Hiring as we know it has been completely upended in the past year. Widespread hiring freezes led to Depression-era levels of unemployment. Virtual recruitment and remote work became the norm for many healthcare organizations as they scrambled to hire staff safely and transition new providers to telehealth roles.
Today, the situation looks rather different. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the US unemployment rate is nearly down to pre-pandemic numbers and as the economy continues to recover quicker than expected, so will competition in the job market.
With the job market reopening and an end to pandemic restrictions in sight, recruitment marketing is now more important than ever.
The Healthcare Recruiting Challenge
Healthcare as a whole has long faced difficulties with talent shortages and high turnover rates. For RNs, LPNs, and CNAs in skilled nursing facilities, these challenges are even more common.
According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), the US will soon see a serious shortage of nurses due to a retiring workforce and low program enrollment.
A recent study by Health Affairs found that the average turnover rate for nursing homes was 128% with a staggering high of 300%. The highest average turnover rate for RNs was at nearly 141%, followed by CNAs (129%) and LPNs (114%).
While COVID-19 only served to exacerbate some of these challenges, it also brought a few changes of its own. Along with virtual recruiting, remote screening through video interviews and virtual job fairs and digital signature tools blossomed seemingly overnight. High healthcare worker demand, stressful conditions, and widespread mental health issues led to a greater emphasis on workplace wellness.
5 Ways to Improve Your Healthcare Recruitment Marketing Strategy
Healthcare will continue to shift in response to recent events, but the question remains: how can you overcome some of these recruitment challenges to hire better talent?
Here are a few tips to help optimize your recruitment marketing approach.
1. Update your digital marketing plan
Set aside some time to delve into your recruitment marketing plan. Pay particular attention to how you’re managing the three major elements of digital recruiting: job board strategy, search engine optimization (SEO), and social media marketing.
- Job board strategy. Determining how and where to publish job posts requires a strategic approach. Every platform offers something different, from industry niche to location-specific. Compare features and pricing at broader job boards like Indeed or ZipRecruiter with more niche platforms while keeping your marketing budget top-of-mind.
- SEO. Google is the most visited site in America and the starting point for millions of job searches, making search engine-friendly recruitment content a necessity. Leveraging SEO basics like industry and job keywords and location information can get more eyes on your listing, especially if you’re already using major job boards.
- Social media marketing. LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook aren’t just great for brand awareness or audience growth. They also make searching for job opportunities easy and allow others to network for you by referring connections. When you share openings on your social sites, you can promote to a wider pool of online applicants and streamline the application process.
2. Boost your company branding
As the job market steadies and more talent is snapped up, now’s the time to take a closer look at how your facility brands itself as an employer. What’s your message to prospective candidates? Make sure you’re communicating your mission, vision, and values and highlighting your company culture in all recruitment content, from paid ads and blog posts to job descriptions and career pages.
Add a human touch to your careers page with photos of current staff, work activities, and individual bios. Try to include testimonials or videos from nurses and nursing assistants as well as residents to promote your positive work culture.
Examine your facility from the candidate’s perspective. If they were to research your facility, what would they find? Check resident feedback from review sites or send out an anonymous survey of your own. Ask employees for their thoughts on how to improve your employer branding and communicate it more effectively.
3. Think outside the hospital
With older nurses aging out of the workforce, facilities need to find new ways to scout for talent. Rather than recruiting from hospitals and medical facilities, why not focus on attracting applicants before they even graduate? Nursing schools, university programs, community colleges, and trade or vocational schools are all excellent sources of new RNs, LPNs, and CNAs.
Start by maintaining a presence at local schools. Attend their job fairs or rent out a booth for industry events. Ask program faculty about setting up a reciprocal relationship for training, guest teaching, or internships for practical experience in exchange for credit. You can also work with the department to post job opportunities on school job boards.
4. Simplify the process with software
You can help deliver on the employer branding experience with a simple and easy hiring process. A good recruiting solution will help you appeal to candidates, reduce your time-to-hire, and onboard new employees efficiently.
Look for software that integrates with your current workflow and streamlines applications so your candidates don’t have to slog through needlessly complicated paperwork.
With Apploi, you can publish job posts to 80+ job boards and social sites with the click of a button and create customized job posts and careers pages. Communicate instantly and securely with candidates through in-platform messaging and schedule interviews with our calendar integration.
Need to manage forms or send offer letters? Look no further! Apploi’s solution supports document creation, tracking, and electronic signatures from a single platform.
5. Offer competitive perks and benefits
Creating a generous benefit package can give your facility an edge as you look to attract a wider and more qualified talent pool.
Remember that COVID-19 has also altered the way we work. After a difficult year, many nurses and nursing assistants will be looking for positions at facilities with a positive work culture that supports wellness and flexibility.
Try to balance more traditional perks, such as insurance, PTO, sick and parental leave, and 401(k)s with professional development and lifestyle support.
Here are a few ideas:
- Commuter or childcare assistance
- Certification and hands-on training
- Fitness and financial wellness programs
- Paid volunteer time
- Student loan repayment or tuition assistance
Weigh your compensation, benefits, and perks against your competitors to see how you perform as an employer in the job market. And rather than a one-size-fits-all approach to employee benefits, offer a range of choices, so they can pick benefits and perks that suit their lifestyle best.
Interested in learning more about how you can recruit, hire, and on-board healthcare staff quickly? Contact us today for a free demo of our end-to-end solution.