Nurse Recruitment Strategies for the Modern Healthcare Recruiter

In the past, recruiting was different. Many nurses were probably hired as young people in their twenties and often worked at the same hospital for their whole life. But times are different now and they're changing fast. Nurses are in high demand at every hospital and we are experiencing a nationwide nursing shortage. Per the RN Work Project infographic, in 2004-2005 88.8% of licensed nurses reported that they were working in a hospital, while in 2010-2011 only 77.4% claimed hospital employment.

If you're trying to recruit nurses in this competitive market, it's imperative that your hospital or healthcare system develops programs that help them recruit and retain top nursing talent. Here are three nurse recruitment strategies that some of our clients are using to stay competitive within the tight nurse recruitment market.

1. Creating a Nurse-Specific Career Site

Nurses researching opportunities online
While some healthcare companies have created one central Careers Microsite for their company, others are diversifying by specialty. In our experience, the best way is to break up hospital recruitment into a few categories:

  • Providers (Nurse Practitioners, Physician Assistants CRNAs and Physicians)
  • Nursing (promoting various specialties)
  • Allied Health (Lab, Therapists and Pharmacy)
  • Professional/Administrative (Everything from Human Resources professionals to Environmental Services techs).

You can combine all these specialties together, but if you have a growing need in the nursing field, it might be time to consider building a comprehensive microsite for that specific population. A targeted microsite allows you to tailor your content specifically to that profession so that you have a better chance of finding leads and attracting interest. 

2. Detailed Sub-Pages on a Nursing Microsite

Nursing careers are just as specialized as physician specialties and should be treated as such. Some nurses specialize in the Cardiac Care while others are experts in Obstetrics. The best way to recruit a wide variety of registered nurses is to make specific sub-pages on a nursing microsite describing the different departments and careers paths within them that a nurse could take. Some information that should be included in those sub-pages include:

  • Departmental introduction/description
  • Testimonials from real nurses who work in the department accompanied by real pictures
  • Video interviews or tours of the facility
  • Specific reasons for joining that department
  • Multiple contact methods for interested nurses to reach out to recruiters

OR nurse
The nursing microsite should also include information about the area, institution benefits, and more. Keep the sub-pages highly focused on your ideal candidate by department. Looking for a checklist to get you started? Use this one for free!

3. Multi-targeting via Social Media, Radio and Direct Mail

These types of media can seem like opposite ends of a spectrum, but when managed together, they be a comprehensive, highly effective mix. In a recent article it was noted that, 94% of adults can still be reached by radio! To reach a comprehensive nursing audience, you will want to make sure your ads hit all ages and areas, so integrating radio, direct mail and social media together will give you stronger results. Think about it, nurses in a hospital span the ages from 22-65. That is four different generations.

Nurses come in every age

Younger nurses in particular are a valuable pool of potential recruits. In 2014 17.5% of Newly Licensed Registered Nurses (NLRNs) left their first nursing job within the first year and 33.5% left within two. Make sure you are getting your share of the available nursing talent by proactively recruiting this population. One of the best things about a microsite dedicated to nursing is that you can share success stories from existing nurses. Not only will that boost your reputation as an employer of choice, it will make your existing staff nurses feel appreciated and highlighted for their efforts. Recognition is one of the key elements of employee satisfaction in any area.

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