A medical professional wearing a stethoscope around her neck walks down a second story pathway inside a building, while looking ahead at a colleague not pictured.

How LifeNet Health Embraces Innovation to Hire Life-Changing Talent

A global leader in regenerative medicine and the life sciences, LifeNet Health has been innovating to give healing every advantage since 1982. The organization offers groundbreaking transplantation and cellular solutions that support healthcare providers and power the work of scientific researchers. This forward-focused approach has improved life for millions of patients, all while honoring donor heroes and their families. 

To ensure LifeNet Health can continue delivering and advancing its vast scope of life-saving solutions, the talent acquisition (TA) team is tasked with attracting a wide range of professionals across countless specialties.

“The diversity of talent we’re looking for is generally the difficult part,” says Stephanie Cochran, Vice President, Human Resources, “we’re looking for frontline employees and technicians with high school degrees on the manufacturing side all the way up to the top research scientists in the country. The TA team has to be flexible and agile.”

Modeling this adaptable approach is Sarah Edison, Director of Talent Acquisition. Alongside Stephanie, Sarah and her team are always seeking creative strategies to meet the organization’s hiring needs, including becoming early adopters of the new AI-assisted features in LinkedIn Recruiter. 

“We are not your traditional organization in that we have proprietary research, hold many patents, and are pioneers in the healthcare industry. All of this is made possible through our employees and our ability to maintain a healthy pipeline of talent,” says Dan Sher, Director of Strategic Global Marketing Communications at LifeNet Health. “We’re bringing in people who are thinking ahead, thinking forward, thinking different. And LinkedIn helps us identify those people.”

How LifeNet Health leverages LinkedIn to build a workforce that thinks differently 

Earning candidates’ attention with a personalized, AI-assisted approach

As an organization grounded in science and research, LifeNet Health needs to hire talent with highly specific, hard-to-find skills. Recognizing how highly competitive this talent market is, the TA team uses LinkedIn Recruiter to cast a wide net — identifying candidates who may not be actively looking for a new role, or finding pools of talent in other regions who they could potentially relocate. 

“[It’s] really difficult,” Sarah says. “When we’re utilizing LinkedIn, we try to first spark interest. We want to introduce ourselves, explain who we are, and then once we get them responding, we can say, ‘Hey, let’s have a phone call.’” 

Lately, members of the TA team have leveraged the AI-assisted messaging feature in LinkedIn Recruiter to help them get their foot in the door. This feature draws on both profile information provided by the candidate and details about the hiring organization and open role to generate an initial draft of an outreach message in seconds. From there, LifeNet Health’s recruiters can rapidly review the draft for accuracy, adjust as needed, and add their own spin to it before hitting send. “I believe the personalization has helped increase candidate response rates,” Sarah says.

This proactive, tailored approach has also helped LifeNet Health significantly increase its applicant volume. In 2022, the organization received a little over 9,000 applications in total. In 2023, that number almost doubled — topping 17,000. 

“[We attribute that] to what the team has been doing and all the outreach using LinkedIn,” Sarah says, adding: “LinkedIn has been the top source pretty much all year round in terms of where we’re getting applicants.”

Driving applications through mission-centric, people-focused employer branding 

After engaging passive talent and planting a seed of interest, the TA team wants curious candidates to look further into LifeNet Health’s work. In collaboration with Dan and the marketing team, TA maintains an active LinkedIn Career Page to help candidates get a feel for what it's like to work at LifeNet Health, with an emphasis on the life-changing impact that every employee helps create. 

One of the most powerful components of the Career Page, however, was not created by marketing or TA, but by employees themselves. Leveraging the “Trending employee content” module, LifeNet Health can automatically spotlight LinkedIn posts from employees, who regularly highlight the powerful stories of donor families and organ recipients they’ve worked with, as well as the solutions that the organization pioneers. “They’re proud of what they do,” Stephanie says.

Dan, who is in the process of filling several challenging digital marketing roles on his team, says LifeNet Health’s Career Page and other LinkedIn content has been instrumental.

“A lot of the folks that [the recruiter] has sent my way have seen our brand messaging,” he says. “They’ve seen our conversations around saving lives, restoring health, and giving healing every advantage, and it resonated with them.”

Dan has also received many applications from “tremendous” candidates who stumbled upon LifeNet Health on their own and felt inspired to apply. 

“I think a lot of that has to do with how we are utilizing LinkedIn — our messaging on LinkedIn on a day-to-day basis,” he says. “They do their homework, they see all of that material on LinkedIn, and they go ‘You know, that’s a company that I can really see myself being a part of.’”

Innovation, along with the organization’s mission, is a key differentiator for LifeNet Health, which the organization’s Career Page makes clear. The science behind regenerative medicine is new and has exponential growth potential. Candidates have the potential to be involved in a number of life-saving endeavors, from making transplants safer to developing new, faster bone forming allografts. 

“We have a very high rate of applicant completion,” Stephanie adds, “which tells us that they’re going through the entire process. So something is motivating them, and I think that’s our mission.”

Three tips for finding success with nonprofit recruiting on LinkedIn

Stephanie has been with LifeNet Health for almost a decade and loves playing a role in welcoming new talent into the organization. “It’s a great place to work,” she says. “And part of our job is to get that word out to potential candidates. I think we’ve been able to do that with LinkedIn.”

Here are three strategies Stephanie recommends for other organizations that want to level up their talent acquisition strategy on LinkedIn: 

  1. Take advantage of the training and resources available

    The TA team at LifeNet Health have spent the last few years working closely with their LinkedIn representative to ensure they’re optimizing their use of LinkedIn Recruiter. “It’s important to really get to know the systems, get to know the ins and outs of LinkedIn, and be able to leverage that across the team,” Stephanie says.

  2. Utilize your hiring managers’ networks

    Organizations like LifeNet Health often need to tap into niche talent communities. LifeNet Health found it much easier to tap into the scientific community once it began encouraging hiring managers entrenched in that community to help spread the word about open roles. “[Their] network is a lot better than ours,” Stephanie says. “So we train managers on that from the get-go.”

  3. Start the conversation early with high-potential candidates

    In the past, many employers would let weeks pass between a candidate applying for a role and receiving a response. Not only can this approach hurt the candidate experience, but it can result in great candidates getting snapped up by other organizations. “Once you’ve reviewed that they’re qualified, you have to move on them pretty quickly,” Stephanie advises, noting that, for her team, “a lot of that is done initially through the [messaging feature] within LinkedIn.” 

To learn more about how you can use LinkedIn to overcome your hiring challenges, reach out to the LinkedIn team today.