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 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 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.

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. 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.

Should I Start Using AI to Write My Job Descriptions?

A robot writing a job description.

Well, before I weigh in, let’s ask our new friend ChatGPT. Here’s the response I got:

“As of now, a person is generally better at writing a job description than AI. While AI tools can assist in generating job descriptions and even provide suggestions, they may lack the nuanced understanding, creativity, and context that a human can bring to the task.”

Yep. Can’t say that I disagree. But as you can plainly see, part of the intro to this very blog came courtesy of a quick prompt I entered into ChatGPT. The Pew Research Center reports that for those who are aware of ChatGPT, 16% are regularly using it at work. Generative AI tools provide a much-needed jump-start to speed up and streamline tasks. And when you look at any list of “great” use cases of AI for recruiters, the task of job description rewrites almost always tops the list.

Leveraging AI to boost productivity by automating time-consuming work that feels like pure drudgery makes obvious sense. Applications of smart automation in our tech stack workflows and sourcing engines have already been delivering efficiencies and hours back in our day for years. The boost of a job description rewrite in seconds especially when so many of our job descriptions could seriously use one, also makes sense. However, the rewrite you get back is really just that—a boost.

Today, there’s still a need for plenty of human oversight with a generative AI tool writing your job descriptions. Here are three very real reasons why:

Misguided prompts

Out of date, jargon-filled, too much information. Too little information. For all or some of these reasons, your job descriptions may have been riding along on the struggle bus for years. An accurate portrayal of the job itself and ideal attributes that sync to your company’s culture, values, and purpose might be sorely missing within them, too. So, if you want to get yours off that bus by running them through a generative AI tool, it’s not enough to ask “Hey ChatGPT, make this a better job description.” You will need to think about a well-constructed prompt before you begin.

Take a closer look at your EVP, employer brand guidelines, and personas. Tap into that treasure trove of informed research and include it in your initial prompt. Here’s a basic example of what I mean:

This [JOB DECRIPTION] for a [JOB TITLE] needs to attract a person with the following attributes [INSERT ATTRIBUTE LIST] that align with our [COMPANY’S VALUES] while portraying a concise and realistic overview of what it takes to thrive in this role based on the following [PERSONA OVERVIEW] and the [EMPLOYEE VALUE PROPOSITION] our company offers in return.

Even with a solid start, the resulting copy may warrant continued prompts for specific and necessary tweaks. Regardless, as you perform your review, there’s a very strong case to be made that you or another real live person invested in your employer brand messaging will want to invest in finalizing copy. Why?

Quality is questionable

Even AI is aware that there’s a lack of “nuanced understanding, creativity, and context that a human can bring to the task” when writing job descriptions. Without a solid set of training data (think minimally of the fill-in-the-blank intel in the example prompt), a great job description rewrite isn’t going to happen.

More importantly, the human touch is missing in action. And that’s a big miss. Style and originality that more powerfully convey your employer brand won’t be coming from parsed copy. It will come from the perspectives of people.

And speaking of parsed copy, there’s a real chance that over time using generative AI tools like ChatGPT may homogenize our writing. Not so great when you are trying to differentiate, is it?

Let’s talk about bias 

AI has been positioned as a bias-buster for job descriptions. Its ability to identify stereotypical language and recommend gender-neutral terms appears to be a wonderful advantage and there are solutions out there doing a great job of it. However, let’s not forget how a tool like ChatGPT gets its learnings. It gets them from existing data and language patterns. From us. That creates an imperfect solution. So again, enough said. Human oversight of what generative AI produces is a must.

While we’re strictly talking about copy creation here, there’s been plenty of examples of text-to-image models of generative AI playing into race and gender stereotypes, too. When reporting for Bloomberg Technology + Equality, Leonardo Nicoletti and Diana Bass prompted a text-to-image model to “create representations of workers for 14 jobs — 300 images each for seven jobs that are typically considered ‘high-paying’ in the US and seven that are considered ‘low-paying’ — plus three categories related to crime.”

After a review of the results, it is no surprise that their report is titled: Humans are biased. Generative AI is even worse. I encourage you to give it a read.

In the end, my answer to the question that this blog post poses isn’t a hard no. Not at all. Staring at a blank screen or looking at that three-page deep job description not knowing where to even begin is in itself a time suck you don’t need to suffer through. With some consideration to your prompts, personas, and people who know your employer brand, it’s a yes to having improved copy in a split second. Limit your reliance on generative AI to what it’s good at—a working draft—and tap into what only a human can bring to the written word for your job descriptions. It will be a winning combination for this very important task.

Redefining Recruitment: Crafting an Online Candidate Experience That Converts

A woman using her cell phone.

While a bad candidate experience might cause to a candidate to quit your hiring process entirely or hurt your employer brand with a negative review on Glassdoor, a great candidate experience can help you turn your top prospects into hires. 

So, what can you do to create a great experience that helps your organization stand out from the competition? Our Redefining Recruitment series will provide answers in the coming weeks through blog posts focused on how to: 

1. Harness SEO to Showcase Your Job Opportunities 

People can’t apply to jobs they can’t find. 70% of all job searches start with Google—150 million of them every month. And Indeed can still boast that it reaches nearly 93% of online active US job seekers. Structured data and properly formatted feeds are the key to helping these sites find and properly identify your content. 

2. Create a Compelling Careers Site 

A careers site is vital to a quality candidate experience. Most referral sources will push prospects 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 invested in for your careers site. From delivering the right first impression to content that authentically presents insights candidates seek before they convert to applicants, we’ll outline the must-haves for creating a compelling careers site. 

3. Master the Art of Effective Job Descriptions 

Go beyond the requirements and internal jargon. Help the prospects see themselves in a career with your organization. You can also use the job description as a filter to connect with the talent you want and dissuade those you don’t. Salary, benefits, and hours are table stakes that should be included in all job descriptions. Stand out by highlighting sign-on bonuses, remote/hybrid opportunities, and quality of life and DEIB content and, most of all, differentiating your organization from the competition. 

4. Simplify the Application Process 

Have you tried applying for a job through your ATS? If so, was it on a mobile device? Most job seekers conduct their searches on a handheld device. If your ATS application process is long and involved, consider an alternative call to action where candidates, especially those for your harder-to fill-positions, can express their interest quickly and connect with a recruiter who can take it from there to guide them through the next steps.  

Refine Your Brand. Retain Your Talent.

After 18 years, the unemployment scales have finally tipped, and we’re seeing more available jobs than unemployed individuals. According to the Wall Street Journal’s Eric Morath, “U.S. job openings rose to 6.7 million at the end of April [2018], compared with the 6.3 million Americans who were unemployed.” It’s the first time this has happened since the U.S. Department of Labor began keeping records of such statistics in 2000.

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Need to Innovate? Diversify.

It’s one thing to claim a diverse workforce or patient population. It’s another thing to nurture a genuine culture of inclusion — one in which everyone feels welcomed and valued, one in which everyone can contribute to his or her fullest potential to achieve organizational objectives. This is where the rubber meets the road. Organizations that understand and address the unique perspectives held by their entire patient and employee population can gain significant ground.

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Help! Millennials are Taking Over the Workforce

That’s it. The world is ending. These millennials are going to ruin what is great about our businesses. You know, they’re lazy. They don’t communicate well. They’re completely self-absorbed. They’re… they’re… going to do amazing things if we allow them to!

I’ve been helping national leaders recruit talent for more than 15 years, and I’ve never seen a time when the generational gap has been more obvious. Today, most leaders and managers within an organization are baby boomers or Gen Xers. The boomers are all about value and mission. They are brilliant communicators and message crafters, and are driven nuts by millennials who appear to not subscribe to their value system. Generation X is similar; they look for contributors and seek feedback. They look for autonomy and expect others to do the same. Millennials? Well, not so much.

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How Can I Get My Job Posts to Appear on Google for Jobs?

What is Google for Jobs?

When posting open job opportunities on the web, you may find that the same job posting appears in the search results from multiple job sites, through an applicant tracking system (ATS) or on a corporate careers page. To remove these redundant and often confusing search results for job seekers, Google recently launched a new AI-powered job search feature called “Google for Jobs.” This mechanism is built right into the standard search engine everyone is already familiar with.

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Physician Recruitment Marketing: Four Years, Big Difference

Attending the ASPR 2015 conference in Orlando  gives us the chance to talk recruitment strategies with attendees

Shawn Kessler talks recruitment strategy with ASPR 2015 attendees.

This year I attended my fifth ASPR (Association of Staff Physician Recruiters) conference. My biggest takeaway: The physician shortage has truly become a real, living, breathing thing that, understandably, has a lot of recruiters terrified.

Rewind to 2011. Chicago. The conference was smaller with fewer attendees and vendors.  You would hear “The physician shortage is coming” and “Take these steps so your health system is prepared” or “These are the recruiters you should be using.” The term “recruitment marketing” was hardly known at that point.Read full post...


4 Marketing Topics Physician Recruiters Should Pay Attention To

15 tips 2As a staff recruiter, you have to target physicians precisely, and then differentiate yourself from your competition — and do it all on time and on budget. That budget may be tight. You may be a team of one. And the physician shortage sure doesn’t help. But you press on.

Because your bottom line relies on the income physicians bring into your organization.

In AB&C’s 10 + years of helping physician recruiters, we’ve seen the challenges you face. And we’ve helped healthcare organizations find and bring in the physicians they need to keep the bottom line in the black.

But even if you can’t hire an agency just yet, we can still help with your recruitment strategy. Here are four areas you should focus on:Read full post...

Heightening your brand versus hiring locum tenens

BayState Health physician portal website

It’s smarter and less expensive to invest in your own employment brand identity, rather than depend on outsiders to fill your pipeline.

The best physicians deliver better care. But what’s the best way to find those physicians?

Investing in locum tenens to fill vacancies can certainly deliver the physicians your patients need, and there will always be a need for them. But at what cost? The physicians’ longevity and loyalty are uncertain, and they’re only a short-term solution.Read full post...


It’s a brave new world for healthcare.

Have a clear plan in place for the changes your staff will go through over the next few years.

Have a clear plan in place for the changes your staff will go through over the next few years.

Welcome to the wildest of times in the history of American healthcare. Consumers, physicians and advanced practitioners, administrators, insurers, and government bureaucrats are caught up in a systematic change that’s as manageable as a tornado in a mailbox. Since 2010, we’ve all been loosely aware of the guidelines of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (or “Obamacare,” if you prefer). But today — only a couple months from full adoption — uncertainty and fear loom large. All parties are scrambling to make sense of this monumental change, let alone predict how it will affect their daily operations.

Here’s a clue: Unprepared health systems and hospitals throughout the country are facing mass layoffs or, worse, closing. Some even project that one-third of hospitals in America will close or completely reorganize by 2020. Healthcare is rapidly becoming the newest commodity in an open competitive market, and healthcare employers with brand names will prevail.Read full post...