FEDERAL WAY, WA (March 22, 2018) On March 21, Valley Cities Behavioral Health and their public relations agency, Team Soapbox, were honored at the Puget Sound Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America Totem Awards for their entry: Recruiting Employee Talent. The Totem Award is a symbol of creativity and accomplishment for the PR industry in the Puget Sound area. The program is designed to recognize projects and programs that demonstrate excellence in PR and rise above the competition.
Demand for mental health and substance use treatment in King County is at unprecedented high levels, and the local health care field is simultaneously experiencing a serious workforce shortage of qualified behavioral health professionals.
Valley Cities faced a growing challenge in attracting and hiring job candidates to fill the organization’s increasing number of professional openings. Since 2012, the organization has experienced a 144 percent increase in new clients. With planned capacity expansions at several current Valley Cities facilities, and the opening of several new locations in 2017, finding and recruiting talented staff was a critical business need.
Valley Cities in partnership with Team Soapbox developed campaign messaging to highlight the benefits of working at Valley Cities, produced print collateral and tabletop displays for career fairs, as well as launched a micro-site as a destination for job seekers interested in exploring employment opportunities and understanding the benefits of working at Valley Cities.
With all of the campaign materials set, the HR department prepared the first-ever Valley Cities-hosted job fairs in April, August, November and December. Team Soapbox planned and placed paid social media, digital and print ads to drive job seeker attendance, and collected information on job seeker attendance and feedback at the events.
We saw a substantial increase in job seeker website traffic as the result of the new microsite, print collateral and paid media campaign. Traffic directly to the Careers page had almost 9,000 unique page views from April – November 2017, a 35% increase from the previous seven-month period. Even better, the online employment application form saw a 47% increase in visits during the same time period.
Internal morale was running high – Valley Cities saw a 15% increase in employee referrals for new staff hires in 2017, compared with the year prior.
And job fair attendance exceeded expectations (during the first year Valley Cities ever hosted these type of events). Our most recent Facebook paid media campaign promoting the job fairs garnered more than 9,000 people reached and 442 post engagements. Valley Cities saw more than 60 resumes submitted for open jobs at 2017 fairs (one more to come in December). Currently Valley Cities has hired 125 new employees from January - October 2017 (they only hired 135 new employees in 2016 as a whole), an excellent sign of things to come.
About Valley Cities
Valley Cities is a non-profit community behavioral health organization that has been helping individuals and strengthening communities for over 50 years. Services include licensed mental health counseling and chemical dependency treatment for people of all ages, homeless outreach services, housing and family support programs, employment services, and specialized services for veterans and their families. In 2017, we helped over 13,000 people.