Archive for June, 2015

  • June 10th, 2015 Posted by N. Robert Johnson APR, Practice Leader, Workforce Communications

    Your Next Nursing Hire: From Your Backyard or Thousands of Miles Away?

    Nothing defines a community like the local hospital or health system. These organizations play a huge role in ensuring its residents—and ultimately its economy—remain vibrant, growing and healthy.  So hiring from the talent pool “in your own backyard” makes sense if you want to find talent that’s already engaged in your important mission.

    Unfortunately, in many communities the local talent pool has become a little shallow.  And in many areas, it’s about to get worse.

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that by 2022, some 525,000 new registered nursing positions will be needed across the nation. It also predicts a shortage of approximately 1.05 million new and replacement nurses nationwide by 2022.

    It’s also important to recognize that this shortage will not be equally shared among communities. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as the number of positions continues to outpace the number of nurses available, many communities, especially in the Western states, may see their available labor pool dry up.

    Facilities in states like Arizona, for example—with a projected shortage of over 28,000 nurses by 2025—will need to take an extremely creative tack to attract experienced nurses. Others in areas like Ohio—which has a projected surplus of as many as 75,000 nurses—will need to guard their top talent to ensure they are not lured away by organizations whose message might resonate with them.

    Attracting the best and the brightest nursing professionals is the goal of any good leadership team. But when you’ve exhausted your regional resources, finding those people requires serious creativity in your recruitment efforts.

    Many healthcare organizations have begun to recruit outside their geographic region, crafting dedicated campaigns to reach and attract experienced nurses from areas that are relatively talent “heavy.” For example, we helped a growing health system in the southwest complete a nurse recruitment campaign in Canada with great success.

    By providing targeted messaging via direct mail and a dedicated microsite, as well as person-to-person contact with the system’s talent leadership at local hiring events, the system painted a picture of the future these nurses could not resist.

    Before you discount the idea of going outside your market because “my system’s too small” or “my location’s not ideal,” stop to consider where your goals and the goals of your candidates align. It is possible you can offer plenty of benefits that would make any nursing professional jump at the chance to be part of your community:

    •  Offer enhanced education assistance. As your programs evolve, you probably have more positions requiring a BSN. For many nurses, this aligns with an important career objective. In fact, a study by AMN Healthcare found that nearly 59% of nurses between the ages of 19 and 39 plan on pursuing their BSN or graduate nursing degree in the next three years. By offering accelerated or enhanced educational benefits, your facility could be the perfect place for an outside candidate to reach their career goal.
    •  Showcase the strengths of your work environment. You may have better staffing levels than your candidate’s current employer, a more aggressive career ladder, or higher patient satisfaction scores. Even the type of nursing governance and care models you utilize can be huge differentiators depending on the regional market you’re targeting and the facilities that call it home.
    •  Speak to their personal needs. Nurses want different things at different times in their career. Knowing how to position benefits—everything from flexible scheduling to teaching opportunities—will make candidates feel their needs are as important to your organization as they are to them.

    Supply and demand levels for nursing talent will continue to change with factors like population shifts and healthcare industry changes as we move toward 2022 and beyond. As part of a long-term recruitment strategy, targeting out-of-market talent can help you insulate your organization from the effects of the nursing shortage and help bring new life and vitality to your community.

    About the Author

    N. Robert Johnson APR, Practice Leader, Workforce Communications

    Bob Johnson has more than 20 years of corporate, agency and internal communications experience. He is currently leading The David Group's Workforce Communications Practice focused on strengthening employer brands, engaging people and cutting the cost of talent.

    Email N. Robert