Right now, many companies are experiencing a problematic labor shortage. Whether the crisis is more one of recruitment or retention, it’s difficult to staff necessary roles with passionate, dedicated individuals. There are many reasons for labor complications. But for recruiters in the healthcare field, the most important thing to understand is how to use today’s platforms to help create opportunities. This means social media.

Social media is an opportunity-generation machine. With 3.7 billion users, social media connects half the world with convenient digital gathering places. Recruiters already use these tools on the job, but social media can also work to help fill the labor gaps in the medical industry.

Social media solutions can help address the labor challenges of modern healthcare. By applying them effectively, recruiters stand to make a real difference in the world’s biggest problems.

The physician shortage

First, let’s talk about the physician shortage. While labor shortages are common in all kinds of industries, healthcare is in a unique position. The problem isn’t just the pandemic. A host of contributing factors drove declining numbers of trained medical professionals for some time, and recent circumstances have only made things worse.

Now, the U.S. physician shortage could grow to as much as 122,000 needed workers by 2032. Contributing reasons for this need include:

  • An aging population, 48% of which will be over 65 by 2032, will need greater care.
  • One-third of U.S. physicians are expected to reach retirement age in the next decade.
  • Chronic disease and the COVID-19 pandemic are putting strain on healthcare resources.

The workforce is aging and younger generations must rise to fill jobs in healthcare. Care facilities are set to stay busy even after the COVID-19 pandemic due to the increase in both older citizens and chronic illnesses. More than 1 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes each year, for instance. With older, sicker patients, physicians will have a powerful demand on their time, which will, in turn, lead to burnout and more retiring physicians. To combat a spiraling shortage, healthcare recruiters have to be at the top of their game now.

This means using social media tools to help engage the future of healthcare.

How social media tools can help

The vast majority of adults in the U.S. use social media often. We have made these tools our constant companions. We use them to share some of our most profound life events with our communities of friends, relatives, co-workers, and potential colleagues. In our daily use of social media, we also see stories from all over the world.

In the stream of healthcare marketing content, healthcare recruiters can help cultivate audiences and network with new connections. But to access the full power of social media in your recruitment efforts, understand how social media fits in. These are just three of the applications for social media that help to build the industry:

1. Social media fosters data analytics

Social media in all its forms and applications is one of the best sources you have for gathering important data regarding your target audience and the industry at large. From analytical insights gleaned from dedicated data dashboards to the latest trends in healthcare, you can learn about your potential audience. Then, engage with them when they’re active. Social media insights tell you how to optimize your posts — such as job listings — to maximize engagement.

Additionally, use social media to produce insights that aren’t readily available. For instance, you might want to know what ratio of patients prefer female doctors. Studies show mixed data on the subject, but to get a sense of your potential patient preferences, poll your social media following. Monitor patient data by sweeping social media for published smart wearable data. By applying social media-aided data analytics, you can better understand both your patients and your recruiting pool.

2. Social media is a haven for storytelling

Then, social media assists you with talking about staffing needs and the perks of the job. Nothing is as powerful as storytelling when it comes to evoking the interests and passions of an audience. Social media is the perfect place to translate the job experience into a compelling story.

For instance, practicing physicians can share what they love about the job as well as tips for succeeding in a medical career. Additionally, advertising and marketing content can tell stories about what it means to work in healthcare while showcasing a diverse and inclusive work environment. Cultivate greater interest from potential recruits by channeling the storytelling capabilities of social media.

3. Social media generates referrals

Finally, the push for remote work and school practices during the COVID-19 pandemic created unique opportunities for recruiters. Now, many prospective employees spend more time online. For others  — even some in the healthcare field — remote work has opened geographic possibilities, meaning your talent pool is even broader than before.

Through social media, you can take advantage of existing social networks to help spread the word to diverse locations. With the right, linkable content, sharing a job posting or a career fair opportunity can be easy for anyone who knows someone interested in beginning a healthcare career.

Through these applications of social media in healthcare recruiting, you can have more success in staffing the field. This is vital as the need for medical experts only grows.

Securing a well-staffed future for health

An aging population and public health crises are only increasing the demand for healthcare professionals. To adapt, recruiters must be at the forefront of modern digital marketing strategies for the healthcare industry, including social media. As you work to improve talent development, relations, and retention, apply social media for a broader and more diverse strategy.

These tips can help you fill the physician shortage and — just maybe — save a life, as a result.