Healthcare Marketing Trends for the COVID Economy: Company Culture and Recruitment During and Post-Pandemic

Take your internal temperature

It’s not just patients who were physically and emotionally tested during the quarantine — so was your team. Managing the health, wellbeing and resilience of your staff is a top priority. Anticipate that as everyone else begins to feel “‘normal,”’ they will feel increased stress and trauma as their body deals with what it’s been through. Employees may also feel anxiety over what might be coming down the line if spikes begin again. Check in on those who were there last year when times got dark.

Are your frontline employees burnt out? Has there been turnover due to stress or safety concerns? Help employees feel valued and protected.

  • Design support groups in the form of advanced training and information sessions. This will help your team feel more educated and prepared for what comes next. Whether it’s proper use of PPE or when to isolate a patient (or themselves) — empower them.
  • Arm them with self-care strategies they can use in and out of work to feel more in control of their own body and mind. This includes free access to meditation apps, mental health services and tools for stress management.
  • Jefferson Health launched The Numbers Tell Our Story campaign which highlighted their safety precautions not just for patients but their staff as well. They emphasized that only about one percent of their staff had tested positive for COVID.

Reassess your brand promise

Once you know your internal team is being taken care of, take a look at your external messaging and positioning. Is it still accurate? Does it reflect and address the new needs and concerns of your patients and community members? Does it evoke emotions rather than just stating facts? The good news is that patients don’t want to switch healthcare providers right now, however that doesn’t mean messaging should go dark. Instead you should bulk up brand messages via email, digital, video and TV so you stay top-of-mind and patients will feel comfortable and confident that they’ll be taken care of if need be. People without affiliation to any healthcare provider will also be keeping an eye on which offices or hospitals they should go to if they need COVID testing or any other service. Make sure that you’re their first choice.

When the management and marketing teams decide on the new (or old) brand promise, then you must communicate this to your employees and keep them accountable to living up to it. Your brand promise and values should be plastered (literally) all around them. Aligned teams create the best experience for patients. To learn more about organizational alignment for healthcare brands, and how to communicate brand promise both internally and externally, check out our whitepaper on the subject.

The new world of recruitment

It might seem like after this year no one will want to go into the medical profession, period. However we know that’s not true. There will always be people who want to rise to challenges to help people and make a positive impact on the world. So when the next wave of doctors and nurses graduate, why should they choose your organization?

  • Use your social channels to show your gratitude for the people on your team.
  • Invest in public relations campaigns that showcase what you’re doing and how you’re leading the way.
  • Tell stories and highlight current employees to attract the type of healthcare candidates who can envision themselves in a similar career.

It’s also important to consider the non-physician roles that often feel undervalued compared to doctors and nurses, including pharmacists, lab techs, clerical staff and other essentials such as custodians and food service workers. They’re just as important in keeping the hospital running and deserve recognition and above all, safety. Hold virtual career fairs and webinars to highlight the growing importance of these careers. Use provocative storytelling the form of video, graphics, infographics and audio to uplift employees as hometown heroes and encourage others to learn more and apply. Building an appreciative culture will aid in not just recruitment, but also retention of your current staff.

Current examples of organizations recruiting during COVID:

  • NYC Health + Hospitals launched a massive, nationwide recruitment campaign to effectively manage COVID patients in their 11 hospitals across New York City. Their landing page places a strong emphasis on diversity and features virtual job fairs at the top of the page.
  • Bayada, a nonprofit in-home healthcare provider, made a unique move by running a commercial originally from the 90s as part of their Heroes on the Homefront campaign as a way of capturing the “timeless heroism” of their nurses.
  • Always Best Care is another healthcare company that is aggressively recruiting, enticing job seekers with their flexible scheduling, training and certification opportunities and competitive wages and benefits.

Read more in our ebook 2021 Healthcare Marketing Trends for the COVID Economy.

Further Reading:
Marketing to improve the patient experience
Tool – The Hospital Marketing Company Culture Analyzer