Roger Watson, Editor-in-Chief
Nursing organisations and hospitals were slow to adopt social media and some hospitals even had Twitter accounts and Facebook pages while prohibiting their employees from making any mention of their work in their own social media pages. However, while employees are expected to behave responsibly, there is much greater recognition of the use of social media in nursing and healthcare. But can hospitals use social media to make themselves more attractive to potential employees?
An article from Belgium by Carpentier et al (2017) titled: 'Recruiting nurses through social media: Effects on employer brand and attractiveness' and published in JAN addresses this issue. The study on which the article is based aimed to: 'investigate whether and how nurses’ exposure to a hospital’s profile on social media affects their perceptions of the hospital’s brand and attractiveness as an employer'. Specifically, the study looked at one hospital's use of Facebook and LinkedIn to promote themselves and sent out questionnaires to nursing students and qualified nurses to look at how attractive the hospital was as an employer.
The results show that: '(n)urses’ exposure to the hospital’s Facebook or LinkedIn page had a significant effect on a majority of the employer brand dimensions' which included aspects such as image and attractiveness. Also, 'nurses who visited the Facebook page felt more attracted to working at the hospital. Most of these effects were mediated by social presence.' In conclusion, the authors say: 'This study indicates that hospitals’ investments in social media can be justifiable because they can have a positive effect on potential applicants’ organizational attractiveness and employer brand perceptions.'
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Carpentier, M., Van Hoye, G., Stockman, S., Schollaert, E., Van Theemsche, B. and Jacobs, G. (), Recruiting nurses through social media: Effects on employer brand and attractiveness. J Adv Nurs. Accepted Author Manuscript. doi:10.1111/jan.13336