By: Shari Dalton
I have mixed emotions about Facebook recruiting for travel nursing. After joining several groups out there, I find myself rapidly unsubscribing from notifications or unfollowing altogether. There are still a few that do offer very valuable information to both the traveler and the recruiters, but how effective are the job boards? Facebook is a powerful tool and it’s the first place many of us go put a face to the name. Science also tells us that people are more comfortable doing business with someone that they can relate to or someone that relates to a group they associate with and Facebook is a tremendous tool for drawing those associations without even really knowing someone. A traveler may find that they share similar interests with you without even picking up the phone for a call.
Now, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t market yourself and/or your company on Facebook. I know several recruiters that have had a lot of success doing it. The reason that they are successful is because they are very strategic and have a plan in place for using it.
If you’re looking to step up your Facebook game, or get into the game, here are a few tips that we’ve compiled to help strategize.
1. Bring something of value. In today’s VMP/MSP market, everyone has the same jobs and there has never been a price that can’t be beat. Let me say that again….there has never been a price that can’t be beat. Provide value to your audience, not just the gross weekly pay and some blurry picture of the location you found on google. Share an article that they may enjoy or offer a top 3-5 list on tips that would be helpful to them. Maybe try running a contest or poll. Ask a question and get a conversation going. A good recommendation is to provide 2-3 pieces of content for every job that you post. (Please read #2 before you freak out)
2. There’s an app for that. You should spend 1-2 hours on Facebook max per day. Much more than that will start to eat up at other productive ways for you to build your desk. There are apps like Hootsuite that allow you to schedule social media posts. You could spend an hour on Monday scheduling all of your posts for the week or month. This is a great way for you to make sure you engage on a more personal level with your travelers.
3. Be smarter than a 5th grader. If you’re going to do it, please do it right. Please take the time to check your spelling and for the love of all things good in the world…stop posting blurry pictures!!! Believe it or not, there are apps for these things as well. Spellcheck is a good place to start. But there are also some awesome free or very low cost programs that help with picture quality and dimensions. Put a little love into these posts!
4. Newsflash. You cannot build a relationship on Facebook. Anyone ever see the MTV show Catfish? It is very important that you make initial contact and then set a time to have a conversation with your prospect. I know that they are busy and work crazy hours and I get that it’s an easier platform for them to communicate, but you cannot skip this step. I would caution any recruiter from moving forward with a prospect that they can’t get on the phone, regardless of their reasons why. Like any social media platform or dating site for that matter, it is meant as a means to meet people, not build relationships with them.
5. Easy come, easy go. If you found them on Facebook, be prepared to lose them on Facebook. The travelers who are using this platform are savvy. It’s a means to an end-they’re educating themselves, finding which companies have what to offer, reviews on companies, recruiters, hospitals…information is at their fingertips. So when they have questions you can’t answer or when they are looking for a job in a location that you may or may not have, Facebook will be their primary source of information, not you. This is a conversation that you need to have if you more forward with a traveler you found on Facebook. You should ask questions about what sites they follow, how often they use those sources, and don’t be afraid to ask them to use YOU as their primary source of information before they get bombarded online. You have to try to protect that relationship or you will lose them as easily as you found them.
Like I said early on, I have seen several recruiters have a lot of success with social media, Facebook in particular, but they have a strategy in place. Facebook and social media platforms do not replace the phones. Relationships, above all else, is what your focus should be on, and at the end of the day, that is what your prospects are really looking for as well.
We would love to hear your thoughts on this as well-please share in the comments section below or reach out to us directly!