Social Media as a Recruiting Channel in Hospitals

In the following article you can read about how new employees can be recruited with the help of social media.

Hannes Sommer
Hannes Sommer
Founder & Managing Director Sinceritas Executive Search

Social media play a central role in the public visibility of private individuals and companies. This is also the case in hospitals: Charité has a Facebook page. According to a ranking, the Asklepios clinics are at the top of the list for the use of their Instagram account and also have an account on X (formerly Twitter).

This opens up new recruiting opportunities. For hospitals in particular, which are suffering from a serious shortage of skilled labour, it is important to choose every possible channel. What's more, it is now a matter of course for younger employees in particular to be contacted via social networks. Other potential applicants are motivated to submit their application documents quickly thanks to the short online application process.‍

Meta and TikTok in recruiting

The figures on the use of social media in Germany indicate that Facebook and Instagram are still used most frequently alongside YouTube. However, TikTok has the longest dwell time (almost one day per month) and is also approaching Meta's platforms (Facebook, Instagram) in terms of frequency.

Population: German-speaking resident population aged 14 and over, 70.54 million, n=2,007
Source: ARD/ZDF-Onlinestudie 2022

Although the magazine "praktisch Arzt" stated in 2018 that social media recruiting is underrepresented in hospitals, the situation seems to have changed. In 2023, there are already groups and job boards that can be found on Facebook.
A YouTube video can also advertise a hospital, such as the recruiting video for Kliniken Erlabrunn gGmbH or the BDH-Klinik Greifswald.

The same applies to videos on TikTok, which can present the clinic, the employees and medical processes. praktischarzt also recommends this now. In this way, the employer branding of a hospital can be utilised and help to attract new employees and retain existing staff.
In the USA, TikTok already has an initial personnel search function. TikTok is therefore interesting as a recruiting platform, but is not used equally by all age groups. TikTok is therefore interesting as a recruiting platform, but is not used equally by all age groups.

Source: Soziale Medien im Generationenwandel (Umfrage) - Sortlist Blog

Tik Tok will appeal better to the under-35 generation than Facebook in the future, as this chart shows. However, over 35s use Facebook much more than TikTok. This is an aspect that should be taken into account. At the same time, job portals will continue to be used for job searches. Their reach is very high.

LinkedIn and Xing

With 922 million members worldwide, LinkedIn is much larger than Xing with around 21 million in the DACH region, as shown here in a detailed comparison of the platforms. The published figures on Xing and LinkedIn users are interesting.

Since academics are often represented on LinkedIn, it is also a way to find doctors or managers. The international nature of LinkedIn is also an advantage, as the staff shortage can be offset by foreign specialists. In addition, application documents can be uploaded directly in the advert.
St Joseph's Hospital, for example, has advertised jobs on LinkedIn and is also represented with its own page. Similar to Facebook or Instagram, you can post articles and videos, share testimonials from employees and current articles.  

Xing is more focussed on sharing jobs, but is also a good platform for applicants to present themselves.

Job networks such as LinkedIn or Xing therefore have the great advantage that potential candidates can be approached at the same time. This is because many employees have a profile on these platforms. Active sourcing makes it possible to approach new employees and concretise the hospital's image. In this way, hidden candidates who are not actively looking for a new position can also be approached. This in turn expands the pool of potential applicants for a hospital. The channels presented can therefore be used for recruiting.
However, the respective target group should be analysed according to age and professional group.

Recruiting by professional group in hospitals

According to a Sinceritas survey of hospital employees, social media is used equally by the various professional groups (doctors, nurses and administrative staff) to find a new job. However, employees in the outpatient sector in particular may not be permanently online due to their mobility. In any case, a prospective head physician should be contacted discreetly by e-mail.  This is where the support of an experienced recruitment consultancy is an advantage. They can create a profile of the position you are looking for, analyse the target group and then contact suitable candidates anonymously and discreetly.

Strategies and recommendations for action

In general, best practices for social media presence are similar to those for job adverts in general. An overview of the requirements of the advertised position and the benefits of a hospital must be quickly and easily visible.

Through the use of hashtags, groups and targeted adverts, hospitals can target their messages to healthcare professionals. As in other social media, it is possible and important to present the company's profile in an employer branding campaign. The reach is thus increased for the company through the active use of social media. In addition, a picture of the potential job can be immediately conveyed to those searching. The target group should be selected according to profession and age in order to use the right platform.

Data-based analysis tools can be used to analyse the movements on the respective page and improve them if necessary. Artificial intelligence (AI) can therefore be helpful in simplifying the application process with chatbots.

The next step would also be mobile recruiting, which can cover the entire application process via smartphone. This requires a concise social media page with good usability. In addition, the application forms on career websites must be adapted to the mobile device.‍

Interaction and extra work - the pros and cons

In any case, these channels speed up the application process and make it more interactive. The advantages of using social networks for recruiting in hospitals therefore lie in the reach, direct interaction and strengthening of the employer brand. A hospital can sharpen its own profile by recruiting on social media. By sharing content such as videos on medical topics or introducing teams, it becomes attractive to potential candidates. At the same time, the platform also creates a further opportunity for internal identification.

However, additional human resources may be required to maintain and update the corresponding homepages and applications. These employees not only have the task of creating and updating content and videos. Another important aspect is the moderation of comment columns. Precisely because social networks are interactive, it is important to review and respond to incoming posts and comments. Criticism can be received and answered very constructively. This can also show whether a company is open to dialogue with employees and possibly also to open management. However, it can also lead to excessive criticism, which takes a lot of time to process. The application of artificial intelligence also requires the necessary (IT) staff to operate and set up the AI.


The use of social media in the recruitment process goes far beyond being an extended job advert. Social recruiting has the same advantages as social media itself. It can create a broad network that can also retain employees. The prerequisite for this is that the channels are maintained and kept up to date. Just like the possible use of AI. Both tie up staff and time. On the other hand, costs can be saved that are normally used for many different channels (multiposting). The time required for the application process itself can also be reduced if, for example, the application documents can be uploaded directly to the platform page. Mobile recruiting is another way of shortening the application process.  However, the personal approach still has to be carried out by individuals and should be placed in the hands of a professional recruitment consultancy. In this way, so-called hidden candidates can also be persuaded to change jobs. In the future, social media will be used as an important channel in recruiting to address the next generation of employees.