We are in the midst of a longstanding nursing shortage that has persisted in the U.S. and is expected to reach 1.2 million vacancies by 2022*. While some states are in better shape than others, these vacancies will impact nearly every healthcare organization nationwide. Fortunately, there are recruitment tools and tactics that healthcare organizations can implement to overcome the effects of the shortage.
A Few Smart Tactics
We want to share a few digital tactics that can transform the way that healthcare organizations engage top nursing candidates.
Analytics and Tracking
Most healthcare organizations use digital recruitment tools like a career listing page. Setting up analytics and tracking code on this page allows us to collect usage information. If a user visits the page and applies for an open position, we can track that as a conversion in the analytics. If users spend a significant amount of time on site without completing a conversion, we can assume they’re interested but not finding what they’re looking for. Recognizing this behavior creates an opportunity to implement additional tactics to retain user interest for when the right position is available.
One such tactic is the use of a modal popup. We would program a popup message to be triggered by a set time of inactivity and deliver a message like, "Not finding the job you’re looking for? Let us know.” The popup would contain a link to a simple contact form that allows the organization to gather important information about the user. It is crucial that this form contains only a few fields and can be quickly filled out.
We can also use the same type of modal popup to sustain user interest in career offerings after they have arrived on your careers page. If a user visits the page but isn’t finding a position, a popup will be triggered by the user’s cursor traveling off of the webpage. The call to action and messaging would be the same as the first example, but this popup would be triggered by the user’s actions instead of inaction.
We know more about our target consumers now more than ever thanks to the digital age. Using detailed target audiences, we can build a demographic centered around nurses, and we can then craft specific messaging to drive this demographic to a career page. This type of targeting can be used in various mediums, such as social media and digital display advertising. Getting the right message to the right people is key, and targeted advertising is crucial in that endeavor.
Adding a Live Chat feature to a career page allows healthcare organizations to play a more proactive part in recruiting qualified candidates. Users can get the information they want quickly without having to search and, they can ask questions about specific job listings, inquire about the organization’s staffing needs and learn more about the company culture. This feature adds value to an otherwise standard career page, and even if the user isn’t actively looking for a job, the information they provided over the Live Chat feature can be added to a database for future consideration.
Some states are actually experiencing a nursing surplus, so it’s important to remember that nurses in these states are the targets for out-of-state recruitment efforts. All of these tactics can be used to develop a defense strategy for healthcare facilities to retain top local talent.
Quality Engagement Leads To Quality Candidates.
The tactics we have reviewed only represent the beginning of the competitive advantages that can be developed for healthcare organizations seeking to recruit top nursing talent. By gathering additional insights about an organization’s culture and unique offerings, we can custom tailor a whole new level of recruiting effectiveness. Having a detailed, competitive recruitment strategy will help healthcare organization weather the shortage, retain and recruit top talent and, most importantly, provide exceptional care.
About Lynne Bowen-Lowe:
*American Nursing Association.
Lynne Bowen-Lowe, our Account Director and resident healthcare recruiting guru, has more than 20 years of experience in healthcare recruitment, employer branding and digital media.