built this kind of this excellent storytelling content. Now how do we get it to everybody? To the right people at the right time, and map that out and I think that's where the martech


Ashmer Aslam  30:00

Um, so yeah, I think you stole my idea. I don't have a lot don't have a lot to add, I think I think the hardest part with kind of scale marketing, right is how do you make it feel personalized to that person. And I think that's, that's the key of combining all these different aspects, we're talking about the storytelling, the, you know, actual people who are doing the job telling you why it's so great, and why you need to work here. And then getting that in front of other people when they're about to make this decision and not making it seem forced or unnecessary and, and helping them make that decision on their own, so to speak, and you're just kind of guiding them in that process. So I think, you know, a, we've seen a lot of that work very effectively, I was just reading a Becker's article maybe a couple of weeks ago, where Henry Ford missed, like, every nurse that left during the, during the pandemic, and like, hey, you've been doing locums, or you've been a traveling nurse or whatever it might be, you want to come back and have your own job and 25% of them said, Yes, I mean, you know, that's, that's maybe a fluke in their environment, but they were looking for, but I think it shows the opportunity that exists of just like getting the stuff in front of people, and maybe they weren't looking to make a change in that moment. And they got this message and like, Hey, maybe I would rather not be on the road anymore, and come back to you know, where I used to be. And I know, to your point, my manager or my peers are still there, or whatever it might be. So I think there's, there's so much opportunity there and Stuart's point, I think it's all about telling the story and finding a way to make it feel very personal and resonate with those individuals so that they're making the decision on their own at the end of the day.


Aaron Conant  31:39

So using the right tack to, I mean, I just think in the right medium, the right platform, in a time when you were talking, you know it Stuart about being authentic and real. It's like what, you know, TikTok is done right to the traditional brand and how they interact. It cannot be scripted, right? People sniff it out immediately. If it's scripted, it is real, and it's authentic. And I'm wondering how much that affects the tools, the technology and the media, and that we are actually connecting with our target audience from a recruiting standpoint?


Tom Hileman  32:17

Well, I mean, it's just the way we develop, we publish and distribute the message, right. So I think the content being kind of live in from the heart is meaningful, very meaningful here. And then you just have to marry it to the right channels and deploy it like said, you don't want to do an over polished and over polished production. Most of these things, sometimes the rougher cut is a better way to go, just because it helps support the authenticity of that. So fortunately, the tax and usually not the issue in this that's usually making sure we get the right message and the right audiences. And then the tech helps us put it together and personalize it as we go. But it's certainly certainly, we can certainly can be done with things that stay the existing state of the art.


Stuart Dill  33:04

I also think it's a little time, I'm curious on your thought and particularly asked me Are you too, you know, when we talk about authentic messaging in storytelling, and not being too scripted? I mean, it's obvious when you say it, but let me try to describe that a little bit, you know, kind of a low res thing. And you mentioned, TikTok, Aaron. You know, we are filming folks, literally on our iPhones, you can tell when people are talking to an iPhone, but it is authentic than not scripted, just by their eye movement. They're thinking, right, they're not reading, they're they're literally their eyes are moving in a way that you can feel the wheels in the process of their thoughts. That's obviously not scripted. You know, people know that when they see that instinctively, when you put that type of messaging meeting that feels is absolutely authentic, on platforms of which that tenor is the norm, social media, other platforms, it then finds its own place it fits. It's where the storytelling fits the technology. It's where the storytelling fits the channel. That's not something that I would want to put on a Superbowl ad, right. I mean, that's something that fits in the channel that we're trying to reach and direct marketing. And here's the good news. That's where this audience lives. So I think the opportunity here is to tell the authentic story on the right tat channel and you really are directing it and targeting it to the right audience. Now you need to line that up. You know, that's, that's what, that's what we do. But if you do that correctly, then it really can be effective.


Aaron Conant  34:56

So the question comes in what means do you suggest and getting these masks? He has in front of potential candidates are often approached by recruiters needing pipeline assistance. And we've always we always seem to find ourselves getting everyone in the same ideas, Facebook, Facebook, ads, posts, etc. Is there anything else we could be adding to our toolbox?


Stuart Dill  35:14

On you might want to jump on that you know what we're doing? You're helping us. Yeah. Yeah. I


Tom Hileman  35:22

mean, social media obviously is in that they met mentioned Facebook and the different pieces there. I'll actually tell you, I think the one of them that's missed, and it seems obvious to me is search. There's so I mean, the paid search space, which we've all marketers done, obviously, for acquisition for ever. Right. That's a lot that is underutilized when it comes to marketing for healthcare for employment, in my opinion. So So to answer your question precisely, certainly Facebook, the social platforms, Instagram, the other ways that you would normally reach a consumer audience is a great way to to deploy the story in the authentic videos, I think folks need to think about also some of the targeted acquisition approaches like paid search and paid and paid media, I think there's opportunities there that are that are typically untapped. By HR and recruiting, a lot of that is expected to be managed by job boards, and job boards are kind of funneling all those people in and funneling them to your specific position, there's, and there's obviously paid advertisement, or options inside of job boards, but you have to remember, that's all rented land. So what I mean by that is that you're renting it from them for just a moment, right. And those folks are also looking at the other jobs that are right next to yours on the job board. So that's not, that's not as ideal. So I think there's opportunity for Greenfield and pay when it comes into some of the paid search and paid display metrics, that you can utilize some of that same content, but have a very intent, intent driven.


Stuart Dill  37:00

Look, I'll give you a real life example of that Tom spot on when we integrated with our HR marketing partners. And look, they're good that, you know, they've done their thing for a long time. And they're, they've been efficient for a long time, you know, but just this this idea of, you know, of two different systems integrating one of the first things I said was, how much do you spend on paid search, and they said, We don't, and I was like, really, like, I was truly shocked that that did not happen in our HR marketing department. So we started there. But the other thing that we did, which I think is key, and again, it just seems, you know, so obvious, but we weren't doing it. And that is the HR marketing piece. And you know, our public facing consumer marketing pieces were not connected. So they weren't both on brand. So the first thing we did was we re tooled, and redesigned the HR marketing site, our career site to be on brand. So that when we pushed out digital marketing assets, same people same face the same look, same feel that when they hit the website, it was obviously the same place. That was not automatic. So we did that not only for our general careers site, but also for our nursing career site. So we have kind of across the board, married these two look feel designs to be on brand for both HR and then obviously for our consumer marketing pieces. So a couple


Aaron Conant  38:39

more questions. One, real quick one, sir, what platform social? Are you putting those iPhone testimonials on?


Stuart Dill  38:45

Yeah, well, well, well, we'll run the gamut. You know, again, from the HR perspective, you know, their, their platform of choice has been LinkedIn and but again, they didn't do a lot of paid on that. And so we've encouraged that and boosted that, you know, our on the healthcare side. You know, our strongest platform has been Twitter. But what is Facebook, Twitter, Instagram will use everything we do not as a as a corporate policy. Use TikTok that may change but that's that's a Vanderbilt thing at the moment. But no will will will will cross all social platforms.


Aaron Conant  39:26

And what about radio ads? Or does it depend on the market


Stuart Dill  39:29

with this medium? Well, we're not going to start with radio we're gonna start heavy heavy digital. You know, we when we think about our brand spots, then obviously we do television radio. Ott, other things. We could we're gonna start with with a really very heavy digital and target marketing and market automation platforms first. Yeah,


Tom Hileman  39:56

Stuart, I was gonna jump one more thing on that I thought was surprising when we've worked with some of the HR recruiting folks was that the measurement orientation, right? They, they view job boards is just like an expense and not necessarily tie, where we've historically looked at the return on investment when we're bringing patients in. From a consumer side, there's always been more of an expense management. And so yeah, the ROI wasn't it wasn't something that was always clearly kind of tracked through the entire stack. I don't know if that's been similar with your findings as well.


Stuart Dill  40:29

No, I think that's very true. And, and, you know, the other thing that when you combine these two efforts between HR and marketing is, you know, we're obviously driving traffic to the sites. And so we're at the top of the funnel, we don't always see the conversion pieces to we don't always see once you know, we know we're driving more traffic, but we don't always know exactly. Once it gets into the HR, what's what's been converted, so you'd need to integrate there as well. So we can follow the traffic all the way through it, and really kind of watch the metrics top to bottom. But that's, you know, that is something that you have to work out. That's not historically been the case.


Aaron Conant  41:12

They're rolling in now question for Ashmer, we just started using Salesforce with in our talent equity attraction team, there are more obvious uses for it for recruiters who want to follow leads. But how can recruitment marketing better utilize Salesforce, all we really done so far is send email marketing blasts?


Ashmer Aslam  41:29

Yeah, I mean, I think, you know, Salesforce is a conglomerate of many technologies now, so hard to know exactly what what's at play. But obviously, email is a classic example. As, as I mentioned, I think text is becoming really advantageous in this space, just in this world, when when you have a known quantity, as in a person who's actually interested in this job, or whatever it might be like text is actually a really good way to get them to go through the process and get things done, you know, internally at your, for example, our applicant tracking system does a lot of automated texting, as you're going through the interview process, and you're, you know, go into benefits. And negotiations, I think there's a lot of opportunity to think about the middle of the funnel, and whether it's Salesforce or another technology, that's where they're really gonna shine, they're not going to be the best at putting a Facebook ad out there, right? Like, you're going to do that somewhere else. And then you're going to consume the data that comes in from that top of funnel activity and using the CRM for what it's best at, which is aggregating a lot of information about this person, and then saying, Okay, I know XY and Z about air, and I'm going to send them this email or this text message as a follow up, in addition to whatever they volunteered, you know, as part of their application, and some of that, so I think it can be as powerful as you can make it. But I think like the caveat to that always is it depends on the data that you put in the thing, you know, it's only as good as the data you provide it. And I think that's the challenge we face every day with every one of our health system customers, as all this sounds great. But then how do I have to get the data and the thing to do all of this, and whether that's the market to patients, or recruits or what have you, I think, you know, data is just a general problem that exists in healthcare organizations. Because I think the undertones even of this conversation, right? There's just a lot of silos that exist, like, marketing has never worked with recruiting before. Sometimes marketing never worked with service line leadership before. So it just creates these opportunities for things to fall through the cracks. I do think a lot of this executive level initiative, management and strategy that's coming on now is going to help with those problems. But you know, so Salesforce can almost do anything, it's just a matter of giving it the right data to do all of those things. Awesome.


Aaron Conant  43:47

Like, what's it there's another one that comes in about academic medical centers? But before I get that, I like, Tom, I think and what step one for a lot of people, and then I really want to get to this academic medical centers for the blind, but like, what is step one? Like besides dialing you? Right? And


Tom Hileman  44:03

that's always helpful, but I appreciate that. But if I were anyone in the audience, or what we always advise, talking to clients, right at the beginning is, I think we're having two things. One, I think people need to throw out their pre 2020 playbook. Burn it, preferably because the world's changed. So there's lots of research and how we all did things, pre COVID. I don't think I think you need to check all of your assumptions in this during post COVID world because recruiting, I mean, all this stuff has been exacerbated. And you really needed that. So we often tell people to start back and let's look at this service and start with the research. rework your personas. Make sure you understand who it is you're actually going for and what your value props are there. So this is not this is very non tech like this is really understanding your audience understanding what's important to them and revisiting that because the assumptions that we all may have had A 2020 year before, I would argue they're not always true anymore. And we've been cov careful basing your assumptions on history, because I think we are in a little bit of a new world when it comes to health care. So that would be my first advice is check your assumptions and go back to some primary research and rework your personas. And your messaging. Cuz I think, as Stuart mentioned many times, that's not even on brand anymore. Just given that, those changes that that's, that's where I would start one, a and then one, B. And this is, this is a harder one. So not everyone's going to like this answer. But almost all the clients we work with, they all say they want to be the employer of choice in their market, which is always a great aspiration and, and a great thing. And then I asked them one question, and this is the question, that's probably the hardest one, they have to think about. Almost all of our clients have medical training, internships, or some type of clinical experience, depending on the nature of the role, the type of nurse and the type of clinician, and so you have folks who came through and finished their careers training at your location, how many of those do offer jobs? And how many of those accept? And if that number is not really high, then you got to ask yourself the question, Are you really an employer of choice? Now that's a really difficult, like, that's a look in the mirror. And that's not a marketing, that's not even an HR question. That's a business question. Other folks who train at your facilities, and you offered them jobs, because you think they're good? Yeah, they're kind of pretty good. Because you picked them to come there anyway. Right? What percentage of those? Are you actually converting to employees? And I would guess, and I've seen it many health systems where it's less than 50%. And so then the question is, if you're really an employer of choice, why is why isn't that number higher? Now, there's some reasons people may not want to be in that geography and, or they may have other training for their training they're going to or whatever that is, but look at the numbers that could have accepted and didn't. And then you're gonna say, and then you have to ask yourself on the clinical side, are we doing everything we really can? To bring people in?


Aaron Conant  47:10

It, it really blends in with this question that comes in. For those of us at academic medical centers. What about connecting with the education side of this? bringing in more students hiring graduates or alumni? Do you have any thoughts or ideas around making this connection? So not exactly the same? But kind of closely tied?


Stuart Dill  47:27

Like, yeah, they're very, very similar, honestly. So you know, you know, I guess one of our, I think, points that I'm very proud of is that on the pipeline pieces that we do have, we have very, very high numbers. So well, about 50% of those that come through our pipelines are hired at Vanderbilt. So I would say it's closer to 90% or above. But here's the point, we got to we got to build bigger, faster, better pipelines. And that and so I'd say two things to that on the Academic Medical Center side. One is on the marketing side, one of our standard kind of rules is that, you know, marketing can never get ahead of operations, we always need to make sure that we have the operational pieces in place before we market things. So but once they're in place, go go go, we do have a Nurse Residency program. That is very high functioning. And that is a tremendous hiring pipeline of great success for us. We're trying to double and triple those numbers operationally. But we will continue to market that that's one of our pieces within our value proposition. We have stood up operations and stood up a care partners Academy. So a similar similar idea. So that we can move folks into different care models and then move them up into the system depending on their goals in life and work at the top of their licenses. So, yes, academic medical centers are pretty good at building feeder systems. That's part of who we are. But these pipelines, the pipes just need to get bigger. And that and then part of that can we can help on the marketing side and help expand that.


Aaron Conant  49:32

We're getting close to the end here. If others you have a question you want to drop it in. Feel free to do that. Now. We'll try to get to it. But as we kind of go around the table here for like key takeaways. What should people be thinking about as they leave the webinar today? Stuart, I'll hit you first. Then I'll jump to Ashmer and then we'll wrap up with Tom. But what are some of those last things you can impart on the people who


Stuart Dill  49:59

Well, one thing we didn't really talk about this mentioned this, you know, the beginning, you know, we said things have to change, it's our time to change. On the operational side of that healthcare is just gonna have to change their, their care models. There was another survey that I saw that said that in the nursing community that 70% of the time of nurses that they were doing things that were not specific to nursing duties, they did a lot of things, nurses do a lot of things. If you're now realising that you need nurses to do specifically, you know, roles that and responsibilities around nursing, then we need to hire and develop more care partners to support those nurses, that's how you're going to fix this care, you know, quandary of of how we're going to facilitate move forward and a new model. So as those new models come on, line, you know, again, I think, a that has to happen operationally and be a new view of how we in the healthcare system. Market that in that we have to combine our our strategies between HR marketing and traditional marketing, and be on brand, be in sync, be collaborative, share results, and be real partners. That is the that that is really the only way that this is going to get fixed.


Aaron Conant  51:29

Awesome. Ashmer, we'll kick it over to you.


Ashmer Aslam  51:40

Absolutely, I think agree, obviously, with everything, Stuart, just just that I think my addition to that would be on the on the technology side of the world, as you know, treat technology as your friend, I think, to what Tom and Stuart have mentioned, you know, in many cases, you might have already invested in something like a marketing automation platform in your, in your organizations. And this is an opportunity to find another avenue to use that and use it to your advantage. And I think a challenge we deal with every day. And Tom, you touched on this as well as historically, technology has always been seen as a cost to a health system. And I think that's a bit of a hangover from the EMR era where y'all had to go and buy epic, or Cerner or whatever your favorite EMR is, and it was kind of forced upon you. And over the years, perhaps we've seen that there are some there's some returns on that in terms of efficiency and better, you know, treatment and other things, although a lot to be seen. But I think things like CRMs, and marketing automation tools, and all this engagement oriented technology connecting those dots is is almost is quite a bit easier, right? Can I get a recruit into the job faster? That's ROI for you, right? Like that's a measurable change from what you're used to, can I get a new patient in the door? Can I get an existing patient to do more services with me, all those things are very measurable. And having that type of technology just makes it easier for you. So I think part of the role we play with a lot of our customers is to kind of get the executives like Stuart, who sometimes don't have the luxury to go out and buy whatever they want to convince that their counterparts that hey, this technology isn't a cost centre, it's actually a revenue generator. And here's why. And recruiting is I think, in this day and age a big part of that equation alongside everything else you would imagine marketing is doing with technology too.


Aaron Conant  53:35

Awesome. Love it. Tom, my friend.


Tom Hileman  53:38

Well, I think I mean, these guys have nailed it. So I think when I think about I sometimes quote Stuart, as he talks about amplifying the message to use a music analogy, and technology certainly can amplify things, right. I think at the end of the day to be successful. I think the where I was I mentioned where I would start. But I think the fundamental message is is that this is mission critical. If we don't solve this, a lot of the other things, enterprise issues don't even matter, right? We can't serve our patients. So I think the first thing is to rally the troops, and everyone needs to help with this. And that's marketing, that's HR. That's the clinical side of things as well, we all need to look at what we can do better to be that employer of choice and to be the best place for that clinician, or professional staff member to work at, right. And so if we put that hat on, then we can leverage all the different tools that we have and make the changes that we need to and I think that's the hardest part of this is the organization needs to understand that that change is required now and so we need to look at some of our existing practices. Some some of the more traditional AMCs have all their nurses wear white every day. Well maybe that's not necessarily necessary anymore in the world that we live in or even desired by some of our clinic or nursing staff, right so we got to Foot question all those kind of fundamental assumptions not changed care. That's the standard of care, that can't change, right. But the other ways that we operate in Stuart's analogy about the time that that people are spending at the top of their license versus the bottom of their license, or doing non or doing non traditional role stuff, right, we have to figure out how we can supplement and let our clinical staff do what they're best at. And then let's not forget about onboarding to that our job isn't done just because we found someone they signed on the line to come in, right. We want to make sure that they land well, and are the people giving us those iPhone testimonials in a year to talk about how great it is here. So we haven't experienced that we have to pay off across the entire enterprise. So the beauty the great part about it is it's a huge challenge. It's a huge disruption, which means a lot of folks have opportunities now that you can level up and you can grow in the market shares. Because if you can solve this, or at least all parts of it, you're going to be in a competitive advantage for that. So where there's great turbulence, there's great opportunity, but there's a lot of work and then a lot of introspection we all have to look at to make that happen. So Aaron, thanks for having us today. It's been a great conversation.


Aaron Conant  56:11

Well, thanks You know, Tom, you guys are great friends, partners, supporters to the network. encourage anybody any follow up conversation on any of this more than happy to connect you with Stuart Ashmer or Tom. Thanks again, for answering all those questions. Thanks, everybody who sent in the great questions made a great interactive call. With that. We're going to wrap this one up, everybody, take care, stay safe and look forward to having you at a future event. Thanks, Tom. Thanks to everybody.

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