Website paints positives for recruits and residents
The vision is so crystal clear for Craig Kinyon. It’s his community role as president and CEO of Reid Hospital to convince young professionals that the quality-of-life and economic possibilities here are as good as anywhere else. “I’ve got to get you here, create enough interest in the hospital and in living here,” he said.
The reason is clear: Reid has a growing need to bring new professionals into the area. A strong recruitment effort is essential to the future. Several are hired every month, including young physicians that may have known nothing about the area until finding out about a job opportunity here.
“Here you hear all the time: ‘there’s nothing to do.’ Well, there is a lot to do,” Kinyon said. “Many people just don’t know how good they have it. My goodness, look at the resources.”
Dr. Erica Kretchman and her husband, Jason, did look at the resources and the affordability here and were impressed with the whole recruiting effort led by the team of Pat Esham and Amy Powell.
The Kretchmans moved here from Detroit to make a home and to raise their young daughter and son. “We were amazed at what Richmond has to offer,” says Erica, an endocrinologist at Reid.
Jason agrees: “It’s got a nice population. It’s got great parks. It’s a small town, but you’re so close to big towns,” he said. “It’s not congested. You don’t have to fight with people to go places.”
Kinyon also believes it’s his role to convince people who are already here to see the positives, too. “We can sell the medical side,” he said. “The community side is harder. We struggle from lack of information about this community.”
That’s why he has been the driving force in engineering a web-based roadmap that is filled with facts, stories and visuals to fill the information gap. The colorful microsite squares — at reid.bewayne.com and bewayne.com — take people on a guided tour of Wayne County, the region and the three major cities that are within about an hour’s drive.
The site is populated with the kinds of material needed for potential new residents to make a decision about moving here. Focus groups helped define what material should go there. It’s an aggregate of information and tools that also is available to any business, traveler or simply anyone that needs information about Wayne County and the region.
“This vision isn’t about town versus town. It’s a portrait of regional positives,” said Jeff Huffine, who coordinated the project through the company he co-owns in Hagerstown, Irongate Creative. “It’s about living here and playing there. It’s about selling ourselves in very strong ways, in multiple ways.”
It only takes 45 minutes to get to Dayton, and 60 minutes to get to the suburbs of Cincinnati and Indianapolis. Kinyon and Reid’s board decided a couple of years ago to make a high-tech effort to sell the area to young professionals. Accessibility is a strong positive for living here.
Accessibility in a multimedia sense was also critical for maneuvering around the site. It is designed to work on a tablet, laptop or a smartphone. Like a colorful quilted blanket, the highlighted components of Reid’s site are broken into squares. Once they are called up, the reader can access stories, photos and videos on subjects such as education, beauty, the environment, creativity, diversity and positivity. “We needed a better way to represent our community before they came here,” Kinyon said. “It’s saying that we are sustainable: Click on this and you’ll see.”
It’s intuitive and easy to maneuver through the microsites. That was a must, said Kinyon and Huffine, because today’s young professionals are busy. If you don’t engage them within 45 seconds or so, the opportunity to sell your message could be gone. “We are making a better tool for recruiting,” Kinyon said. “We need to give them a guided tour.”
There are stories about those with thriving businesses and about Richmond’s low cost of living; there are stories about the numerous educational opportunities, the rich pioneering history of the area and a lot more.
Kinyon moved his family to Lafayette and Connersville before moving to Richmond a decade ago. He also spent many summers on a farm in rural Pennsylvania while growing up. “He looks at things from a different perspective, without blinders. We need to start thinking more from a regional vision. If Richmond or Centerville does well, it benefits us all,” Huffine said. “What this is really about is Craig’s vision. If we bring more people here, it will create more jobs and more services — benefiting us all.”
Reid did a good job of enticing them to relocate here, Jason Kretchman said. That included visits and the personal attention of Esham and Powell. “They sold the whole package, said that it was a family decision,” Jason said. “They did it the right way for us.”
Esham and Powell love living and working here and also the challenge of bringing good people in to work for Reid. “I have fun doing this, meeting new people,” said Esham, who is director of medical staff development. “It’s always exciting.”
Prospective physicians always make at least two visits, preferably with their families, said Powell, who is medical staff recruiter. She and Esham look for recruits that already have a connection to the Midwest, such as family, friends or colleges that they attended.
The recruiters — and Kinyon, too — hear similar comments from first-time visitors to Reid. “Many people can’t believe we have this facility in a community this size,” Esham said. “It shows commitment (to have a new hospital).”
Powell echoes that: “It speaks for itself. They don’t expect this caliber of hospital. People want to see that, the growth.”
Esham and Powell have a critical roles in helping Reid grow — and they do it extremely well, Kinyon says: “If you are not good at recruiting, you die. If your family doesn’t fall in love with the community, it’s no deal.”