How to Increase Recruiter Productivity by Recruiting on Facebook: a Health Care Recruiting Case Study

By Kirsten Smith

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Recruiting top health care talent isn’t just imperative for your hiring numbers--filling your open jobs can make a huge difference for the millions of people whose lives your employees will touch. 

Recent changes in this country’s health care system, including the introduction of the Affordable Care Act, means that demand for quality practitioners, as well as the retention of those quality practitioners, should be of the utmost priority for recruiters. (According to a HireRight study, some 52% of health care recruiters named this their top challenge in 2013, as private health care demand grew by a significant percentage over the last two years).  

How can you address growing concerns over a seemingly shrinking global talent pool? Perhaps, as Cigna recently did, you start seeking a bigger and better talent pool by going where the talent is. 

We all know that professional social networks are a great place to find professionals--if and when they sign up, complete their profiles, and log in. LinkedIn, for example, is the largest professional social network with 259 million monthly active users; however, of that number, there are only 1 million doctors and nurses on the site, and many do not count themselves among the number of active users or users with completed profiles. 

Professional networking sites are great for professional networking, but for many professionals who are not actively seeking a job or expanding their professional circles, these sites become superfluous. 

So how did Cigna, a global health care service provider, use social media to successfully fill key roles from medical professionals to sales and customer service representatives in the health care sector? 


With more than 1.15 billion engaged, active users on this personal social network--among them over 3.2 million health care professionals (who include not only doctors and nurses as on LinkedIn, but also those who work in other areas of the health care field)--who log on to share 4.75 billion pieces of content with millions of friends, family members, coworkers, and companies every single day, Facebook is an ideal place to take your talent pool and explode its potential. 

Cigna recognized this early on and began building a Facebook Career Page in March of 2012. By making its 400+ jobs available in a place where potential passive candidates are already spending 1 out of every 7 minutes online, as well as using the Career Page to build a talent community by sharing valuable content with interested Facebook users, Cigna built its fan base to more than 3,200 people. (And those 3,200 people remain a part of the talent community and continue to receive updates about Cigna’s careers.) 

Cigna’s success can be attributed to more than simply making its jobs available on Facebook to active jobseekers, however. The company used a two-pronged approach to target and attract high-quality passive candidates: Facebook Ads and Social Referrals. 

Facebook’s advertising platform is one of the most sophisticated in the world, and because Facebook’s massive database comprises such an engaged population of people across locations, demographics, and interests, advertisers are able to refine their targeting to reach only the right people with their ads. Not only does this help recruiters put jobs, recruitment events, and other employer branded messages directly in front of the talent most likely to apply or join the talent pool, but it also helps lower the recruiting spend by showing these ads only to the people most likely to click. 

Almost half of the job views from the company’s Facebook Career Page now come from Facebook ads, and more than 1/3 of the applications it receives are a direct result of an ad click. 

Cigna also leveraged Social Job Sharing, a solution that allows its recruiters and employees to automatically share jobs with their social networks in order to increase recruiter productivity while reaching more of the right people in recruiters’ own social networks. 

With the ability to automate the sharing of jobs while still maintaining control over what jobs were shared and when, Cigna’s recruiters were able to quickly scale their job sharing across their Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter networks. This particular solution has proven very successful for the Cigna team, because jobs seen by members of recruiters’ social networks now account for 25% of the traffic to jobs displayed on the Facebook Career Page. 

Demand for top health care talent will continue to increase over the next several years, as the US population ages and we are faced with more chronic disease than ever experienced in the history of this country. Not only will we need more qualified doctors and nurses, but more people qualified to handle the business side of health care, from customer service to claims processing to sales. Keeping your talent acquisition channels to small, tapped out professional networks will severely limit your recruiters’ ability to quickly and efficiently find the best talent for all of their specialized jobs going forward. 

As with Cigna, by moving your careers to Facebook and using such innovations as Facebook Ads and Social Job Sharing, your organization can have better access to not only the 3.2 million health care professionals who log onto the network, but the 11.8 million people who “like” or list employment at a health care organization. In the case of health care recruiting, not only will Facebook make your recruiters’ jobs easier, but it can also prove to have a larger impact on the future success of the health care industry--and the millions of people whose lives will feel the direct impact of your quality hires. 


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