February 08, 2023

Need Employees? Marketing and HR Should Collaborate

BY Jenna Kellerman

Recruiting for careers in aging services has always been a unique challenge. Our society does not value aging or understand the caregiving profession, so it can be difficult to communicate effectively how working in aging services is wonderful and rewarding. And during a staffing crisis, with a severe workforce deficit looming in the decades ahead, efforts to recruit staff and build the future pipeline are more important than ever.

Blurring the lines of marketing and HR

Marketing and human resources departments have historically operated in silos–marketing seeks to achieve census goals while human resources hire staff. But today, an organization’s success largely depends on its ability to find and keep staff. With an incredibly competitive labor market, organizations need to stand out, requiring a new collaborative effort between marketing and HR.

“Success relies on building strong brand awareness, delivering top-notch user experience and effectively communicating a company’s values,” according to a Forbes article on this trend. “The only difference, really, is the audience. While marketing targets current and prospective clients, in human resources (HR) the ‘clients’ are current and prospective employees… Media coverage, press releases, awards and similar initiatives serve a dual function for HR and marketing, attracting talent just as they attract new clients. These efforts become essential when operating in a crowded market.”

A provider’s reputation and organizational culture impact its ability to serve older adults and to hire staff. First impressions and interpersonal experiences are important, especially is this labor market. According to Opening Doors to the Aging Services Workforce findings, most potential employees are already employed–meaning they are only willing to consider a new opportunity that is “better” than their current job. So your organization needs to develop strong messages to demonstrate that your jobs are better than the rest.

Additionally, the range of digital communications platforms has fundamentally changed how organizations can best communicate recruitment messages, and organizations need to embrace rapidly changing trends. “A social recruitment approach requires close interaction between HR and marketing teams. The marketers who have already created interactive social media platforms help the recruiters to publish open jobs and identify candidates with the required skill set,” according to Effortless HR.

Doubling down on social media

Many providers are dabbling in social media, but few feel confident in managing a multi-channel approach. Yet the staff we seek are digital natives who expect to interact with organizations online. Candidates look up potential employers online, interact with organizations and brands on social media, and also access reviews from past and present employees that can make or break their decision to apply for a job with your organization.

You can increase your reach exponentially by developing an authentic social media presence that engages followers in your mission, vision, values, and culture. According to LinkedIn, “Employee Ambassadors can also help position the company as an employer of choice through their own social media accounts. By allowing your employees to tweet, post, and blog about your company, you open the door for hundreds, if not thousands, of new business contacts, customers, and job candidates.”

LeadingAge’s Opening Doors to the Aging Services Workforce findings echo this concept, advising that the best recruiting messengers’ professional caregivers, other current employees, older adult consumers, and family members. Equally vital: the message. Potential employees best responded to messages framed around concepts such as meaningful work, making a difference, a wide range of job types, strong bonds with clients, and supporting the community. Potential employees today are savvy–they can spot kitschy messaging a mile away. So keep language simple and authentic to net recruiting success.

Tools to get you started

LeadingAge has prepared a suite of tools and strategies to guide your recruitment communications and resource development, including tested language, the job attributes employees seek, and sample postings for a variety of aging services jobs. If your organization needs help getting started, check out the newly developed Opening Doors to the Aging Services Workforce toolkit. Additionally, Careers in Aging Week is just around the corner, March 26 – April 1, 2023. This national observation brings greater awareness and visibility to the wide-ranging career opportunities in our field. It’s easy to celebrate by sharing the turnkey marketing tools, available here.

The labor market has shifted significantly in recent years, and the importance of blending marketing and HR recruitment are essential. To succeed develop and communicate an authentic and meaningful brand, and ensure the range of careers you offer are the “good” jobs potential employees seek.