It should come as no surprise that nurse practitioners are one of the most in-demand jobs across the country. Especially in the wake of COVID, recruiting and retaining talented nurses is more competitive than ever. Because of this, employers are finding new and innovative ways to attract caregivers. But what strategies work? And are you doing enough to keep up?
7 Creative Nursing Recruitment Strategies
1. Build a Brand That Relates
It may not be the most obvious starting point, but having a clear vision that is communicated consistently throughout your organization is a vital tool for nurse recruitment. Are you warm and friendly? High-tech? Are you corporate or more of a tight-knit family? The kinds of values you promote will tell potential candidates a lot about you and will set their initial expectations of what it’s like to work for you. If your branding is inconsistent or is telling the wrong story, you could miss out on nurses who would be perfect for your organization.
A strong brand will carry its core message across every platform, communication, visual, and touchpoint. Wherever your organization goes, the brand follows. If you haven’t done so, you should audit your current communications — and your competitors — to see how your brand stacks up.
2. Leverage Technology
Studies have shown that millennials prefer using technology in their workplace over more traditional methods. This trend is only going to increase as more digital natives enter the workforce. How is your company using technology currently? Are you connecting with people on platforms they already use? Are you using web and mobile applications to facilitate daily workflows and communication? Does your work environment employ the latest, state-of-the-art equipment? For many nursing prospects, working at a place that is digitally fluent and has proven they can keep up with the changing pace of technology is a major factor in where they decide to work.
3. Offer Enticing Benefits
Health benefits and 401k matching have also become a standard expectation for gainful employment — and nursing is no exception. However, many healthcare organizations are going even further to draw in the best talent. Some creative benefits include:
- Flexible shifts
- Onsite child care
- Tuition reimbursement
- Onsite degree programs/ongoing education
- Concierge services
- Health club memberships
- Discounted event tickets
Having an enticing benefits package is more than just appealing to the most mercenary impulses of job seekers. It shows nurses that you care about their well being as people and not just employees. If nursing wasn’t already a demanding career choice, COVID has shown us truly how much the whole world relies on passionate and dedicated caregivers. Going out of your way to care for them should be the standard, not the exception.
4. Create a Sense of Community
As mentioned, creating a brand with a clear mission, vision, and values is more than an advertising strategy. It’s about aligning your entire team around a shared purpose. But having a sense of community in your workplace must go beyond what branding can do alone. Some strategies include:
- Sharing caregiver stories
- Having strong internal communications — such as regular newsletters, social posts, and more that speak to your team and not just your patients
- Creating an environment of inclusivity and trust
- Show appreciation regularly — like recognizing birthdays, milestones, achievements, national nurses’ day, etc.
- Empower employees at every level of the organization
5. Offer Clear Growth Tracks
Nursing is a career field with enormous potential for personal and professional growth. However, for a new nurse in an unfamiliar organization, it may not be clear what are the best paths and opportunities for advancement. Having clear benchmarks and paths laid out from the start can help new recruits and candidates see what their future could look like in your organization instead of seeming like a black hole into which they must take a leap of faith.
6. Make Known Your Commitment to Their Safety & Well-Being
Nursing has always been a frontline job, meaning that it often faces hazards and dangers that many other professions never deal with. But just because nursing can involve putting yourself at risk to care for others doesn’t mean that nurses’ safety and well-being shouldn’t be at the top of the priority list. The most common hazards include:
- Workplace hazards (disease, environmental factors)
- Nurse bullying (nurse-to-nurse)
- Violence against nurses (patient-to-nurse)
Choosing a career in nursing is often done — at least in part — because of a deep desire to care for people and to make a difference in the lives of others. For a job-seeking nurse, knowing that they, too, will be taken care of plays a huge role in not only accepting a job but also sticking with a place and planting career roots there. If you’re not taking good care of your nurses, rest assured that word will get out, and it will negatively affect your ability to find quality talent in the future.
7. Wait — what about signing bonuses?
For many professions, a signing bonus is an incredible incentive for choosing one job over another. However, within the nursing profession, this only goes so far. Signing bonuses can be a great thing, but if they aren’t coupled with other competitive benefits, a nursing candidate is likely going to get the impression that it’s trying to compensate for deficiencies elsewhere. Recent studies have shown that many nurses will turn down an enticing signing bonus to work somewhere that is more committed overall to their well-being and professional development.
If you currently rely on signing bonuses but lack many of the other benefits listed above, you may consider reviewing your hiring vs retention rates. See if the signing bonus money could be spent more wisely in other areas to create a more worthwhile benefits package for potential nurses.
Having trouble recruiting nurses? Caregiver Connect can help
We know how difficult it can be to find the right talent for your healthcare organization. That’s why we leverage our proprietary communications solutions to help you recruit smarter. By evaluating your entire hiring journey, we find new opportunities to delight your candidates and stand out from your competition. If you’re ready for a recruitment strategy that actually works, contact our team today.