Think of the healthcare industry as a giant pie. There are many different pieces that comprise that pie, and not all pieces are equal. Can you guess who makes up the largest piece? Nurses.
Even though there are more than 4 million Registered Nurses (RNs) nationwide, according to Nurse.org, we are still very much experiencing a nursing shortage. This creates a unique challenge for healthcare organizations that are actively trying to recruit and hire nurses, for both leadership roles and direct care roles.
First, let’s note the factors that are impacting the nursing shortage:
- Prolonged nurse burnout, especially during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, forced many to leave the field entirely.
- A large portion of the nursing workforce is approaching retirement.
- Nursing school enrollment has been declining – schools had to turn away thousands of applicants.
So how can hiring managers and recruiters work more effectively to attract and hire nurses across all specialties? In short, it is necessary to take a step back and examine what your audience is demanding.
Contrary to what you might think, it’s about much more than pay, or hourly rates.
We know that in 2023, nurses want flexibility in hours, better work/life balance, and opportunities for growth.
Some nurses have been burned by employers, so it’s natural that they might have their guards up when looking for a new position. Healthcare recruiters must strategically work on developing trust within the nursing community by offering transparency. To start, this is best done digitally.
You know your audience, and what they’re looking for. But now you must know where your audience is. The answer? Social media.
1. Build Your Social Media Presence
Even though the younger generation may not think so, Facebook is king when it comes to social media platforms, especially for healthcare workers that are open to work. Facebook still has 2.95 billion monthly active users, and 71% of the entire United States population uses Facebook regularly.
Facebook has something special that other platforms do not – groups. Facebook groups can be a gold mine if your organization is looking for full-time staff, travel nurses, or PRN to fill staffing gaps quickly.
Request to join a handful of groups (you can search by state/city) and see what other group members are posting about. Chime in – comment on posts to add value, and to start getting your name out there. Hundreds of thousands of healthcare professionals, from caregivers and CNAs to nurses are active in these groups on a daily basis, especially those looking for PRN work/per diem work.
From your business Facebook page, consider boosting posts. If you have multiple open positions and want a certain demographic to see it when they’re scrolling their feed, you have the power! As little as $50 can serve your post to up to 2,000 users. And remember, boosting posts can help you reach both active (they want a job right now) and passive candidates.
Whether you’re posting from your business page or your personal account, ensuring that you have a consistent presence across social media channels will not only increase your brand reputation – it can also drive more users to your website or job board, resulting in quality healthcare candidates.
2. Showcase the Perks
Many competing organizations will offer similar pay. And with full-time work, healthcare workers can expect to receive benefits and insurance. But what makes your organization different from the rest? Here are a few examples to include in your job descriptions and in your social media posts:
- Emphasize work-life balance, along with specific job duties.
- If hiring PRN, mention this and share how working as PRN allows direct care staff to take their balance into their own hands.
- Highlight perks, benefits, or employee wellness programs
- If there is an option for flexible scheduling, note that!
- Are you open to hiring for 8s, 10s, or 12s?
- Are you hiring for part-time staff to build up your internal float pool?
- What are your core values?
- Star ratings, newly renovated building/facility, state-of-the-art medical equipment
- Burnout prevention programs
- Do you offer no-cost services, such as therapy, through an Employee Assistance Program (EAP)?
- Is there an attendance bonus?
- Opportunity for career advancement/upward mobility within the company
- How they can earn free CEUs or additional certifications
3. Focus On Your Unique Brand Story
Customers (in this case, candidates) are more likely to do business with companies that have a genuine and unique brand story. Take a look at your website and put yourself in the candidate’s shoes. What is your first impression? Give candidates a behind-the-scenes look at what makes your building/brand special. Focus on the mission, values, and what they can expect if they join your team.
Interested in seeing an example of a strong brand story? GigWorx Healthcare tells the story of their founding by Matt Alvarez.
Don’t forget – if you have staff with significant tenure, ask their permission to share a “staff spotlight” story. Additionally, if your organization has been nominated for any type of award, or was recently recognized in the news, note that (and make sure it’s easy to find). When your authentic brand is showcased appropriately, you will attract more qualified candidates.
Gigworx Referral Program
Did you know? If you refer a staff member to Gigworx Healthcare Services (GHS) and they successfully compete one shift, you earn a $50 Amazon gift card!
Refer a client and earn $1000 after they post 100 hours of shifts.
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