5 tips to combat diminishing returns for job postings.

5 tips to combat diminishing returns for job postings

We’re spending more than ever! Why aren’t we getting applications?

Over the past 2–3 years, I’ve heard the same thing from just about every client we work with: “Our job postings aren’t getting the candidates they used to provide.” Budgets are climbing rapidly, sometimes doubling, just to get the same number of candidates clients would have received a year ago. The worst part? Not knowing if this is a trend or our new reality (I’m leaning towards the latter).

As I look back over my career, this all seems very familiar. It started years ago, when classified advertising in the back of newspapers was the king of talent attraction (yes, I’m old). You’d receive your weekend paper and there were hundreds of local jobs to sort through as you tried to find the right position to email (or fax, again, I’m old) your resume. Like what we are seeing today, these channels became oversaturated, the candidate experience was challenging, and it gave rise to job boards like CareerBuilder, Monster and others. For hard-to-fill roles, we’ve seen the same trend in direct mail and email. It worked early, but eventually everyone started doing it and now the ROI has fallen to a point that makes these marketing tactics almost impossible to recommend.

So … what’s next? What’s the answer? How can you combat these diminishing returns?

If your job postings are yielding fewer results, it’s time to rethink your strategy. Here are five tips to enhance your recruitment efforts creatively and proactively:

  1. Revamp your career site. Enhance your candidate experience by ensuring seamless navigation and a clean, attractive design. A well-designed career site reflects your brand positively and can significantly improve candidate experience, making it easier for potential applicants to find and apply for jobs. The key is to refine your candidate pathway to make it as simple as possible to:
    • Find the role they are seeking (candidate experience matters).
    • Learn about the opportunity and the organization (a strong employer brand can help reduce your cost-per-hire by 50%, and increase the number of qualified applicants by another 50% – LinkedIn!).
    • Complete an application (make sure this can happen in less than 15 minutes).
  2. Leverage employee advocacy. Encourage your employees to share their experiences and job openings on social media. Authentic testimonials and stories, both written and in video, from current employees can attract high-quality candidates by providing a genuine glimpse into your organization. With younger generations not trusting advertising, yet finding tremendous value in reviews, this is your way to provide real-life reviews of your mission, vision, culture and values. They may not trust the message when it comes off as a sales pitch, but when they hear it from someone they know, or from someone who is in the role they are hoping to be hired into, it matters.
  3. Implement proactive recruitment strategies. Start building a talent pipeline by strategically identifying and engaging with potential candidates you know you will need now and well into the future. Use networking events, industry conferences and social media to connect with professionals who might fit your needs. Build awareness now to attract talent in the future—and the word ATTRACT is the key. Using this approach helps us to stop spending reactively and replaces these efforts with a long-term goal of attracting talent that has heard of your organization and is looking forward to their future as part of your team.
  4. Use targeted content marketing. Create valuable content that appeals to your ideal candidates. Blog posts, videos and social media content that showcase your company’s personality, culture and values can attract passive candidates who align with your organization’s mission and vision. This approach showcases your thinking and approach to your industry and can provide exciting views into your organization that candidates can’t otherwise find. It also can provide some of your best advocates with a voice and avenue to deliver messages on what they see as most valuable within their career and your organization.
  5. Get creative. When others continue to zig, it’s time for you to zag. What’s that Egon Spengler said (again, I’m old)? Print is dead. While old, stale postcards and letters are getting poor results, 3D mailers delivered as a package are still getting great responses. After all, who doesn’t love getting a package that needs opening in the mail? The key: keep it unexpected and positive. Relate it to the role you are trying to fill and refine your target audience. What’s not working the way it used to, and what can you do to change perspectives on that channel? Have you thought about rolling out the red carpet to candidates who have been referred by employees? What would that look like today? Potentially a website built just for them where they can easily find the role they are looking for, and, because they are a referral, an abbreviated application process and guaranteed first-round phone interview with a recruiter. It’s time to think differently and to approach our challenges with creativity.

By employing these strategies, you can rejuvenate your recruitment efforts, attract a higher quality of candidates, and fill positions more efficiently. And, if you need help in any of these areas, AB&C is here to help. Just give us a call (or email, text or … send us a really creative 3D mailer). We’re all about great strategy, creative approaches and most of all, improving your hiring ROI.

Digital Media Analyst

AB&C needs a Digital Media Analyst to report and analyze our paid digital media campaigns. This person provides regular reports and insightful analysis for all digital media tactics including paid search, programmatic display, video and paid social. If that sounds like you, then consider joining our digital media team that handles a wide variety of interesting accounts. You need deep, hands-on knowledge of Google Analytics 4 and the ability to analyze and interpret all aspects of paid media campaigns, create polished, actionable dashboards and reports for external publication and the ability to present a narrative to clients.
Read full post...

Boosting Recruitment Success: Harnessing the Power of Inclusive Language in Job Descriptions

Boosting Recruitment Success: Harnessing the Power of Inclusive Language in Job Descriptions

As a recruiter, your job descriptions are so much more than hiring announcements or qualification requirements. They’re the first point of contact between your company and a potential candidate. By incorporating inclusive language into your job description, you can create a compelling and genuinely welcoming posting that gets better results. Here’s why:

  1. You’ll attract diverse candidates. Crafting language that is inclusive communicates to applicants from all backgrounds that your company is committed to diversity and inclusivity. You can attract more applicants and build a more varied talent pool by showcasing cultural competencies.
  2. You’ll reduce bias. Using inclusive language in job descriptions can assist in removing bias, which may unintentionally discourage members of particular groups from applying. Words and phrases that are gendered, age-specific or culturally biased can alienate qualified candidates and perpetuate systemic inequalities. Some common instances of unconscious bias may include gender bias (feminine and masculine-coded words), age bias (using words like “digital native” or “seasoned professional”), socioeconomic bias (overemphasizing educational requirements) and racial and ethnic bias (overemphasizing “cultural fit”).
  3. You’ll promote organizational values. Adopting inclusive language shows that your company values diversity, equity and inclusion. According to an article from Indeed, “Inclusive job descriptions allow you to make a positive impression and send a message that you truly welcome people from all genders, races, religions, abilities and sexual orientations to apply.”
  4. You’ll help to improve employee retention. The hiring process is the first step in establishing an inclusive workplace. Employers can foster an inclusive culture and increase employee satisfaction and retention rates among diverse talent by utilizing inclusive language in job postings. Author Matt Tenney writes, “Diverse team members can bring a variety of diverse perspectives that boost creativity and problem-solving efforts, which can improve performance and help all team members engage more with their work. High engagement is conducive to high retention.”
  5. You’ll be legally compliant. Using inclusive language is required by law in many places, making it more than just a matter of good practice. Businesses may be subject to legal risks and potential discrimination lawsuits if job advertising contains discriminatory wording.

By using inclusive language, you elevate your recruitment communications. Instead of telling the world that you’re “hiring qualified candidates,” create a more welcoming and inclusive tone by saying, “welcoming talented individuals.”

If you’re curious to see how well you’re using inclusive language already, get a free assessment from our team.

Mastering the Art of Effective Job Descriptions

Mastering the Art of Effective Job Descriptions

In the increasingly competitive and dynamic realm of talent acquisition, the job description stands as the initial handshake between your organization and potential candidates. Beyond listing responsibilities and qualifications, it serves as a powerful tool to entice, engage, and connect with prospective talent. Let’s dive into seven key elements to writing effective job descriptions that go beyond the ordinary and resonate with candidates on a deeper level.

  1. Create a Vision for Candidates: Job descriptions often fall into the trap of simply listing requirements and responsibilities. Instead, envision the job description as an invitation to a potential career journey. Go beyond the basics and paint a vivid and authentic picture of the role, the team, and the impact it has on the organization. Communicate the organization’s employment culture and back it up with proof points such as employee stories, awards you’ve won, or unique ways the organization provides for team members.
  2. Speak the Candidate’s Language: Avoid industry jargon and internal language that might be confusing to candidates. Use clear, straightforward language that resonates with your target audience. Imagine you are explaining the role to someone outside your industry. This ensures accessibility and feels more inclusive.
  3. Table Stakes: Salary, Benefits, and Hours: While these are essential components, don’t merely treat them as checkmarks. Present them as value propositions. Clearly outline the competitive salary, comprehensive benefits, and flexible work hours, emphasizing your commitment to supporting work/life balance. With new laws coming online, accurate salary ranges are becoming mandatory requirements.
  4. Go Beyond Incentives: Distinguish your job description by showcasing additional perks. Highlight how candidates will be able to make a difference, as well as sign-on bonuses, remote or hybrid work opportunities, and any unique quality-of-life offerings. These incentives not only attract attention but also convey a commitment to employee well-being.
  5. Embrace Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB): Incorporate DEIB content into your job descriptions. Highlight your organization’s genuine commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace. Showcase ongoing initiatives, programs, and support networks that contribute to creating a sense of belonging for every employee.
  6. Remote and Hybrid Opportunities: In today’s evolving work landscape, remote and hybrid work options have become expected. Clearly communicate your organization’s stance on these possibilities, providing transparency and flexibility that resonate with the modern workforce.
  7. Tell a Story: Go beyond the bullet points. Use storytelling techniques to create an engaging narrative about the role and your company culture. Do you have employee testimonials? Share them so prospective employees can hear from individuals with whom they can relate. Help candidates visualize their place within your organization with video job descriptions that are not overly polished and produced to foster a sense of connection and belonging.

By going beyond the basics, speaking the candidate’s language, and showcasing the unique aspects of your organization, you transform a routine task into a powerful tool for talent attraction and engagement. In a world where talent is sought after, the job description becomes your first chance to stand out, make an impression, and cultivate meaningful connections.

Building a Stronger Workplace Culture: 10 Tips for Fostering Employee Advocacy

Building a Stronger Workplace Culture: 10 Tips for Fostering Employee Advocacy

In today’s competitive job market, where we are still seeing an unemployment rate lower than 4%, attracting and retaining top talent is becoming a top concern for organizations looking to thrive and grow.

The research is in, and employee advocacy is more important than ever. Both Millennials and Gen Z have a significant distrust of advertising, but they trust and appreciate reviews. As organizations strive for future hiring success, one key aspect that can set yours apart is a workplace culture that employees are so proud to be part of they naturally want to spread the word. A positive and inclusive culture not only boosts employee morale but also fosters employee advocacy. When your team is proud to be a part of your organization, they become powerful advocates, helping attract new talent and enhancing your brand. Sounds great, right? But how do you get there?

Start by taking a closer look at your culture and focus on providing the resources that will help strengthen employee advocacy. Here are 10 tips to guide you:

Tip 1 – Define Your Core Values:

Clearly articulate and communicate your organization’s core values. Make sure employees understand how these values guide decision-making and shape the company’s identity. More importantly, help your team members understand exactly how they, and the work they do, align with these values. When there’s alignment, your team is more likely to become passionate advocates for your brand.

Tip 2 – Invest in Employee Development:

Today, employees want to know there are professional development and growth opportunities. They want to know their employers see value in their professional growth and are offering continuous learning opportunities and professional development programs. When employees feel an organization is invested in their growth they are more likely to be engaged, and engaged employees 2.5x more likely to advocate for their company. While a LOT of companies provide these options for their team, this is an opportunity to put a spotlight on how your offerings differ, just as importantly, celebrate our team members’ success when they achieve their development goals.

Tip 3 – Ask Hard Questions:

We all know some of the things that help to create a positive work environment: encouraging open communication, celebrating achievements, and addressing concerns promptly. But do we understand where we stand honestly in these critical areas of importance? Sometimes getting to the truth of a situation requires asking team members the hard questions, like “Where are we falling short of your expectations?” or “Have you ever referred a friend or colleague for employment?” Asking the right questions, being honest about what was heard, and communicating how the organization is willing to change will build loyalty and a sense of being heard, leading to advocacy.

Tip 4 – Recognition and Rewards Programs:

We know the importance and value associated with employees who feel valued at work. Employees who are recognized for their achievements are significantly more engaged and are motivated to do their best. As we take the time to congratulate and thank our teams and to acknowledge their contributions, they will take the time to advocate on behalf of the team that sees their value. The amazing thing? It doesn’t always have to be a financial reward or a big announcement. For example, here at Aloysius Butler & Clark, one of our most popular Zoom channels is the “Kudos” chat. It’s where we celebrate and recognize one another, letting our fellow team members know their contributions are seen and appreciated. A culture of appreciation is a culture that team members are willing to advocate for.

Tip 5 – Encourage Employee Feedback:

Providing opportunities for employees to provide suggestions and insights is an important factor in them feeling heard. Establish channels for regular feedback from employees. Gen Z and Millennials have grown up receiving real-time feedback on their activities, such as video games that provide immediate rewards for specific activities or sharing information on their social platforms and receiving comments or likes. Actively listen to their suggestions and concerns and demonstrate a commitment to improvement. When employees see their input making a difference, they become more invested in the success of the organization.

Tip 6 – Promote Work-Life Balance:

If we want team members to value the organization, then the organization needs to value the things that are important to them. It is becoming clear that a top priority for employees is work-life balance. It’s critically important that we support work-life balance initiatives to ensure employees can maintain a healthy equilibrium between professional and personal life. It’s not enough to just approve vacation requests. We need to monitor our teams and address issues of people pushing too hard and potentially burning out. We need to encourage turning off email and telling team members you won’t be available when you are on vacation or after hours. This demonstrates a commitment to employee well-being, fostering a positive culture.

Tip 7 – Provide Opportunities for Social Interaction:

Foster social interactions within the organization through team-building activities, events, and community service projects. Positive relationships among employees contribute to a strong sense of camaraderie and community. Did your team gather and work on a community benefit project? Great! Thank team members for being involved and share the photos and/or videos! Encourage them to share their thoughts on why the event was so important to them through their own social channels. If we want team members to advocate on our behalf and to share our great work culture, be sure to provide them with the support to do it.

Tip 8 – Flexible Work Options:

Offer flexible work arrangements when possible. This could include remote work options or flexible hours. Sometimes it’s as easy as allowing a team member to start their day an hour earlier so they can leave to watch their child’s recital or sporting event. It may be allowing a team member to use sick time to take a parent or loved one to a doctor’s appointment. Providing flexibility shows trust in your employees and demonstrates you value their contributions enough to work around the things in their life that are important to them. When employees feel valued, they in turn see value in the organization.

Tip 9 – Transparent Communication:

Honesty and transparency matter. No one likes to feel like information is being withheld or that they can’t trust the leadership of an organization. Maintaining transparency about company goals, challenges, and successes is critical. When employees are informed and feel connected to the company’s vision, they are more likely to push to help resolve challenges and to understand when difficult decisions are having to be made. According to Bill Higgs, “All problems are communication problems.” While sometimes news is harder to provide and may require more perspective on what it means, having a culture where employees can trust what is being communicated is a big win.

Tip 10 – Support Employee Well-being:

Prioritize employee well-being by offering wellness programs, mental health resources, and other initiatives that promote a healthy work-life balance. We’ve all been through a lot over the past several years—COVID-19, heightened political tensions, terror threats, rising tensions associated with social injustice, etc. It’s never been more important for team members to feel supported through these and future challenges.

I get it, that’s a LOT to focus on and all these elements are critically important to building a culture that employees would want to advocate on behalf of. But the most important thing is the first step. What are the quick wins that you and your team can influence and get started on right away? Take the first step … and communicate it. Hold yourself accountable to your team and start down the path. Employee advocacy is a powerful tool in attracting and retaining top talent, ultimately contributing to the long-term success of the business. It’s worth the investment.

June 13, 2024

Aloysius Butler & Clark Wins the Highest Honor at the 2024 MASHSMD Healthcare Marketing Awards

Agency’s advertising and PR excellence recognized with a platinum award for best overall campaign, plus three gold and two bronze awards.

WILMINGTON, Del. (June 13, 2024) — Aloysius Butler & Clark (AB&C), one of the largest independent full-service marketing communications agencies in the region, recently received a total of six recognitions—including the highest honor of a platinum award for best overall campaign—at the 2024 Mid-Atlantic Society for Healthcare Strategy and Marketing Development (MASHSMD) awards for marketing excellence. In addition to the platinum prize, which was awarded for the agency’s “Big Energy” campaign for Phoenix Children’s, AB&C brought home gold and bronze awards for other work created for Phoenix Children’s as well as for campaigns for AtlantiCare and Grand View Health.

Each year, the MASHSMD awards recognize the creativity, strategic innovation and impactful contributions of healthcare marketing professionals and organizations across the mid-Atlantic region, advancing the MASHSMD mission to support healthcare marketing professionals in their efforts to improve healthcare outcomes and promote health and wellness.

“Our Big Energy campaign resulted from the ‘big trust’ that exists between Phoenix Children’s and AB&C,” said Steve Merino, AB&C’s chief creative officer. “They are a bold organization that wanted their marketing to reflect that. When we recommended having world-class physicians dance on camera, we knew it was a big ask, but our relationship—that trust we have—moved things forward. The results speak for themselves.”

AB&C has earned a number of MASHSMD marketing excellence awards over the years, including four in 2023. The awards earned in 2024 demonstrate the diversity of AB&C’s strategic and creative capabilities, as well as the agency’s ability to deliver results in advertising and public relations. AB&C’s honors for 2024 are as follows:

Platinum Award for Best Overall Campaign: Phoenix Children’s “Big Energy” brand campaign. Recognized as an outstanding campaign that demonstrated exceptional creativity and impact, earning well-deserved recognition.

Gold, Integrated Marketing: AtlantiCare American Heart Month campaign. The campaign connected with 2.5 million people through 21 media placements, significantly boosting website traffic and cementing AtlantiCare’s position as a leader in cardiac services.

Gold, Public Relations and Communications: AtlantiCare Cancer Awareness campaign. The campaign raised awareness of cancer care services through compelling patient stories and expert interviews, featured in major media outlets across New Jersey.

Bronze, Public Relations and Communications: Phoenix Children’s Annual Report. Highlighting growth and innovation, the annual report reinforced Phoenix Children’s commitment to a healthier future for children and families.

Bronze, Advertising: Grand View Health “Spine Care That’s Ahead of the Curve” campaign. The campaign achieved over 1.5 million impressions and a high click-through rate in its first month.

Gold, Branding Design and Visuals: Phoenix Children’s “Big Energy” campaign. This campaign delivered an impressive number of impressions, solidifying Phoenix Children’s as a premier pediatric health system.

About AB&C

Aloysius Butler & Clark (AB&C) is one of the largest independent full-service marketing communications agencies on the East Coast and one of Adweek’s 50 “Top Shops” in America. With offices in Wilmington, Delaware, and Philadelphia and Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, AB&C has played a significant role in the industry for over 50 years. Established in business-to-business and consumer marketing, the agency brings creative intelligence to local, regional, national and international accounts in a variety of industries.

Your Careers Site and the Art of a Great First Impression

Building Better Careers Sites

A careers site is vital to a quality candidate experience. As we established in our previous post, Harnessing SEO and SEM to Showcase Your Job Opportunities, most referral sources will push candidates directly to a job description. If that description is coming from your ATS, those candidates will miss any employment brand messaging, benefits info, and hiring events you have added to a careers section on your main site.

Job Description Pages That Convert

Since most candidates will enter through a job description page, it is vital that you put everything they might need right at their fingertips right from the start. How can a single page promote your entire employment value proposition (EVP)? Since there are limitless ways to improve on the standard ATS job description, here are some things AB&C includes on our clients’ job description pages in our HireControl career sites:

  • A well-crafted job description that helps the candidate see themselves working for your organization (more on this in our next blog post).
  • Easy Apply. Since we know that most candidates search on mobile devices and that a full application through the ATS is cumbersome on mobile (to say the least), give them an alternative, quick and easy way to express their interest.
  • Promote relevant hiring events. Rather than hoping candidates will discover an event in their field, promote it right here where you know they will see it. But it must be relevant—don’t clutter the page with content that doesn’t directly relate to the opportunity.
  • Contact info and a headshot for the recruiter who owns this requisition. While it may not be ideal for every organization, candidates want to know their application will be reviewed by a real person, not some soulless algorithm.
  • Similar opportunities. Now you have them on your site. If the job they landed on wasn’t their dream job, you want to keep them from clicking the back button to another site that also includes your competition. Feeding a list of other options and providing an on-page search helps entice them to begin exploring the rest of your careers site.
  • What sets you apart? Bring your EVP to life. Include videos or blogs of employee stories. Highlight sign-on bonuses, remote/hybrid opportunities, awards, DEIB initiatives, unique benefits, and anything else that might get them to hit that Apply button.

Campaign Landing Pages

Maximize the ROI of your online marketing campaigns by targeting job categories instead of specific positions. In this case, we know that everyone who clicks one of your ads will definitely wind up here. This allows you to develop more content related to the EVP for your organization and how it relates specifically to someone interested in the job category targeted by the campaign. The types of content outlined on the job details page section make great thought starters for what should appear here.

Other campaigns to consider for landing pages could include relocation efforts, expansion/new buildings, military outreach, and many more.

This landing page should have a general contact form to express interest to a recruiter, as well as a feed of all relevant jobs from the ATS, so the candidate can explore to find which opportunity is right for them.

Other Benefits of an Information-Rich Careers Site

  • Manage events. Add events to your site with details and registration info. Promote them on specific relevant job detail pages.
  • Working Here/Meet the Team. Create a section of the site where candidates can see some of their future coworkers and get a feel for your corporate culture.
  • Benefits. From medical coverage to work/life balance, let them know what you have beyond basic compensation that makes your offering special.
  • Quality of life. Especially if you are recruiting from other geographies, let candidates know what your area(s) have to offer.
  • Talent community. Be sure to capture candidates that don’t see the right job for them on your current list.
  • Application process. Job seekers want to know what to expect next after their application is submitted.
May 30, 2024

Aloysius Butler & Clark Shows Up Big in the Healthcare Advertising Awards—Winning More Recognitions Than Any Other Agency in the Northeastern U.S.

Agency’s work for seven clients brings home 22 honors in the nation’s largest healthcare advertising awards competition.

WILMINGTON, Del. (May 30, 2024) — Aloysius Butler & Clark (AB&C), one of the largest independent full-service marketing communications agencies in the region, was just awarded 22 honors in the 41st annual Healthcare Advertising Awards, the nation’s oldest and most recognized healthcare advertising competition. For the 2024 competition, AB&C’s 22 awards included a Best of Show—for outstanding creative execution, overall excellence and breakthrough advertising—as well as nine gold, five silver, three bronze and four merit awards. With this impressive total, the agency won the third-most awards of all entrants in the country—and the most of all entrants in the northeastern U.S.

We don’t enter shows to win awards. We do it to recognize our clients who are willing to take risks and create bold, breakthrough work,” said Steve Merino, AB&C’s chief creative officer. “But we’re more than a typical healthcare agency. Our team has worked inside some of the best health systems in the country. We combine their experience with our B2B and retail experience to make our healthcare work more effective. It’s an honor to see that our unique approach is working.”

Now in its 41st year, the Healthcare Advertising Awards celebrate advertising that has evolved to “rise above” in an increasingly complex and competitive industry. AB&C’s winning ads stood out from among more than 4,300 entries and were chosen by a national panel of judges. Ads were assessed on criteria that included creativity, quality, message effectiveness, consumer appeal, graphic design and overall impact. AB&C’s recognitions demonstrate the agency’s ability to deliver strong results across the diverse sectors that comprise today’s healthcare industry, creating award-winning work for healthcare clients in and outside the mid-Atlantic region, including the Delaware Division of Public Health, the City of Philadelphia and Phoenix Children’s.

Here’s a breakdown of AB&C’s 2024 Healthcare Advertising Awards:


About AB&C

Aloysius Butler & Clark (AB&C) is one of the largest independent full-service marketing communications agencies on the East Coast and one of Adweek’s 50 “Top Shops” in America. With offices in Wilmington, Delaware, and Philadelphia and Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, AB&C has played a significant role in the industry for over 50 years. Established in business-to-business and consumer marketing, the agency brings creative intelligence to local, regional, national and international accounts in a variety of industries.

Employee Advocacy Could Be Your Top Recruitment Marketing Strategy in 2024. Here’s Why.

Employee Advocacy Could Be Your Top Recruitment Marketing Strategy in 2024. Here’s Why.

Millennials and Gen Z are at the forefront of a remarkable shift in consumer behavior. The traditional landscape of recruitment marketing now faces an unprecedented challenge from these generations, who exhibit a marked reluctance to blindly trust a job posting. 

These cohorts, born into a world saturated with marketing messages, have developed a keen eye for discerning authenticity from manipulation. They are embracing a new paradigm—one driven not by flashy ads but by the collective voice of reviews and user-generated content. 

Studies indicate that nearly 70% of Millennials and an even more staggering 85% of Gen Z distrust traditional advertising. They’re wary of glossy campaigns that seem more focused on selling than informing. 

This disillusionment stems from a desire for authenticity and transparency, qualities often found in peer-reviewed content rather than scripted promotions. It’s a generation that craves real experiences and values the opinions of their peers, seeking guidance from those who have tested and experienced an organization’s employment culture firsthand. 

What does all this mean? Your most powerful talent attraction messages just might come from your own employees … not your marketing department. 

Understanding Brand Ambassadors vs. Natural Advocates 

Brand ambassadors are typically organization-designated individuals whose role involves promoting and defending their company. They’re guided, prompted, and usually trained by marketing to “speak the language” of the organization. In the past, this was sufficient and was received positively. But, today, as Millennials and Gen Z become more aware, these “organizational mouthpieces” are quickly losing their influence and becoming less relevant.  

However, natural employment advocates are organic supporters who genuinely believe in their organization and willingly advocate on its behalf—without training, without prompting, and using their own voice. They come to their organization’s defense when they read a comment that is false or misrepresents what they know to be true. Employment brand advocates see the mission and vision of the organization as something that personally aligns with their values. And, to this end, when the company is criticized or spoken about unfairly, they stand up for their truth.  

Understanding this distinction is pivotal in recognizing the value of a naturally positive work culture. 

It’s getting harder to recruit, and advertising can’t be your only answer.  

With unemployment rates reaching 50+-year lows, the battle for talent is a top priority for leaders across all industries. According to DDIworld.com, “Rising to the top of the list of CEO concerns, retaining talent was the #1 concern identified by 59% of CEOs this year.”  

It’s never been more critical to identify and leverage every possible benefit when it comes to attracting and retaining talent. It’s time to focus on building an employment culture that encourages and empowers employee advocacy. 

What are the outcomes?

  • Retention Rates and Employee Satisfaction
    Research consistently demonstrates that organizations with a positive culture enjoy higher retention rates and increased employee satisfaction. A welcoming environment fosters loyalty and dedication, reducing turnover and associated recruitment costs.
  • Enhanced Productivity and Innovation
    A culture that nurtures positivity encourages creativity, collaboration, and innovation among employees. They feel more engaged, leading to higher productivity and a dynamic work atmosphere that fuels growth.
  • Cost Savings in Recruitment and Training
    Reducing turnover through a positive culture not only provides savings on recruitment expenses, but also minimizes the need for extensive training for new hires. This translates into substantial cost savings for the organization.
  • Impact on Revenue and Business Growth
    Studies indicate that companies with happy employees tend to outperform competitors. A positive culture correlates with increased customer satisfaction, thus boosting revenue and fostering sustainable growth. Need an example? In 2023, FastCompany.com reported, “A study by Alex Edmans found that companies with high levels of employee satisfaction tend to outperform their competitors in the long run. In fact, a portfolio of companies ranked in the top 10% by employee satisfaction outperformed those ranked in the bottom 10% by 2.3% to 3.8% per year in stock returns.” Simplified, happy employees equate to better financials.  
  • Creating a Culture that Fosters Natural Advocacy
    Leadership plays a pivotal role in shaping an organization’s culture. Encouraging open communication, recognizing achievements, and prioritizing work-life balance are strategies that cultivate a culture where employees willingly advocate for their workplace. Additionally, it’s important for organizations to ask questions and to listen actively to their team members. In today’s work environment, it’s more important than ever to understand the values and purpose with which your team aligns. Explore opportunities for them to give back to the communities where they work. Provide options for them to contribute in meaningful ways. For example, taking part in pride celebrations, coaching a youth sports program, participating in volunteer days to celebrate Martin Luther King Day, etc. All of this adds up to a culture where employees feel valued, heard, and, most importantly, appreciated. 

How do you build an employee advocacy program from scratch? 

Strengthening an employment culture and building natural advocates doesn’t happen overnight. It takes planning, a willingness to listen and change, and time. But there has never been a better time to start developing this essential tool for recruitment and retention success. Are you ready to take the leap? In my next blog, I will share my top 10 tips for getting an advocacy program off the ground. 

We’re here to help guide you into a better recruitment future. Let’s talk.  

4 Reasons to Rethink Your Employee Value Proposition

4 Reasons to Rethink Your Employee Value Proposition

Your employee value proposition (EVP) is felt every single day. It’s built from that unique set of offerings as an employer—the culture, experience, rewards, and more—for the employee who brings their best self to work. On paper, your EVP should help you clearly convey that dynamic and by doing so differentiate you from your competition. In action, it should also help you accurately answer the question: Why would a person want to work for your company?

A great answer will connect with the people you hope to attract and retain and will leave others questioning if your company is the right fit (because it is not) and move on.

Your EVP acts as a North Star to your employer brand messaging both internally and externally and across every channel. And like any solid brand strategy, it needs to be validated and reevaluated on a regular basis to ensure its authenticity.

Is it time to rethink your EVP? Here are four reasons that point to a resounding “yes.”

1. Your EVP is a blast from the past.

If your EVP is from the pre-COVID era or even a couple of years old, things have most definitely changed. That doesn’t necessarily mean that your employee value proposition is wildly off base. It just means there’s a strong chance that the intel gathered to shape your current EVP and its supporting pillars isn’t necessarily a reflection of today.

2. There’s no back-up.

Knowledge is power and a powerful EVP is backed by research. Employee surveys, leadership 1:1’s, persona workshops, competitor reviews, external focus groups—insights from research along these lines is invaluable. Without them, how can you be so sure that what you’re saying is really and truly true? You can’t.

And put aside worries that you might be opening a can of worms once research findings start rolling in and get distilled to key stakeholders. Embrace the tensions. What you may believe or even aspire to be as an organization could conflict with reality. This level of knowledge will give focus to real opportunities for positive change and impact.

Inevitability, it will ground you and help craft stronger and more genuine messaging with your key audiences. Speaking of key audiences, another bonus is that nine times out of ten persona-based research also uncovers a treasure trove of great employee stories just waiting to be told.

3. The purpose is missing from the promise.

There’s emotional value in where we work. And that often stems from a shared purpose. Having a shared purpose feels right. It brings meaning to our work and a personal reason to be invested. When developing your EVP, challenge the language. Push harder and ask, “Does this clearly convey a connection between our company’s purpose and the employee experience?”

4. It’s generic.

If you give your EVP a read and your gut check is that it could easily be applicable to pretty much any company out there, don’t settle. What makes your company different is at the heart of what attracts and retains people who will thrive and drive outcomes for the business and themselves. That’s who you want to connect with and that’s not going to be everybody. It will be people who can confidently say, “I belong here.”

I hope your wheels are turning. I encourage you to engage in an ongoing investment in evaluating your EVP. Keep thinking, iterating, testing, and validating. Your efforts will pay off in many, many ways, especially when it comes to standing out from the crowd for all the right reasons.

Redefining Recruitment: Harnessing SEO and SEM to Showcase Your Job Opportunities

Redefining Recruitment: Harnessing SEO and SEM to Showcase Your Job Opportunities

As much as we all wish candidates would come to your main consumer-facing website to learn about your employment value proposition, compensation, benefits, hiring events, and application process before looking through your available positions and selecting the most suitable one, statistics indicate that 70% start with Google followed by Indeed and the other job boards.

Knowing that, we can develop a strategy to make the most of that experience by ensuring your jobs show up in those results. Your digital strategy should incorporate search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) tactics. Here is a primer on both:


Google/Microsoft Ads

The quickest guaranteed way to show up at the top of the search engine results pages (SERP) is advertising. While not the least expensive option, it will get your jobs in front of active job searchers immediately. A great tactic is to advertise job categories rather than specific positions. Driving traffic to a well-crafted landing page for a category gives you an opportunity to help candidates see how they can fit into your organization while improving your quality score.

The search engines want to be sure they are delivering what the individual really wants. They weigh your ad’s relevance, clickthrough rate, and landing page experience to create a quality score. Higher scores lead to lower costs and better ad placement. Focus on relevance and user experience to boost your quality score.

Even if you are paying for placement, they want to be sure your ad drives people to relevant content. For example, if your ad is for red shoes, it had better link to a page about red shoes that engages people to prove relevance. We’ll dig deeper into creating compelling landing pages in the next article of this series.


Google/Bing Jobs

Google and Bing have both developed convenient job tools that allow job seekers to find an up-to-the-minute list of jobs right in the search engine results page. These tools serve relevant results for each individual from your sites like your careers site and job boards. Ranking in these job tools relies on an algorithm similar to the rest of their search results. Following are two tactics that will help ensure your jobs show in these sections of the SERPs.

The Importance of Structured Data

Schema.org has defined a format called “structured data” for job listings that aids search engines in comprehending and displaying employment-related content more effectively. This structure contains relevant details about the job, such as the title, employer, location, kind of work, pay scale, and application materials. Using structured data to ensure that your jobs comply with schema.org standards is a part of any SEO strategy that will improve the visibility and depth of job ads in search results.

Feeds to Job Boards

Despite all your best SEO efforts, some of the job boards’ authority scores might be too high for your careers site to overcome. That’s the reason part two of an omnichannel SEO strategy is to take control of how your jobs appear on job boards. By default, job aggregators such as Indeed scrape your ATS, which sounds great at first blush. But this creates a less-than-ideal candidate experience. When a job seeker who finds your job on one of the job boards and clicks through to apply on a generic job description within your ATS, they miss out on almost everything you have to say about your organization that might convince them to choose you over the competition.

How AB&C solves this is a bit involved, but well worth the effort. It begins by setting up a careers website that serves a feed of live jobs from your ATS. From there, you’ll want to make sure your careers site becomes the official source of truth for any job board showing your listings.

You’ll need to reach out to them to set up a properly formatted feed of your jobs in the format they require. Some may simply start scraping content from your careers site instead of the ATS once they know it is now the official source of truth. However, to have the most control over the candidate pathway, you’ll want to provide them with a feed that incorporates the structured data and any other content that helps separate you from other choices a candidate might be considering.

Bonus points for your efforts to control the outbound feed to job boards. When a candidate clicks to apply from a job description, they wind up on a fully optimized job details page on your careers site instead of directly in the ATS.

We will get into full details on how to optimize job details in upcoming blog posts in this series. Sign up now to get an email when our next post about how to make the most of that experience goes live.

5 Tips for Navigating Healthcare Recruitment in 2024: Top Trends and Strategies

5 Tips for Navigating Healthcare Recruitment in 2024: Top Trends and Strategies

In the ever-evolving landscape of healthcare, the recruitment of talent stands as a pivotal challenge for hospitals and health systems. Understanding and aligning with Millennial and Generation Z preferences and priorities and the evolving trends within these demographics becomes critical for healthcare providers’ financial and recruitment/retention success.

1. Embracing Technology and Telehealth

Millennials and Gen Z have grown up in a digital era. They are accustomed to seamless technology integration in all aspects of life, including healthcare. Remember, these generations hate the expression “We’ve always done it that way.” Change, especially increased efficiency, through technology is sought after, not feared. Telehealth and digital health solutions have surged in popularity, not only as a response to global events but also due to their convenience and accessibility. Indeed reported a 392% increase in remote nursing jobs in 2023. Five years ago, this would have been considered impossible. Hospitals and health systems need to highlight their technological advancements, promoting the integration of telehealth services and innovative technologies within their facilities to attract tech-savvy talent, but also to show their willingness to innovate and look to the future.

2. Focus on Work-Life Balance and Flexibility

Both Millennials and Gen Z prioritize work-life balance and flexibility more than any previous generation. In November of 2023, I had the privilege of attending the Northeast Physician Recruiter Association’s annual conference. One conference highlight was Matt Clancy of the NEJM/NEJM CareerCenter’s presentation on “Understanding Millennial Physician Job Seekers.” The research results came with a big reveal. In all the years the NEJM/NEJM CareerCenter has produced this research, the number one incentive for physicians was, you guessed it, compensation. Today, physicians are telling us, “Balance is the new compensation.” Flexible work hours, remote work options, initiatives allowing employees to work at the top of their license, and a focus on employee wellness are critical for attracting and retaining Millennial and Gen Z healthcare professionals. Make no mistake, it’s still critical for organizations to be competitive financially, but health systems that promote their robust wellness programs gain a competitive edge in recruitment efforts.

3. Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB)

Millennials and Gen Z are considered “social justice” generations. They are known for, and passionate about, their commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. Transparent and proactive efforts to create a diverse and inclusive environment resonate strongly with these generations. You may be thinking, “We put our EOE statement on all our jobs, we post our jobs to the minority-focused websites, we make sure we show photos of diverse groups of employees working for us,” but that’s just a start. A true and genuine commitment to DEIB is evident in everything you share with candidates and patients. It’s included in every job posting, not as a footer but weaved throughout the description and responsibilities/requirements. It’s included in your website content and even more importantly is truthful and resonates throughout the hiring and employment experience. This isn’t something that can be faked. It’s something that needs to be lived, from a candidate first learning about your organization through the hiring process and through the entire employment experience. Don’t say it, live it.

4. Career Development and Continuous Learning

The desire for continuous learning and career advancement opportunities is high among Millennials and Gen Z. While their battles with older generations’ priorities and workstyle have been discussed and debated for years, health systems that push for more experienced generations to invest in their more youthful counterparts’ professional development are more likely to attract and retain this talent. Both Millennials and Gen Z seek mentorship programs and educational assistance. They WANT to be great at what they are doing, and they are seeking someone who is willing to come alongside them and to guide them. Emphasizing internal mobility and offering opportunities for skill development are crucial.

5. Purpose-Driven Work

Purpose. We all seek it, but these generations have an innate drive to make their work about more than financial compensation. In addition to a competitive compensation package, Millennials and Gen Z are drawn to organizations that align with their values and contribute positively to society. They want to be excited about what they are doing and the difference they are making. They want positive stories to share with their family and friends. They want to wake up in the morning and know the long hours and frustrations they are about to face are making a positive change in their community. Hospitals and health systems emphasizing their mission, community engagement, and social impact resonate deeply with Millennial and Gen Z professionals.

As we move into 2024, you should be focusing your efforts on:

  • Enhanced Digital Presence: Utilize social media, employer branding, and digital recruitment platforms to reach and engage talent.
  • Personalized Recruitment Approach: Tailor messaging and recruitment strategies to align with the values and preferences of Millennials and Gen Z.
  • Highlight Technological Advancements: Emphasize the integration of cutting-edge technology and telehealth solutions. Don’t be afraid to show how you are innovating.
  • Promote Work-Life Balance: Showcase flexible work options, wellness initiatives, and a supportive work environment.
  • Embrace DEIB Initiatives: Highlight a commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging across all facets of the organization.
  • Invest in Career Development: Emphasize opportunities for growth, mentorship, training, and continuous learning.
  • Emphasize Purpose: Showcase the organization’s mission, community involvement, and societal impact. Share stories that candidates will want to share with their friends and family.

2024’s healthcare landscape is unlike anything we’ve experienced in the past. It necessitates a deep understanding of the preferences and values of Millennials and Gen Z. Health systems that can adapt and flex their recruitment strategies to align with these trends and priorities will be better positioned to attract, engage, and retain the talented workforce needed to drive the future of healthcare.

Are you unsure where to start? We are passionate about helping our client partners recruit and retain great talent. It all starts with a conversation. Let’s talk.

How to Plot Your Digital Path Along the Buyer’s Journey

While brick-and-mortar shopping still has skin in the retail game, the truth is, today’s customers shop very differently than they did even just a few years ago. The expansion and ease of online shopping have revolutionized the way modern consumers—consumers of all ages, mind you—approach and execute their shopping habits.

Today there are more than 2 billion digital buyers worldwide, and the data projects 3 million of them in the U.S. alone by 2025. Rapid national and global growth in e-commerce has altered the traditional buyer’s journey. And, as online retail continues to soar, social media is becoming increasingly influential all along that journey.

How influential, you ask? A couple of recent studies showed that:

  • Nearly half (47%) of U.S. consumers have made a purchase through social media.
  • 58% of these consumers say they are interested in doing it again.
  • In 2022, social commerce made up approximately 5% of U.S. e-commerce sales, a number expected to grow to 7% by 2025.
  • 81% of consumers’ buying decisions are influenced by friends’ posts on social.
  • 78% of consumers say their purchases are influenced by brands’ social media posts.

This last one bears repeating—according to Forbes, “78% of consumers state their purchases are influenced by posts on the social media pages of brands.” What you do on your social media pages to support the buyer’s journey can have a significant impact on sales of products and/or services.

The four stages of the buyer’s journey have remained the same for generations—awareness, consideration, decision making and retention. The revolution comes in how today’s digital world impacts the buyer differently at every stage. And in that how, businesses of all shapes and sizes will find opportunities.

Building your social content for the journey

To leverage these opportunities for selling products and services you your website, it’s critical you produce content to address every stage of the buyer’s journey with effective communications—providing the right messages and answers at the right time. Here are some questions you should ask about your social content.

  • Awareness—Are you educating consumers about your product/service? Does your content show that you understand their pain points and can help address them? Do you provide a solution they can act on today?
  • Consideration—Are you providing content that establishes trust without making a hard sell just yet? Are you building a relationship that will extend beyond a one-off sale?
  • Decision making—Have you made a strong case as to why your product or service is better? Do you give consumers a clear, direct way to convert them from “considerers” to paying customers?
  • Retention—How are you staying engaged with your customers? Are you taking care to remain connected without overdoing it or seeming too invasive?

The bottom line is, the better you understand and react to consumers’ needs, the more you can effectively cater to those needs and, hopefully, secure a sale as well as customer loyalty.

A Buyer’s Journey Scenario—Pug Pleasures Creates a Loyal Customer.

(Partially based on a true story, names have been changed to protect the curly-tailed and wet-nosed!)


Debbie, “Proudest Pug Mom on Earth,” was beside herself when Franklin, her 5-year-old vivacious pug, started losing his fur—a side effect of a necessary medication. With a nearly bald underbelly, Franklin was getting bruises and abrasions from his harness every time they took a walk. Knowing that Franklin loved his walks, and that they kept him fit, Debbie needed something other than the style and brand of harness she’d been using since Franklin was a pup. And she needed it fast!


Debbie searched online first at the big-box pet stores and the biggest e-commerce pet supplier. But they didn’t give her a great vibe. How could these mammoth retailers possibly understand her problem? They surely were out of touch with Franklin’s unique needs. She continued her search through social media, friend recommendations and googling, “We care for your pug like family.” During this process she discovered several possibilities. But she landed on “So Soft Sherpa Products for Dogs” (SSSPD). Unlike the others, this company had pug-specific harnesses and shared videos to demonstrate them in action.

Decision making:

During her time on the SSSPD website, a window popped up asking Debbie if she’d like to share a little more about her pug. After filling out the questionnaire, Debbie received a text linking to several customer testimonials about a harness SSSPD recommended for Franklin. Wow, she thought, they really do understand and care about Franklin’s health and happiness.


Debbie purchased her first SSSPD super-soft harness and tried it out, much to Franklin’s pleasure. A few days later, SSSPD DM’ed her to see how Franklin was doing with his new harness. The message offered suggestions for just-as-soft harnesses that may not be so hot for Franklin during the summer and linked to a 25% off coupon. SSSPD had two friends—one with four legs, one with two—for life!


The Financial Toll of Physician Vacancies in Healthcare

A person writing.

Physician vacancies pose a significant financial threat to healthcare organizations, affecting both short-term revenue and long-term sustainability. As healthcare institutions grapple with the challenges of physician shortages, the financial implications of these vacancies become increasingly pronounced and will determine who leads the industry into the future and who falls to the side along the way. 

At the forefront of the issue is the immediate impact on revenue generation. Unfilled physician positions translate to missed patient consultations, diagnostic procedures, and treatments, directly affecting billable services. The revenue potential associated with these unrealized services can quickly accumulate, creating a considerable dent in the financial performance. For example, did you know the national average revenue generated by a physician is $2.4 million per year? It’s easy to understand how vacancies can quickly add up to financial crisis.

MissingPhysician.com emerges as a valuable resource for healthcare recruiters and administrators seeking to quantify the financial risk posed by physician vacancies. This platform provides insights into at-risk revenue, allowing organizations to calculate the potential income lost due to unfilled positions. By leveraging such tools, healthcare leaders can make informed decisions about resource allocation and recruitment strategies — all with a focus on decreasing the time it takes to fill these needed roles.

Beyond the immediate financial setback, physician vacancies contribute to increased operational costs. When roles go unfilled, existing staff members bear the burden of additional responsibilities, leading to burnout and decreased productivity. Overtime pay, temporary staffing solutions, and recruitment expenses further escalate the financial toll associated with physician shortages.

Moreover, the reputation of the healthcare provider is at stake because extended physician vacancies can hinder patient trust and satisfaction. Negative patient experiences resulting from longer wait times and reduced access to care can lead to patient migration to competitors, affecting the overall patient volume and consequently the organization’s revenue stream. 

As healthcare providers are struggling with all the challenges associated with providing services in today’s challenging environment, their top priority should be attracting the individuals their patients are paying to see: their doctors. As the shortage worsens, it’s critical that organizations take a proactive stance in addressing these challenges to mitigate the immediate and long-term financial risks. As the healthcare landscape continues to evolve, addressing physician shortages becomes not only a clinical imperative but a crucial financial strategy for the sustainability of healthcare institutions.