How NND Uses Storytelling to Drive Their Employment Brand - HROS

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Nurse Next Door is a home care service dedicated to providing quality care for seniors and peace of mind to family members. With over 150 franchises across North America, Nurse Next Door is making lives better by going above the typical tasks associated with home care to also provide Happier Aging—getting people back to doing what they love. We focus on attracting quality talent who live our core values—Admire People, WOW Customer Experience, Find a Better Way and Passionate About Making a Difference—in all roles within our company. These roles include caregivers, Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN’s), Registered Nurses (RN’s), Franchise Partners and various roles within our HeartQuarters office, such as our Pink Ops team which comprises a variety of departments. We strongly believe in the power of employer branding and to be visible where our candidates are.

Since launching in 2001, Nurse Next Door has taken a bold stance to help seniors stay at home and live Happier Aging. Happier Aging is a unique experience that focuses on identifying what use to make a person happy and getting him or her back to doing it again. It’s not just something seniors can experience, we believe people of all ages, including our employees, should experience it too. This philosophy shaped our initiative to showcase how Nurse Next Door admires employees by allowing them to live out their dreams, through video storytelling.




The home care industry is growing at a rate of 4.5% annually. With people reaching their 60’s and 70’s, an increasing life expectancy and rising costs of hospital services, the need for home care professionals will continue to grow in order to meet increased demand. As Baby Boomers age, home health care jobs will be plentiful and Nurse Next Door is always looking to get ahead of the curve for recruiting and staffing. Coupled with the fact that more people are consuming information digitally and visually, it was important for us to be able to catch people’s attention immediately.

We had leveraged blog posts with static images but felt we were missing a 360 view that was able to encompass everything we offered our employees. Through candidate interviews, we found there were two common misconceptions when it came to home care career opportunities.

The first misconception was that we were only hiring caregivers or nurses. While caregivers and nurses make up approximately 80% of our hiring, we also fill over 45 positions in our HeartQuarters (aka headquarters) annually. This number doesn’t include the additional roles our specific franchise locations hire for their offices either.

The second misconception was that home care wasn’t an “exciting” industry to work in. However, we knew firsthand that this wasn't the case. Since our founding in 2001, Nurse Next Door has focused on developing a culture that works hard, but also has fun and is extremely exciting and rewarding at the same time.

We created this culture through our initiatives such as quarterly All-Star Parties where we celebrate employees who have received recognition from their peers for performing an action in alignment with our core values. This can be things like finding a better way to do reporting, coming up with a new marketing idea to drive intakes or offering to help a colleague. During these parties, we also run auctions where employees can bid on prizes using Flowerbucks, our internal currency received for recognition.

Additionally, we have developed and built out a Dreams Program, where employees’ dreams of all shapes and sizes are granted. Some examples of this are buying a plane ticket so an employee could attend a personal development retreat, sending employees skydiving and purchasing the dream wedding dress for an employee. Working in the home care industry requires heart and the one thing we constantly hear from employees in addition to the culture is that their job gives them purpose and fulfillment.

With these points in mind, we knew that we had an opportunity to focus on these rich and exciting stories, and did just that. Through a visually-rich brand strategy, largely comprised of video, we were able to reduce the time-to-hire rate by 6 months without comprising quality of applicants.




The first area of opportunity we identified to combat these misconceptions and showcase what it was like to work at Nurse Next Door was to utilize video. In early 2016, we hired a Videographer on staff to help us tell our employer brand story and give people a genuine look into our company. She joined the marketing team and is actively involved in day-to-day operations. We felt that having someone work in-house versus an agency would allow that person to truly understand the employer brand and bring it to life.

One of the first stories we told through video was around our Dreams Program. We profiled employees who were granted dreams and shared their story on video for the Nurse Next Door website and social media. All of our employees in our HeartQuarters office are encouraged to submit a list of dreams, no matter how small or big, as soon as they join the team.

In the past, these have ranged from being able to buy a dream wedding dress, driving lessons, go skydiving, or even a well-deserved trip with family. Nurse Next Door’s President and CEO, Cathy Thorpe, reviews the list of dreams quarterly and makes these dreams come true.

Through research, we knew a lot of our applicants, especially the demographics of people who work in our Care Services Center, were active on social media and there was a huge opportunity to utilize this platform for recruiting. So we tailored our videos for social and actively promoted them across key platforms.

We focused most of our efforts on Facebook, because of their rich targeting technology and robust advertising options. Unlike traditional recruitment advertising sites, like Indeed and Craigslist, Facebook allowed us to post videos with captions to tell our employer brand story and add personality behind our name. For those who weren’t as familiar with us, we were now able to give them a genuine and transparent look into our work culture.




We started out by first building awareness around our Dreams Program within HeartQuarters through our daily company huddle and sending out the dreams submission form once a month (form sample below). We also worked to identify dreams that had been granted in the past and secured permission to tell those employee’s stories.

Our Videographer and People Team worked closely to coordinate when a dream was going to be granted, to ensure our Videographer could film the candid reactions. We’d advertise Facebook Live and Instagram Live sessions a few days prior to the dream to garner interest from our current and prospective employees. On the day of the dream being granted, we’d film a live session of it on Facebook and Instagram. Once a dream was granted, our Videographer would coordinate with that employee and determine filming dates, location, people, and logistics for a more in-depth profile. 

After the video was filmed and edited, we would post the video on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn). The final touch for the video would be to add captions since 80% of people watch videos without sound. We found Facebook to be the most effective platform for our content, so we began to allocate advertising to boost our media on this channel.

We also used use UTM (Urchin Tracking Modules) tags to link the video back to our job application on the website and track how many people went to the careers page on a specific video. This allowed us to add parameters to our URL’s so we could track ROI through Google Analytics. We did this by using the Campaign URL Builder

One of our biggest success stories was Queenie’s Dream.

Before becoming Nurse Next Door’s Procura Product Specialist, Queenie was a Care Services Specialist at the company at the time of her dream being granted. Originally from Hong Kong, Queenie came to Canada under a Working Holiday Program. Shortly after arriving, she met Tim who became her boyfriend. Although she always intended to go back to Hong Kong where her family lives, she made a decision to move to Vancouver, BC with Tim and start a new life there.

Ever since then, she and her family have been coordinating a time where they could visit her in her new home, but schedules and finances didn’t work out. Queenie submitted a dream to be able to bring her family to Vancouver for a visit and on Christmas, that dream was granted.

Here’s how we documented her dream:

After reviewing all the dreams, Cathy Thorpe announced that Queenie’s dream would be coming true.

Our Videographer coordinated with Queenie on when her family would be coming from Hong Kong to Vancouver if they were okay with having the experience filmed, where they would film it and what day and time the flight would be arriving.

After filming the footage, our Videographer edited the footage and customized it for social media and sharing purposes. 

For the Facebook targeting, we tested two different ads. The original version was optimized for brand awareness. It had a broad target audience and we measured success through video views and engagement. The second ad had a fairly targeted audience and was optimized for conversions with the goal of people sending in applications for our Care Services Specialist positions in Vancouver, BC.

These included targeting locations in the Lower Mainland, detailed targeting such as specific Universities and Colleges as well as demographics such as people who had “Call Center” or “Scheduling Coordinator” roles in their Facebook profile. For both Facebook ads, we used the “Traffic” campaign which is optimized to “send more people to a destination on or off Facebook.”

In addition to marketing on Facebook, we also shared our content across other key social media channels:

  • YouTube - While we saw more engagement on Facebook (due to targeting capabilities and # of users), we also shared them here because of its organic reach and value it adds to SEO.
  • Instagram - Instagram is one of the best platforms for visual storytelling as it’s optimized for people or businesses to share their story through media. We took advantage of this,  to upload videos, images and also take advantage of Instagram Stories/Instagram Live to give a real-time look at what we’re doing.
  • Twitter - We’ve found that lots of people who are searching for jobs use certain hashtags within their area (ex: #yvrjobs for people looking or posting jobs in Vancouver). For this reason, we share all of our recruitment posts (blogs, images, and videos) on here with job-related hashtags.
  • LinkedIn - This platform proved great for recruiting and reaching people who were interested in working for Nurse Next Door in different capacities - caregiving, HeartQuarters jobs, and Franchise Partners.
  • Website - To make our messaging more prominent to people visiting our website, we added the videos to various sections (ex: the blogs and sub-pages)  to support content and help paint a picture. To do this, we used the YouTube videos and embedded them onto the site.



Overall, most franchises reported a *doubling of qualified applicants. 

*note: due to Canada and U.S. franchise laws we're not able to provide specific applicant/hire data for franchisees.

Queenie’s Dream: Untargeted Ad

  • Goal: Brand Awareness
  • People who like your Page and their friends, age 18-65+, who live in Canada, British Columbia
  • 3,912 3-second views
  • 7,393 people reached
  • $0.01 per 3-second view
  • $50 spent

Queenie’s Dream: Targeted Ad

  • Goal: Applications for Care Services Specialist position
  • 2,164 3-second views
  • 3,940 people reached
  • $0.02 per 3-second view
  • $50 spent
  • 19 sessions to our Care Services Careers job posting on the Nurse Next Door website

As you can see, the untargeted ad received more views and engagement. However, we weren’t able to actually track how many people visited the job posting from the video so it was hard to correlate its direct result to applications. The second time around, we targeted the ad and used the Campaign URL Builder so we could create a call-to-action to the video for people to click and go directly to the job posting. This way we were able to track how many people checked out the Care Services Center job posting from this specific video.

Overall, metrics from all of our visual storytelling efforts dramatically decreased time-to-hire and quality of applicants as well. The time-to-hire period dropped from a range of six to eight months down to just two or three months and candidates that applied felt more connected with our story and purpose.

To date, we have created and published 85 videos focused on both our caregiver and HeartQuarters jobs and have seen an 1105% increase in followers to our Facebook account.

    After launching our videos and supporting media placement, most of our franchisees reported that the number of qualified candidates in their pipeline had doubled and they are now able to deliver a better branded experience when attracting talent.

    Franchisee Testimonials: 

    Travis Tinning, Franchise Partner, Nurse Next Door, Calgary, Alberta

    We feel that Nurse Next Door has a unique 'employer brand identity' in the elder care space - being blunt, we provide superior service and create a personalized, positive "WOW" experience for all of our clients and their families.  More than any other medium, video storytelling enables us to convey a lot of information about caring for seniors in a short amount of time, reach caregiver audiences that we were not previously reaching and connect with them on an emotional level.  By adding video storytelling to our employer branding mix, we now "show vs tell" by sharing real stories that highlight how we are different from other elder care companies and communicating our brand's unique personality to potential caregivers better than a job posting or other traditional forms of media!

    Bobbi Buss, Franchise Partner, Nurse Next Door, Waukesha, WI

    The video's for me have been great.......when someone can see an actual caregiver and client interact it displays way more emotion than if you were reading about it.  It truly reflects "happier aging" and "making lives better" when you can see "real life" situations.  

    Tiffany Rubin, Franchise Partner, Nurse Next Door, Delaware

    Video storytelling impacts our business by putting real faces on the people that work in our business, and real faces on the people we serve. This allows for immediate rapport, warm feelings and an overall positive introduction to the brand. This also allows us to explain what we do, without having to spell it out in bullet points. 

    From a business perspective, this also allows us the opportunity to highlight great caregivers and clients who may want the opportunity to share their story; it's an outlet! And it provides us the opportunity to continue to build on the credibility we have in the community. 

    Veronica Tissera, VP Corporate Franchise, Vancouver, BC

    Our videos have made a real connection as they have been able to convey a message where pictures and text can't replace. We have been able to share real stories from clients that have experienced what Nurse Next Door has offered to them and how it impacted their lives and only through video storytelling we are able to capture the emotion.

    Our videos have made it relatable for potential clients and their families instilling a sense of trust through the stories.

    For our caregivers, it has shown them how rewarding and empowering caregiving can be when their work is valued and they are able to deliver care with a heart. It has put us on the map as their career destination.




    When we first started producing video content, we would track views and engagement as indicators of how content was performing. While this was a good metric to measure for online brand awareness and engagement, we were missing the end result. We realized we also needed to tie it in with the end goal—the number and quality of applicants.

    Whether it’s a recruiting video for caregivers or Care Services Specialists (our schedulers in our centralized scheduling center), we set up unique UTM’s so we could track directly how many people clicked to go to the job posting from one of our videos.

    We also realized it was hard to directly track if people had applied because of the video (without asking applicants how they heard about the position) because the call-to-action of our job applications was to email a specific email address. Our learnings from that were that it was more beneficial to create a form so we could eliminate friction from asking people to take another step and also better track data and referral sources. This is something that is in the works with our new website launch.



    • Develop a unique program for your employer brand and leverage it to showcase what you are doing differently.
    • Determine your end goal and align your efforts to that. Ex: Is it to hire for a role or brand awareness? This may alter how you advertise it on social media.
    • Posting videos to Facebook is more effective than posting on YouTube. Facebook allows for specific targeting and native video which eliminates the “click-to-play” model.
    • Facebook Live sessions allowed us to receive a significant amount of organic views, that are harder to receive organically through uploaded native Facebook videos. We shot our Facebook Live sessions through iPhone’s.
    • When posting videos to Facebook, include captions as 80% of people watch videos without sound. We use a tool called Rev to add captions to do this.
    • Video engagement has a much cheaper cost per click than post engagement with a link to a job description.



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