How to Scale Hospital Staff Quickly with Business SMS

Person using SMS to scale hospital staff

In the past, hospital staff primarily used business SMS to streamline internal communications, since these texts don’t contain patient health information (PHI). In times of increased staffing needs—like after COVID-19 began to spread—business SMS is helping teams scale hospital staff. 

Now more than ever, hospitals don’t have time to use slow channels like email to connect with potential candidates. Email has a low average open rate of 20% and a response rate of 6%. On the other hand, texts have a high open rate of 98% and a high response rate of 45%. Texts are the best way to connect with potential candidates quickly—and get fast replies.  

Read on to learn how you can use business SMS to attract hospital staff, communicate with them, and begin their training, too. 

Step 1: Publicize Your Text Recruiting Program

First, you need to let potential candidates know that you have a texting program in the first place. 

Publicize your text recruiting program on your website, social media pages, career portal, and any other relevant sites online. In posts or blurbs, include a description of:

  • General content candidates will receive
  • How often they will receive texts
  • What kinds of questions they can send via text
  • How to opt in (and opt out) to the program with keywords or a web form  

Soon, your SMS for recruiting team will start receiving opt-ins from interested candidates for various hospital roles. 

Step 2: Create Segmented Lists

Before you start sending your opted-in potential candidates messages, you need to separate them into lists. With SMS lists, it’ll be easier to create targeted texts that resonate with recipients.

There are many ways to segment SMS lists. To scale hospital staff, you’ll want to focus on a few key categories. You may want to ask about these categories when new candidates sign up for business SMS through your web form. Otherwise, you can import them from candidates established in your applicant tracking system. Categories might include:

  • Job title
  • Preferred department
  • Region
  • Experience

You can automate the process of creating lists. Your business SMS platform can use custom fields imported from your Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to determine list members. Alternatively, your platform can recognize certain keywords or numbers and automatically add contacts to the appropriate list. With segmented lists, it’ll be easier to create targeted messages that appeal to potential candidates. 

Step 3: Prepare (Or Import) Custom Fields 

Ensure that your candidate’s contact information includes custom fields. 

Your team members can manually add in custom fields when brand-new candidates opt in. You can also set up an SMS CRM integration with your applicant tracking system. This integration allows your CRM platform to automatically share the custom field information of established candidates with your SMS platform. 

Include information like candidate role, speciality, region, and expressed interest. These are all items that might be mentioned in a recruiting text. (Plus, you can use these custom fields to quickly segment your lists). 

Step 4: Craft Your Templates 

Now you can craft your SMS templates. Templates make it easier to communicate with many potential candidates at once, which helps you scale hospital staff faster. For each set of messages you plan on sending, create one template per list. 

For example, send a welcome message to each new candidate who opts in. Create a welcome SMS template for your cleaning staff, administrators, nurses, and doctors.

Tweak each message to appeal to your audience. This is your first introduction to potential candidates; you’ll want to make a friendly, professional impression. For example, a welcome SMS template to a nurse might look like this:

Hello, {{first name}}! We’re so glad you signed up for Bay Area Hospital’s SMS recruiting program. Nurses are the heart of our hospital. We will text you soon with any {{department}} openings in our {{preferred location}} branch. Reply with STOP to stop receiving our texts. 

Step 5: Start Connecting

To engage your potential candidates, connect with them often—but not too often. You want to establish a relationship with them, not annoy them. If they feel as though you’re texting them too much, they’ll opt out of your SMS recruiting services. 

Use an SMS drip campaign to schedule out check-ins and other regular messages. You can send messages on the fly for new openings or emergency needs.

Don’t be afraid to send additional information if you have the bandwidth. Quick messages of hope or thanks are always appreciated by busy healthcare staff. Having an established relationship with a pool of potential candidates is a great way to scale hospital staff quickly when you need to. 

Step 6: Answer Queries Quickly

One of the benefits of business SMS is that it’s a fast channel. Ninety percent of texts are read within the first three seconds of receipt, and the average response time is 90 seconds. If a potential candidate is interested in one of your hospital’s roles, they’ll engage with you quickly. 

With the healthcare staffing situation as tight as it is right now, it’s important to engage potential customers quickly. Set up an auto-reply that answers each incoming query immediately. It should list business hours and expected response times, so your potential candidates know when to expect a reply. Ensure your staffing teams answer incoming queries as soon as they are able.

Responsiveness will help your team encourage potential candidates to apply to your roles, helping you scale hospital staff as quickly as possible. 

Step 7: Guide Candidates Through The Process

Once a candidate decides to apply to a role, you can use business SMS to guide them from the interview all the way through onboarding.

Text recruiting can be used to:

  • Arrange interviews
  • Notify candidates about status updates
  • Send paperwork reminders
  • Offer training reminders and post-training tips

In essence, business SMS helps scale hospital staff by offering a fast way to communicate throughout the entire hiring process, from sharing open roles to onboarding new hires. 


Want to know more about business SMS for recruiting? Learn more here

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