Growing MCH campaign attracts hundreds of new staff
Last July, the Ontario government announced a historic $330 million investment in pediatric health care across the province to reduce wait times and improve access to care for children and teens. When combined with other investments over the past 18 months, it means that Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) is receiving over $48 million in new, ongoing funding for McMaster Children’s Hospital (MCH) to grow spaces, services and staff. This includes the Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre (RJCHC) in north-end Hamilton, which is part of MCH.
The provincial investment is the largest ever made to MCH and it created more than 300 new positions, of which about 70 per cent are now filled thanks to the highly-effective, multi-pronged, national recruitment campaign launched last fall.
“For the Growing MCH campaign, we decided to take a new, proactive approach in order to fill hundreds of positions, including the 300 new roles created through provincial funding.”
The six-week marketing campaign highlighting the Growing MCH initiative was created entirely in-house through a partnership between the HHS Human Resources and Communications & Public Affairs teams, and it focused on MCH’s greatest asset – our people.
“The campaign’s success is welcome news for our MCH staff and doctors who have borne the brunt of staffing shortages exacerbated by the pandemic,” says Aaron Levo, vice president of people, culture and communication for HHS.
“At a time when hospitals across Canada are understaffed and competing for talent, filling so many roles so quickly really speaks to the strength of our organization’s reputation as a great place to work, as shown in the Growing MCH campaign.”
A new approach
“For the Growing MCH campaign, we decided to take a new, proactive approach in order to fill hundreds of positions, including the 300 new roles created through provincial funding,” says Kate Daly, manager of talent management for HHS. “We knew that we needed to ramp up recruitment efforts, and quickly.”
The first step was to build more in-house recruitment capacity by hiring additional recruitment team members dedicated to filling roles at MCH and RJCHC.
Prior to the funding announcement, centralized recruitment support was limited to only a few areas of MCH. Hiring additional recruitment team members allowed this support to grow across areas included in the initiative.
The six-week digital recruitment campaign ran last October and November on social media and digital advertising channels. The team also used some of the world’s largest job and hiring sites to connect with potential candidates.
Produced and booked entirely in-house, the video and digital ads featured current MCH staff members.
The strategy proved to be hugely successful, generating almost 20,000 visits to an MCH hiring event landing page created especially for the campaign, making it the second most accessed web page on the hospital’s website, second only to the main careers page. “We immediately started to see applications come in,” says Daly.
Making equity, diversity and inclusion a priority
The team made equity, diversity and inclusion a priority in the campaign. By connecting with organizations whose members are equity-deserving groups, new channels are now being used to share the work at MCH and job opportunities within these communities.
“At a time when hospitals across Canada are understaffed and competing for talent, filling so many roles so quickly really speaks to the strength of our organization’s reputation as a great place to work.”
This outreach included information-sharing on partner websites, job board postings and targeted social media ads for organizations.
Growing MCH’s overall recruitment strategy also included online and in-person job fairs, and advertising at colleges and universities including Mohawk and McMaster.
HHS is the largest employer in Hamilton, with a community of 18,000 staff, physicians, residents, researchers and volunteers.
In November 2023, HHS was named one of Hamilton-Niagara’s Top Employers for the third year in a row. This annual competition is organized by editors of Canada’s Top 100 Employers. HHS is in the running for Canada’s Top Employers for Young People Award, with winners to be announced later this month. HHS received this national award in 2023 and 2022. This award is organized by the Canada’s Top 100 Employers project.
“The majority of our employees live in Hamilton and the surrounding area,” says Daly, who moved to the city 10 years ago.
“You get that big city feel in Hamilton, with many restaurants as well as galleries and theatres,” she says. “There’s also great access to nature and hundreds of kilometres of hiking trails. In Hamilton, you can live in a city with a lot to offer while also working in a health-care role that’s engaging, meaningful and allows you to have immense impact on your community.”
While the Growing MCH marketing campaign has wrapped up, recruitment for the children’s hospital remains ongoing as part of overall efforts to fill roles across all HHS sites.
For more information on working at HHS, including job postings, please visit our careers page.