Salford Royal: using social media to recruit


In the second in our series of blog looking at how Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust has used social media to recruit and retain staff, HR project assistant Rebecca Tinnion explains how she has worked as part of a team to develop content and improve engagement.

The team understood from the beginning that social media worked hand-in-hand with social marketing and that this was something the trust would need to invest in long term. As a result, I was recruited into post in April 2017 and my main responsibility was centred around the management of the social media accounts; including adding job posts, assessing trends, creating organic content that promotes particular difficult-to-recruit vacancies.

Over the past six months, members of the recruitment team attended several social media workshops to learn about how to get the best results out of recruiting via social media – what to do, what to avoid doing and how to maximise recruitment success.

After these initial workshops we developed a social media recruitment strategy and content plan, setting out a timeline of events (what’s happening at Salford Royal, memorable dates and trending topics, etc). We then assessed which jobs are struggling to recruit. This allowed us to pre-plan our posts and always have frequent, popular information on our page. We have continued with this way of working as it is really effective.

We’re always learning about what other NHS trusts are doing on social media – what works well for them and what doesn’t. Equally we have also followed private organisations to see and mimic how they use social media to promote their brands and how this is integrated and not separate with their vacancy demands.

Social media has directly helped our trust to face the nursing shortage. In September 2017 a record number of student nurses started with us and we’ve also gained approximately 85 new registered nurses.

It has improved how we reflect on our recruitment services. On the back of social media, we are building a more recognisable ‘trust brand’ and rethinking our recruitment approach - how we provide a ‘customer service’ type channel to help retain candidates.

We have paid significant attention to what our social media audience wants to see – career stories of our staff. We post employee profiles which emphasise how a member of staff demonstrates patient care as well as uplifting stories about life at the trust. These stories usually coincide vacancies in particular areas. The feedback and comments on these types of posts help to celebrate the individual, helping us to retain them.

We are using Facebook more widely as a communication tool, setting up private groups to help new starters get settled into the trust. This has acted as a forum, allowing candidates to talk to recruitment through Facebook. Subscribers to this group are then able to get fast answers to their questions/problems at all times of the day.

We are still learning, but we have big plans for the future.

You can read the first blog in the series now.

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