Nursing, as an industry, is facing a shortage of quality employees in the very near future. There’s a larger than average generation of retirees entering the golden years, dramatically hiking the need for care. Added to the dynamic of more patients, many nurses are retiring without as many entering the field.

What that means for your facility is a condition where it’s important to target your recruiting practice to bring the best nurses on board for a long tenure. Your facility’s efforts to offer the best care to patients includes well care and proactive medicine. Your nursing staff plays, and will continue to play, an integral role in your success.

Nurses in the field will have many options and employment opportunities. To keep a dedicated staff, you need to start with your recruiting techniques and follow through by offering the best company culture for prolonged satisfaction.

7 Tips to Recruit the Best Nurses

  1. Develop a Hiring Strategy. The old technique of hiring one individual to fill one position won’t work in this complex marketplace. The best way to keep a dedicated staff that builds a great company culture is by fully developing an overall hiring strategy. This way you can organize the positions you need to hire for today and in the future while working with your current staff to improve issues as they come up. Developing a good hiring strategy starts with fully assessing the way you currently recruit. This lets you pinpoint areas where you excel and improve areas that are lacking. Getting feedback from current staff is a good way to determine how well new hires are fitting in and areas in training that may need improvement for overall satisfaction.
  2. Keep Your Finger on the Pulse of the Competition. Your facility doesn’t operate separately from the marketplace as a whole. Your staff may be open to other positions and will often have a good idea of the pay scale and benefits for their position in other facilities. You should be well armed with this information, as well. You need to consider budgetary constraints, but you can develop cost effective models to keep dedicated staff loyal without going over payroll. Pay scale is an important factor but many nurses also prioritize other aspects of employment, such as flexibility, benefits, and positive work environment.
  3. Promote Your Facility and Position Accurately. It’s important to hire the right nursing staff for your facility. This starts with an honest picture of the type of work they’ll do and the way your facility runs overall. One nurse may be excellent in a home healthcare environment but not as focused in a large hospital with a high caseload. You want to find the best nurses for your particular position. Be as clear with your position and facility description as possible so that the recruits you see will already understand the parameters of the position and whether it meets their own personal requirements.
  4. Offer Advancement/Further Education Opportunities. Promoting from within is a good practice for many reasons. Your higher level staff will already be a known commodity and you give all staff a more productive career trajectory without looking to find a position in another facility. You can also train staff specific to your protocols, allowing for better cross training. Offering education opportunities and advancement within your facility helps to build loyalty and a more productive working relationship among nurses.
  5. Consider Employee Referrals. Your current nursing staff offers and excellent network for other professionals in the area. Many belong to associations and have maintained relationships with others in their profession through the course of their careers. You can offer incentives for employee referrals, such as a bonus for each referral that stays longer than a set period.
  6. Make Company Culture a Priority. Company culture is difficult to determine for new hires but integral to decreasing employee turnover. Working with a bad manager or having a negative company culture are two of the main reasons employees give for leaving past employers. Keep this in mind when hiring and make sure to keep track of employees who may contribute to a negative environment.
  7. Work With A Recruiter. A recruiter can offer well vetted candidates from a pool of employees you might never see through other avenues. You can start your hiring process through a recruiter or use recruiters to supplement your hiring process.

A great nursing staff is the backbone of an excellent facility. The process to build the most productive, goal oriented nursing team starts with your recruiting process.