Digital marketing is such a natural fit for recruiting new talent . . . are you utilizing it?

By Susan Saldibar

Digital marketing is such a natural fit for recruiting new talent, I can’t help but wonder why senior living marketers haven’t yet made the connection, still using it primarily as a lead generator for new residents.  

I spoke last week with Celena Canode, Marketing Campaign Manager for G5, (a Senior Housing Forum partner) who shared with me a treasure trove of data from a recent presentation they made at SMASH.

First, something that won’t come as much of a surprise.

By 2025, the U.S. will likely face a shortage of:

  • 446k Home Health Aids

  • 95k Nursing Assistants

  • 99k Medical/Lab Techs

  • 29k Nurse Practitioners

Source: Mercer Healthcare Workforce

And then there’s this:

  • The senior living industry needs to recruit 1.2 million new employees by 2025

Source: Argentum Trends 2018

So here’s where digital marketing as a recruitment tool comes in:

  • 57% of all online traffic in the U.S. is mobile

  • 3.5 billion searches are made every day

  • 30 billion ads are seen daily

Source: Google

Heritage Communities is a good example of how effective these programs can be.

Celena and Lacy Jungman, Director of Sales & Marketing, for Heritage Communities, a senior living operator based in Omaha with communities throughout Nebraska, Iowa and Arizona, shared with me some pretty compelling results that came out of their partnership. The G5 team worked with Heritage to carve out an integrated digital marketing campaign that pulled together SEO (keywords, landing pages), SEM (ads), and Social Media (posts and reviews).

The program was calibrated to reach out to their targeted demographic:

  • Individuals between 18-65+

  • Field of study: Certified Nursing Assistant/Home Care

  • Job Titles: Certified Nurses Aide, Certified Nurses Assistant

  • Geographic target: 50-mile radius of Omaha, NE

Here is what, together with G5, they were able to achieve:

  • Average monthly career inquiry went from 30/month to 500/month

  • A 34% increase in the number of phone screens conducted

  • A hiring increase from 94 employees in Q2 2017 to 131 employees in Q2 2018

So, assuming senior living operators like these numbers, how do they get their own programs going?

I asked Celena what community leadership should be doing to optimize the digital marketing landscape to attract and engage with the best and brightest new talent. Here’s what G5 recommends:

  • First, join forces with your HR department. Make sure you are both committed and working together.

  • Fine-tune the SEO for your careers webpage, so it shows up when people search for careers, either locally or in your category.

  • Use digital advertising to bring job seekers to your website to see open positions.

  • Use a clear call to action (CTA) to enable viewing of open positions.

  • Don’t ask too many questions, but ask the right ones! Limit form fields to key data points to ensure high quality of leads.

  • Use video whenever possible; job posts get 36% more applications if accompanied by a recruiting video.

  • Develop your brand on social media channels, such as Facebook, and post employee spotlights.

  • Monitor all your reviews and respond in a professional manner to show prospective employees that your brand is engaged.

“Above all, make sure you are measuring the results of every campaign,” says Celena. “That is not only how you optimize each dollar you spend, but it’s also how you provide the value of your efforts and budget accordingly for the future.”

The key here is not to dabble here and there with digital marketing. It’s time to put it at the center of your campaigns. These are now your power tools. Why not use them to recruit?

G5 has a great marketing checklist that can be a useful guide as you move forward on your recruitment marketing. You can download it here.

To find out more about G5, please visit their website:


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