Hiring Nurses

Strengthening the backbone of healthcare: Why hiring Nurses the right way matters

Published on March 8th, 2023


Hiring licensed nurses is crucial for any healthcare institution, whether it be a hospital, private clinic, or nursing home. However, it's becoming increasingly difficult to find and hire qualified nurses who can provide the best possible care for patients. Despite being one of the most valuable professions in healthcare, it's also one of the most challenging to fill.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the problem, creating a global shortage of licensed nurses. The healthcare industry has been under unprecedented pressure, and the demand for nurses has never been higher. However, there simply aren't enough nurses to meet the demand.

There are several reasons for this:

In The covid era, many nurses experienced extreme occupational burnout and considered leaving the nursing profession altogether. (Source)

Because many nurses are baby boomers who are reaching the age of retirement, the aging population has an impact on their availability. (Source)

The increasing demand for preventive health care and the growing rate of chronic illness has put nurses in high demand. (Source)

Another long-term factor is the aging population, which is predicted to double by 2060, increasing the demand for additional nurses.

Today Nurses account for the largest profession in the healthcare sector but the growing demand for nurses makes the existing shortage even more difficult for recruiters. (Source)

According to a WHO report, "by 2030, there will be a need for 36 million nurses practicing across the globe to meet the needs of every individual on the planet"

In light of the growing demand for nurses in the healthcare industry, institutions must prioritize both the recruitment of new nurses and the retention of existing nursing staff in clinical practice. However, attracting and retaining nurses is a common challenge faced by healthcare facilities nationwide. To address this, healthcare leaders must think outside the box to find new ways to hire and retain nurses in the industry for the long term.

While the task of navigating this challenge may seem daunting, the key is to start by examining your organization's hiring needs and requirements. It is essential to build trust within the nursing community through open communication and fostering strong relationships. Streamlining the hiring process can also be helpful by first defining the type of nurse needed and then following guiding principles at each stage of the process. This approach can help recruiters identify the right candidates and successfully onboard them.

Here are seven hiring strategies that will make your recruitment efforts more effective:

1.Start by Identifying the key responsibilities and curate a job description around that.

Nursing is a complex profession that demands a wide range of specialized skills, additional training, and hands-on experience. Many nurses specialize in serving a particular patient demographic or prefer to work in a specific healthcare setting, and it's essential to inform potential candidates of the key responsibilities and duties required in your field of the industry. This helps candidates determine if they are a suitable match for the job, which can save you time and effort in the recruitment process.

To attract the best candidates, create a comprehensive job description that includes a complete job title, function, duties, and skill sets, with an emphasis on the position's specialization. An effective recruiting strategy identifies and markets the skills that are required for the job. It's important to know exactly which qualifications and skill sets are necessary for the position you want to fill. A strong job description should define your business and its culture while emphasizing what distinguishes your firm from your competitors.

2. Design nursing-specific interview questions.

Recruiting the right person for your organization is essential, but the process can be time-consuming and resource-intensive. It can be frustrating to go through the hiring process only to find out later that the new hire is not a suitable match for your organization. However, a comprehensive interview procedure can prevent this from happening. Instead of relying on a standard set of questions, it is crucial to ask open-ended questions that allow the candidate to showcase their personality, experience, and critical thinking skills. These questions can help distinguish an 'outstanding nurse' from a 'good one.' To start, consider asking questions that allow the candidate to discuss their experience with handling difficult patients, how they approach teamwork, and how they stay up-to-date with the latest medical advancements. By asking these types of questions, you can gain insight into the candidate's abilities, work ethic, and values.

3. Here are a few questions that can be used to screen potential nurses.

What is your motivation for wanting to work in the healthcare industry?

It is a simple question that can provide valuable information about the candidate. Asking a candidate this question will help you determine whether they are in the healthcare sector for the right reasons and whether or not they possess the enthusiasm required to succeed in the position.

Do you see yourself working in the same industry ten/twenty years from now?

When you hire someone and decide to spend your resources and time on them, you need to know if they're committed to staying for the long haul. Understanding the big picture of what a candidate is seeking will help you assess whether you can help them reach their goals or whether they should go for another organization that would better support their professional aspirations.

What kind of work atmosphere are you looking for?

Nurses can perform duties in an array of environments. Understanding which environment and work style best matches your candidate will assist you in determining whether or not they are a suitable fit for your firm, and vice versa.

How would you handle an unruly or difficult patient?

Nursing is a profession that entails looking after and caring for patients, and not all patients are built with the same temperament and the same goes for the candidates. Ask this question to determine whether or not the person you're interviewing has the bedside manner required to do their job properly even under difficult situations.

4. Provide scope for career advancement.

According to a Glassdoor report, ‘Job stagnation is called out as one of the most frequent causes of low retention rate in a business’ This is why it's crucial to communicate opportunities for career advancement and growth within your organization. Assuring candidates that there are clear pathways for promotion will help them see themselves as part of a larger mission and feel valued within their role.

Organizations must prioritize creating a culture of professional development and continuous learning to assist nurses in their career paths. Providing ample resources for learning and clinical training not only benefits nurses in providing better care for patients but also helps them stay engaged and motivated in their roles.

By offering development opportunities, you demonstrate your commitment to supporting nurses in furthering their careers and contributing to the success of your healthcare organization. Encourage nurses to take advantage of these opportunities and provide ongoing support to help them reach their goals.

5. Include remuneration and salary information in your job posting.

As mentioned before, there’s a scarcity of qualified nurses in the healthcare industry. As a result, competition for healthcare employees has been fierce, and nurses usually have a plethora of options to choose from. It is common for job seekers to ignore or overlook job postings that do not include remuneration or compensation details.

Compensation packages and benefits are crucial factors in employee retention. By including a salary range in your job posting, you can inform potential candidates about the remuneration for the position without requiring them to submit resumes or contact your company. This simple step of adding salary information to your job postings can significantly enhance your nurse recruitment initiatives.

6. Work-life balance is just as crucial.

Professional nurses often cite ‘occupational burnout’ as one of the main reasons for resigning from their positions. (source).

The message is clear here. Instead of only focusing on the goals you have as a recruiter, consider what an ideal candidate expects from the position.

One such expectation is maintaining a healthy work-life balance, which is crucial for nurse retention. Nurses work long hours that are both physically and emotionally demanding, and a supportive workplace culture that allows for time off to recover can make a significant difference, especially for new nurses. Additionally, offering counseling services to help nurses cope with occupational stress and emotional challenges like patient loss can be valuable. Encouraging nurses to prioritize self-care can also be incorporated into the workplace to promote a healthier work environment.

7. Use the right channel for hiring and make the best decisions.

The two most important questions when making any hiring decision are ‘which channels to leverage while hiring?’ and ‘how to make the best hiring decision possible?’

The quickest way to reach a broader audience and create a talent pool is through utilizing online recruitment methods and social media platforms. Placing your job ad on an online job posting website is a great way of connecting with a large number of people, but you can increase your reach even more by optimizing your online candidate search.

Add a career option to your corporate page that links to your career site, allowing you to easily contact both passive and active prospects through social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

When it comes to selecting from the talent pool you’ve created, you want to be sure that you select only the most competent candidates to move further ahead in the recruitment process.

Skill assessment tools can refine your talent pool without the need to review resumes, conduct interviews, and perform screenings. These tools enable you to evaluate candidates based solely on their skills and abilities. HireQuotient offers over a hundred skill assessments to choose from, ranging from specific skill sets to job roles. Additionally, HireQuotient provides the option to "try it before you buy it" by booking a demo to see the tool in action

8. Recognize the importance of nurses in the health care community:

It is vital to make your employees feel valued and appreciated. Nurses are the backbone of any healthcare organization, and small gestures can make a significant impact. Consider creating a leaderboard that recognizes the most hardworking team members and rewards them with incentives and compensation benefits each month. Other ways to show appreciation could include ordering meals for the team, sending thank you cards, or giving verbal shout-outs. These gestures can go a long way in preventing occupational burnout and boosting morale. Make sure that your recognition program is continuous and visible so that all team members are aware of it and feel respected and valued within the organization.

To conclude:

Finding talented nurses is a challenging task, but not something unachievable.

Your job will be much easier if you work hard to create a great job description, preemptively use the HireQuotient skill assessment tool to discover top-tier prospects, highlight what makes your firm unique, and invest in a strong workplace culture where your employees feel respected and valued.

To attract and retain top nursing talent, it's critical to think creatively and prioritize the needs and preferences of your employees. Building a strong employer brand and addressing candidate demands, like providing a supportive and inclusive workplace environment, competitive incentives, and opportunities for professional development can have a significant impact on the quantity and quality of nurses you hire. In addition to traditional recruitment methods, consider utilizing social media and online platforms to expand your reach and showcase your organization's unique culture and values.

By prioritizing the needs and expectations of your nursing staff, you can cultivate a loyal and motivated workforce that will contribute to the success of your organization.

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