Diversity In The Workplace Matters—Especially In Healthcare Marketing
How do I feel about diversity? Simple: I think it’s critical for any healthcare marketing team that is responsible for communicating to consumer audiences.
This may sound like a sweeping statement, but there’s a reason for it. You don’t want to have any blind spots in what you communicate.
This means you need people looking at whatever you’re communicating—whether it’s website content, social media content, etc.—from all angles. This is especially important in the first stage of content development, which is generating ideas for a wide range of audiences.
It comes down to this: If you want to have a rich pool of ideas to appeal to a tapestry of target markets, you need people from all different types of backgrounds.
How Do You Define Diversity In The Workplace?
I think of diversity in several ways. There is the obvious way, which is cultural or ethnic diversity. Our cultures contribute to our worldviews, our beliefs, and our perception of reality.
In this industry, you don’t want to surround yourself with a bunch of carbon copies. That’s what creates the blind spots. The result? You could end up saying something ridiculous. It’s a simple matter to have someone on your team who says, “No, that will never fly with (Target Market A) because (X, Y, Z).”
It comes down to breaking outside your comfort zone, in two key ways: Surround yourself with people who are not like you, and invite them to challenge you.
This means being mature enough to have conversations with people who don’t think the way you do—and being mature enough to listen, even to viewpoints you disagree with.
This ability to listen and be listened to boosts your strength as a team, and it can make the ideas, products, and services you offer that much better.
Building A Diverse Healthcare Marketing Team
I love being around people who are not like me. And I love that our team is diverse in a lot of different ways: our political beliefs, our cultural backgrounds, our economic backgrounds, our ages.
And we don’t have to hold back or suppress our beliefs in the office just because we’re different.
This gives us agility in how we approach our work. When we approach clients with ideas and content strategies, they often comment on how they would never have thought to approach it the way we did—and that’s a good thing.
I also think of diversity in terms of our career backgrounds. I had one job for a year before starting CareContent. Most of my work background consisted of my going to school and traveling. And that has a huge bearing on how I approach our team and the work we do.
Nicole and Jennifer come from buttoned-up, corporate backgrounds. Sammi’s passion is theater—acting and singing. Ros’s gift is creative writing. Linyi might as well be a professor.
All of that makes for a nice range of high notes we can strike—different ways we can pull together ideas and present them in a unique way. Video, infographics, animation, podcasts, compelling patient narratives—all of this and more is part of our creative “mix.”
And despite—or maybe because of—our different backgrounds, we all somehow ended up interested in healthcare.
No matter what kind of cultural background you come from, no matter what your ethnicity is, no matter what your socioeconomic status is—at some point, you are going to encounter the healthcare system.
Everyone on our team has had experiences with healthcare—and that’s why we’re here. We decided we wanted to help our clients improve the healthcare experience for everyone.
We are committed to doing our part, and using our talents and gifts as communicators to make healthcare a little bit better by creating great content for our clients. Contact us to find out how we can help you meet your healthcare marketing goals.
Hiring For Your Healthcare Marketing Team: 9 Interview Questions To Ask
I have a whole new appreciation for finding the right healthcare marketing team—people who are excellent at their jobs and wonderful to be around.
Yes, I’ve had the flip side, and it wasn’t pretty. Having the wrong person in a key role can make you hate a job that you actually love. It’s draining and wastes precious time. And if you’re prone to panic, you can kiss your peace of mind goodbye.
My current team is awesome. I like them so much that I wish we’d met in college or some other setting, so we could be real friends, rather than just friends at work.
And they are absolutely brilliant.
Nicole is such an amazing designer that I’m not sure she’s human. Jennifer and Katie are like 1000 mg painkillers. They take care of everything, and they keep me sane.
Ros and Sammi are phenomenal healthcare writers and researchers, more adept than people with twice as much experience. They are also hilarious (and probably blood relatives, but we’re still trying to figure that out).
By hiring these amazing people, I’ve learned how to hire others.
Competence And Culture
There are two ingredients that can make a candidate a good fit.
Do they have the skills to meet or exceed the job’s expectations? Of course, everyone needs training, but you don’t have time to be dragging someone up a steep learning curve. You need a team member who doesn’t just do the job after settling in, she owns it. Matta fact, she’s teaching you and her colleagues stuff that makes the whole team more competent and more efficient.
Also read: 11 Skills All Healthcare Content Creators Need
Will they fit in with the overall vibe of your team? Sororities are really good at this. The person’s way of communicating, temperament, etiquette, and problem-solving style need to be effective and empowering at the same time. You don’t want to hire a brilliant jerk.
Also read: The Main Reason You End Up Working Late
Here are 9 questions to ask candidates for your healthcare marketing team that get at whether they can do the job and get along with your team.
1. What do you think of when you hear the term … ?
Ask them to give the first thing that comes to mind after you say certain words or phrases, such as content marketing, teamwork, social media marketing, a specific social media channel, or your healthcare organization’s CEO’s name.
If they look confused or start stuttering while commenting on a word or phrase that you think he should be comfortable discussing, that could indicate a competence gap.
2. What’s your process for … ?
Then, fill in the blank with a few common tasks or projects that they’ll handle. A competent person will likely have a set of steps they rely on to get the job done. The candidate’s answer can also reveal their priorities and how they map out milestones.
3. Which thought leaders do you follow in the healthcare or marketing space?
Healthcare and digital marketing are always changing. You want to make sure the candidate stays up on best practices and trends in the field. If they follow reputable thought leaders, this can mean that their job is more of a craft than just a paycheck.
4. When is a time you had a conflict with a co-worker, supervisor, etc.?
It’s okay if they need a second to think before answering. You’re looking for a story here. You want them to discuss what happened and how they approached resolving the conflict. You also want to understand their definition of conflict. Do they major in minor issues, or was it a legit situation? And, most importantly, you want to get a sense of the candidate’s temperament.
5. Where do you see yourself professionally next year?
Most people’s 3- to 5-year goals are too far out to be clear, especially if you’re hiring a young person. But next year shouldn’t be so vague. This will help you gauge whether the person is even thinking about their future.
If they aren’t, that could be a sign of immaturity or a lack of initiative. If they are, does their picture match the professional path your organization can offer? If they don’t have a clear picture of where they want to be next year, then ask, “What skills would you like to be using?”
6. What’s the toughest professional decision you’ve had to make in the last 6 months?
This question can be hit or miss, depending on if they’ve had to make any tough decisions. But the fact that they are out interviewing usually means some kind of turning point has happened in their professional life.
This question gives them an opportunity to share the backstory without prying too much. Again, it also reveals how they define tough decisions and their process for problem solving.
7. When you sit down to work, what’s the first thing you do?
You’re gauging priorities and organization here. Of course, no one will admit that they spend the first hour of their workday messing around on Facebook or perusing Pinterest. But when they do get into their groove, what’s the process like?
8. What types of work environments have helped you thrive, and which have driven you crazy?
Does the environment that helps them thrive sound like yours? It might be a good fit. If the environment that drives them crazy sounds like yours, you might want to keep looking.
9. What are your thoughts on the current marketing initiatives we have online or in the market?
This question gets at whether they have researched your current marketing initiatives. If so, that’s a good sign that they’ve done their due diligence. You also want to see their style of giving feedback.
If they have criticism, do they deliver it tactfully, or are they berating your team’s work? And do they only notice the stuff they don’t like, or do they also give praise?
Of course, you won’t know if someone is truly a good fit until they start doing the job. Even then, it might take a month or longer to see their strengths and weaknesses, but a thorough vetting process can save you from having to do this all again if they don’t work out.