Outdated Sourcing Methods Put a Hospital’s Bottom Line at Risk
The nursing shortage continues to grow in many states across the country, with California at the top of the list. According to a new study by the Health Resources and Services Administration, demand for RNs will outnumber supply by nearly 45,000 in California within the next five years. Nationwide, almost 700,000 nurses are projected to retire or leave the workforce in the next six years.
In California, almost a third of the nurse population is now over the age 50, which will only increase the impact. And that impact is significant. An article in the New England Journal of Medicine found a significant correlation between mortality and below-target staffing and high-turnover shifts, which can lead to costly litigation and damage a hospital’s STAR ratings and reputation.
Increasing the number of RNs can help hospitals improve patient satisfaction and outcomes by reducing the number of readmissions and hospital stays related to adverse events. The ability to efficiently recruit and hire high-quality registered nurses and nurse practitioners has never been more important to a hospital’s bottom line.
What matters most to nurses looking for a new position
The first step in recruiting nurses is to understand what they are looking for. This question was posed to more than seven thousand actively-looking nurses across the U.S. in a recent study conducted by Incredible Health, a strategic healthcare recruiting technology company. Of all nurses in the study who included their degree, nearly 70% had a MSN, DNP or BS/ BSN and the average experience reported by RNs and NPs was nearly a decade. The study found some interesting statistics, one being that thousands of nurses from nearly all 50 states indicated they would like to relocate to California. According to the California Board of Registered Nursing, in 2016 there were 14,381 requests for license endorsement into California from nurses living outside the state. Of those looking for a higher salary, California presents a great opportunity.
The problem with traditional recruiting methods
The process for sourcing and hiring permanent RNs in areas of high competition such as San Francisco Bay and Los Angeles can reach 90 days or more. This is far higher than the 25-day best practices required to keep hospitals at full staff or even the national average of 82 days. The longer it takes, the higher the costs incurred from overtime and travelers. For a 300 to 500-bed hospital, losses can average nearly $90,000 a day.
Most hospitals rely on hospital job boards or online job posting sites like LinkedIn and Indeed. The sites are passive and depend on candidates to reach out to the employer. While they may get job postings in front of hundreds of candidates, those candidates are not necessarily a good fit. They require hours of manual screening to vet each applicant, many of whom apply en masse to dozens of positions whether or not they are qualified. Research by Incredible Health indicates a typical hospital recruiter would need to screen 500 online applicants to hire just one person, an average hire rate of just 0.2% of all applicants screened. Hospital job boards fared little better at 2.6% hire rate to applicants screened.
Outsourcing is another option, yet, many agencies rely on the same outdated recruiting methods as hospitals do, returning similar results but at an even higher cost. With California’s competitive market, outsourcing fees can reach as high as 20% of a candidate’s salary. Given the high salary in some areas of the state, this can be as much as $30,000. The high cost and lackluster results leave hospitals with minimal return on their outsourcing investment.
Improving the nurse experience: A win-win approach
Besides being costly and inefficient for employers, traditional recruiting methods are frustrating for candidates as well. Finding the right fit at the right salary in the right location requires time-consuming research, after which they often find themselves stuck in the black hole of multiple human resource departments.
Negative encounters are, unfortunately, an all too common experience for candidates. A recent survey found nurses in high- shortage areas reported having multiple negative encounters during the recruiting process that impacted their decision whether to pursue the hospital or not.
What nurses want is an easier, more friendly job search experience. They want to know more information about a hospital so they can narrow their search to their own preferences before they submit an application. Forward-thinking hospitals and nurses are turning to technology as a way to connect, forgoing inefficient job boards altogether.
Reasons given included:
- Rude, unfriendly recruiters and phone calls
- Delayed responses
- Never heard back
- Introductory letters with typos and grammatical errors
- Uncompelling description of the employer
- Salary information given was inaccurate
Just like dating apps, recruiting technology can cut through the noise and bring the best candidate to the best hospital faster. Our recruiting technology works similarly to dating apps by collecting thousands of data points through the candidate screening process, then applying complex algorithms to identify the best matches. Nurses are able to find their ideal position faster and hospitals are able to shorten their recruiting and hiring process to under 20 days, at a lower cost. This type of “match-making” technology is especially beneficial for hard-to-fill positions like nurse managers, specialized or experienced nurses. Bringing candidate and employer together faster also starts the relationship out on a more positive note, provides a better match, and is more likely to result in lower turnover.
For nurses, a better candidate experience means they can find their ideal position faster and with less effort. They appreciate Incredible Health’s stringent requirements – only the top of applicants are accepted – which allows them to spend less time submitting applications to a multitude of hospitals, and more time reviewing hospitals that are a better match.
For hospitals, recruiting technology such as Incredible Health provides more in-depth visibility of data analytics on details such as candidate response rates, salary data, and benchmarks by geographic regions. This insight also helps hospitals and talent acquisition leaders identify areas for process improvements, something traditional recruiting methods cannot provide.
Putting nurses in the driver’s seat
To address the growing nursing shortage in the state of California, hospitals need a new approach to sourcing and hiring clinicians. With the current nursing shortage projected to escalate over the coming decade, those who continue to rely on outdated, inefficient methods do so at their own peril.
Leveraging recruiting technology like Incredible Health can help hospitals create a more candidate-centric experience. By putting nurses in control, hospitals can cut through the noise and engage with only the highest quality nurses who are already interested in their organization. Hospitals benefit by streamlining their recruiting efforts, lowering acquisition costs, reducing turnover, finding the best nurses faster, improving outcomes, and protecting margins for years to come.