5 Best Practices for Nursing Recruitment

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Written by Diana Campion, MSN, APRN, ANP-C Education Development Nurse, Content Writer, IntelyCare
A group of new hires going through orientation on their first day.

A strong nursing recruitment team is essential for any health organization’s sustainability and growth. It takes approximately three months to hire an experienced staff RN with an average turnover cost of $46,100 per position, including recruitment and onboarding costs. Since the stakes are so high, it makes sense to adopt best practices in your recruitment efforts to field a talented pool of nurses.

Successful recruitment is about more than just hiring nurses to fill a void. It’s about finding the right group of nurses who share your values and commitment to your patients and wish to grow with your organization over time. This guide will help you recruit top caliber nurses by applying five best practices to ensure optimal results.

1. Develop a Great Nurse Job Description

Recruiting and retaining an exceptional nurse candidate begins with a great nurse job description. Your job description is the nurses’ first introduction to your healthcare organization and provides insight into your corporate culture (such as policies that directly impact women employees) and the benefits of working for your facility.

If your nurse job description isn’t on point, nurses will quickly move on, so investing time and consulting with your clinical and human resources teams in this crucial first step is worthwhile. If you need assistance developing job descriptions for recruiting nurses, you can use these well-crafted templates that simplify your process and yield results: CNA job description, LPN job description, and RN job description.

2. Be Strategic With Where You Advertise

Once your nurse job description is ready, the next step in your nursing recruitment efforts is to promote your posting. You’ll want to choose the most popular places where nurses will look for jobs. You can begin with your facility’s website and a reputable nursing job board with high-volume traffic.

You can pay to advertise on social media if you have a budget. If you don’t have a budget, you’ll want to create a visible online presence through a strong social media campaign. Don’t underestimate what your LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube accounts can do for your organization — social media is a powerful recruitment tool. Here are a few affordable yet creative nurse recruitment strategies to attract top candidates.

  • Promote your job openings through reels, posts, or short stories with links to your job board. You can use hashtags to increase visibility.
  • Host a live stream to review your job openings and the benefits of working for your facility, and to answer candidate questions.
  • Create an incentive program where your best nurses can become ambassadors and organically create posts about why they enjoy working for you.

3. Establish Strong Relationships With Nurse Candidates

Developing a good rapport and work relationship with nurse candidates is an essential nursing recruitment best practice. Nurse candidates view recruiters as the ambassadors for the health organizations they’re considering.

When nurses are treated with respect and their time is valued by recruiters, they will remember their actions favorably. In addition, they’ll be more likely to recommend your facility to colleagues than those that have poor communications. Here are some practical communication tips to cultivate a strong relationship to aid in your nurse recruitment:

  • Set up an automated thank you email when an application is submitted. Include an estimated timeframe your nurse applicant can expect to hear back from you and any important next steps they should know about.
  • Use a free online scheduling software, like Calendly, where applicants can self-schedule their interview though a link you email them when they advance to the next step.
  • If the candidate isn’t the right fit, let them know via phone call or email. Nurses will appreciate knowing your decision so they may plan accordingly (rather than feeling ignored or in limbo with no status updates).

4. Offer Employee Referral Incentives

Nursing is a small community, and an employee referral program is an effective way to stand out as an employer of choice in a competitive market. These programs encourage current employees to refer qualified candidates to your organization through incentives or rewards.

Research has found this to be an effective recruiting strategy as employee-referred new hires tend to be better performers and stay with their organizations longer than non-referrals. Employee referral programs are also more cost-effective than other candidate search strategies and are often the fastest way to find external talent. It’s a win-win nursing recruitmentapproach for all parties involved.

5. Search for Passive Candidates

Passive nurse candidates are qualified nurses that are currently employed and aren’t actively looking for a new job. These nurses have positive employment records and highly sought-after experience and may be interested in a new position under the right circumstances.

Searching for passive candidates, who comprise 70% of the global workforce, is a critical best practice in recruiting nurses as it significantly increases your talent pool. Here are some quick ways to help you expand your candidate network.

  • Search for potential candidates on social platforms, i.e., LinkedIn.
  • Provide a brief introduction to the candidate and explain why you’re reaching out.
  • Explain the benefits and perks offered by your facility and discuss what would motivate passive candidates to switch employers.

Need Assistance With Nursing Recruitment?

Recruiting top nursing talent during a staffing shortage can be challenging for any healthcare facility. By partnering with IntelyCare, you can relieve this burden by having us deliver high-quality nurse hiring services and solutions to meet your facility’s staffing needs.