A recent survey by a professional recruitment society found that many hospitals continue to use strategies that they say don’t work well in healthcare recruitment and fail to use to their full potential those strategies that they say do work. The survey, done by the National Association of Healthcare Recruiters (NAHCR)
proved that advertising strategies that were most popular among hospitals were help-wanted ads in local newspapers, used by 97% of respondents; job fairs, used by 94%; and advertising on an Internet job posting (or job boards), used by 91%. When asked what was most effective, they said ‘the hospital home page was most effective followed by job posting on an Internet site, then followed by local newspapers.

Many in the industry are scratching their heads about how to attract hard-to-find nurses, pharmacists, radiology technologists and pharmacy technicians. Variety is the best approach, including Internet-based methods and traditional approaches. I think bottom line is that there’s nothing that’s a sure bet. People have the need to be doing a variety of different things to hopefully pull the people that they’re seeking. It’s very difficult right now so people tend to employ a variety of strategies from open houses, emails, phone calls, newspaper advertising and even shopping mall kiosks that promote healthcare careers.

Some places are continuing to find that doing employee referral programs is really successful and one of the things that more and more applicants are asking is instead of offering a recruitment bonus, do we offer assistance in paying back student loans. According to the NAHCR survey, loan forgiveness was the most effective financial recruiting incentive for healthcare recruitment. The retention bonus was the weakest among: loan forgiveness, seasonal bonus, short staff/critical vacancy bonus, incentives for recruiters, bonus for night shift, relocation/start-up bonus, certification pay, employee referral fee, sign-on bonus and no benefit option.

There is no one magic bullet in healthcare recruitment. While the passive methods are an important part of any recruitment campaign, a comprehensive approach must include pro-active methods when qualified candidates are scarce. The bottom line is that some candidates answer job ads, and some post resumes, but very few actually do both.

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