California now leads the country in the nursing shortage with an estimated 45,000 deficit within the next five years.(1) The impact of the shortage on care quality cannot be underestimated. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, there is a direct correlation between mortality and below-target staffing and high-turnover shifts. Increasing the number of RNs can help hospitals reduce the number of readmissions and hospital stays related to adverse events.(2)
The nursing shortage also has a significant impact on the bottom line. A 300 – 500 bed hospital can expect to lose $90,000 a day just in recruiting costs.(3)
Maintaining a full staff of highly qualified registered nurses and nurse practitioners requires hospitals review their current sourcing processes. Incredible Health, a strategic healthcare recruiting technology company, suggests hospitals flip the script on their approach. Instead of focusing solely on filling positions, they should focus on finding nurses already interested in working for them.
Incredible Health offers the following four guidelines to help hospitals improve their sourcing efforts.
1. Understand what nurses want
A recent study conducted by Incredible Health asked this question to more than seven thousand nurses across the country who were already looking for a new position. The top two answers were a higher salary (46%) and career advancement (31%).
Surprisingly, 23% reported wanting to move to a new location, with California as one of the top destinations mentioned. Statistics from the California Board of Registered Nursing backs that up. In 2016, they received 14,381 requests from nurses living outside California for license endorsement into the state.(4)
2. Eliminate inefficient, outdated sourcing methods
Hospitals that rely on job posting sites like LinkedIn and Indeed, or their own website, are not getting the best return for their efforts. They may allow you to cast a broad net to potential candidates, but finding highly qualified candidates requires many hours of sorting through resumes and on phone interviews.
Just how ineffective are these job boards? According to research by Incredible Health, a hospital recruiter would need to screen at least 500 online applicants to hire just one person. That’s an average hire rate of just 0.2% of all applicants screened. Hospital job boards did only slightly better at 2.6% hire rate to applicants screened.(5)
3. Question the value of your outsourcer
Many agencies also use job boards as their primary recruiting method, returning the same results but at a higher cost. In California, fees can easily reach 20% of a candidate’s salary, or up to $30,000 in the state’s higher-salary areas.(6)
Using agencies also means the hospital loses control of the process and has little means to ensure they’re being represented appropriately to candidates. A survey of nurse candidates in high-shortage areas found many have had multiple negative encounters with recruiters – negative enough to make them eliminate the hospital from their search.(7) The nurses reported things such as unfriendly recruiters, delayed responses, uncompelling descriptions of the employer, and incorrect salary information.
4. Consider candidate-centric technology
Traditional recruiting methods are frustrating for candidates as well. It’s difficult to get an accurate picture of a hospital from online job sites. It takes hours of searching, submitting resumes, and waiting for call-backs. Even when contacted, it’s difficult to know if the position is a good fit based on a single conversation.
New technology now exists than can weed through the noise of traditional job searches, narrowing the field of desirable hospitals early in the search process. Just like dating apps, recruiting technology such as Incredible Health collects thousands of data points on both hospitals and candidates via a comprehensive screening process. Sophisticated algorithms are applied to the data to find the “perfect match” for both the candidate and the hospital.
With Incredible Health, hospitals can dramatically shorten their recruiting and hiring processes.
- 28 days: Average time to hire nurse leadership
- 14 days: Average time to hire staff nurse