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Learn recruitment strategies that tie in with National Nurses Week and how they can be a helpful tool in gaining quality nursing staff that you are more likely to retain. With the national nursing shortage still an issue today, recruiting new nurses for your clinical positions as well as enticing new student nurses is a top priority. How you go about recruitment can make a difference in whether potential hires choose your hospital as their place of employment.
The Importance of a Recruitment Strategy
The nursing shortage doesn’t necessarily affect your ability to find new hires. Because many hospitals have difficulty with retention, nurses are often looking for new jobs. There are also still plenty of nursing students entering the profession. The real issue is how to attract them. This is where your recruitment strategy becomes invaluable. It’s also vital to keep in mind that your retention strategy starts with your recruitment efforts. The steps you take to recruit new nurses to your program is also what will make them want to stay if you handle it properly.
According to the American Organization of Nurse Executives, a conservative estimate of the money a hospital spends indirect recruitment costs related to a turn-over is $10,000. Building a robust recruitment strategy that is backed by the same fervor of retention efforts can help eliminate the need for this expenditure.
Why National Nurses Week is the Perfect Opportunity to Utilize Your Strategy
During National Nurses Week, employers take the time to celebrate their nursing staff and recognize the hard job they have. Many times, the best recruitments strategies come down to which hospital showed they were the most invested in their employees. That’s why utilizing National Nurses Week in your recruitment strategy can be so helpful – your current employees have a lot to say in the matter.
While 70% of nurses surveyed in Nurse.com’s salary survey said that salary was of utmost importance for job satisfaction, money wasn’t everything. And salary didn’t just mean the dollars they took home. A high salary may look enticing, but cost-of-living has to be factored in as well. Indeed.com surveyed nurses as well, according to their data, scheduling flexibility and work-life balance often took priority over salary. They also reported that 26% of nurses with existing jobs say they’re contacted weekly by recruiters. Standing out from the competition is a must.
With the market as competitive as it is, healthcare organizations need to find new and unique ways to recruit potential hires. National Nurses Week allows you to highlight what makes working for your facility so outstanding. Below are some options for using this week of recognition to help recruit new talent.
When you begin highlighting your open positions via job boards, mass emails, and other techniques, consider the impersonal nature of such strategies. Rather than sending the same form email to all 50 candidates, personalize each with a message related to National Nurses Week. Contact them to show appreciation, maybe including a discount, freebie, or invite to an event you’re holding. You may also want to point out why they’d be a good fit, using specific reasons that stood out to you during the interview process. Tout their potential and offerings, not yours, during this exchange, and you’ll show them that you’re already a step ahead of the competition.
Show, Don’t Just Tell
Part of the promise is what comes of it. Make sure that you are following up on your promises that you make to your potential hires. Give them proof that you’ve been faithful to your word. Perhaps having special nurse week marketing materials that showcase happy employees talking about what is best about your hospital or having a coffee hour each day where a satisfied family comes in and tells about a nurse at your facility that stood out. The more good publicity you can get from happy patients and current staff, the better it looks. Of course, please don’t force it or coerce it in any way, because doing so will come out and backfire.
Let the Data Drive You
One of the smartest things you can do when it comes to hiring is to defer to the data. Not only by doing your research on how things historically go, but by collecting some data of your own. Asking your potential hires questions regarding why they did or didn’t choose your hospital, which recruitment strategy enticed them the most, and even how they prefer to find a job can all be a great source of information to help drive your recruitment strategies. Involving your potential hires and current nurses can also lead to more trust, as it creates a feeling of being heard and valued, which is a trait that many employees look for in a job.
National Nurses Week is an excellent time to implement this. Along with a note of appreciation to each nurse, include a survey with some of these questions and then a section asking how you can make their job better as well as how you can continue to show your appreciation. Consider incentivizing the return of the survey by making it anonymous or adding a gift upon completion. You can even send these surveys along to student nursing programs, giving the students a personal one-on-one invite to tour your hospital or shadow a nurse for a day. Former nursing staff in good standing could also get a survey asking why they left and letting them know you appreciate them and are remembering them during this week.
Your Existing Nursing Staff Should Not Be Overlooked
Letting your nurses know they are appreciated should be a daily occurrence, but during National Nurses Week, it can be especially helpful. Your existing nursing staff is one of the best ways to find new nurses. If they are happy, they will be more likely to recommend an open position to a friend. This is even more true for traveling nurses who may encounter unhappy employees on their journeys. Be sure to treat them just like the long-term staff and find a way to recognize them as well. Consider treating your nurses to some bonus activities during the week, such as a free meal. If you decide to have events during the week, invite the nurses’ families. And remind them how to care for themselves to maintain a positive work-life balance.
Open Your Doors to New Hires
Having an event during National Nurses Week that is part job-fair and part celebration can go a long way with nursing students and potential hires. Give them an inside look into what working for your hospital would look like. Treat each person as if you are genuinely invested in their success by helping them take steps toward getting their first program acceptance or new job. Along with inviting them in for a tour, give them a chance to meet some of the staff they would be working with, including nurses, management, and doctors. Provide a photographer that can take free headshots for their portfolios. Don’t focus on pushing your recruitment strategy and instead let each person walk away with a booklet that covers the approach along with other relevant information about your hospital. If you impress them upfront, the brochure will be the icing on the cake.
Put Out a Press Release
National Nurses Week is the perfect time to announce something new your program is offering or doing. Recently, the news was released that the US Senate vowed to strengthen academic nursing. They were strategic in announcing it during National Nurses Week. Why? Because nurses are paying attention. It’s their week of recognition, and more news comes across their desk that they might want to pay attention to between those discounts and freebie offers that also inevitably come.
Take a Page from the Book of Success
Ideas abound for how to make an impression on potential candidates. If you’re looking for fresh nursing talent and you’re willing to invest in them early, why not take a page out of Western Governors University’s book? To celebrate National Nurses Week in 2016, they awarded scholarships to nurses across the nation. Your program could offer this to student nurses as well as tenured nurses looking to advance in their careers by going back to school.
A Call to Action: Begin Today
Increasing your chances of attracting top nursing talent takes a focus on your potential hire’s best interests. What do they want? Professional development, flexibility, work-life balance, unique perks, fair pair, tuition assistance, and other such incentives go a long way. Taking a personalized approach and showing how much your facility values its nursing staff will attract more potential hires than you expect. It’s easy enough to implement that you can begin right now. The key is to make sure you continue appreciating your nurses every day of the year, as well. For more information on supporting your staff, nurses, or other departments, see our extensive library of published resources that are designed for those in the healthcare field.
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