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8 steps to successfully recruiting nursing staff

Posted by: Lynn Sedgwick

Hiring new nurses and care staff is no easy task. You need to consider any relevant qualifications, hands-on experience, area of specialism, salary; the list of things to think about is endless. Add to that the challenge of recruiting nurses that are in short supply and the hiring process is often difficult and time-consuming. The World Health Organisation estimates that there are 7.3 million nurses in Europe. With the population of the continent one hundred times that at around 741.4 million people it’s easy to see how demand outstrips supply.

Given the staggering figures, it may feel that the odds are stacked against you when it comes to hiring nursing staff. That’s why we’ve put together a guide to make your hiring process as effective as possible, so you can get the right staff in place despite the challenges.

Tips for hiring the right nursing candidate

Whether you’re taking on one person or several, follow these steps for a smooth and successful hiring process:

  1. Act fast: When a candidate responds you must act quickly. The longer you wait to get back to someone who shows an interest in working for your organisation, the greater the risk of you losing out.
  2. Project your brand: Treat your potential employees like you would your patients and their families. Show potential employees what’s so great about working with you and demonstrate that your surgery, hospital or care home is an attractive place to work. For a greater insight into employer branding, our blog has everything you need to know.
  3. Avoid mistakes when hiring: It is absolutely crucial to get the hiring process right, not just from an efficiency perspective, but from a legal perspective. Ensure that the person handling your recruitment is experienced and has a sharp eye for detail so that you won’t be exposed to accusations of discrimination or lack of due diligence. This will avoid costly legal proceedings and a lot of embarrassment. Which takes us to our next point…
  4. Dodge recruiting blunders: Ensure that your recruitment agency is experienced and won’t make costly errors. Having an external recruitment provider cause an issue is unlikely to be any less embarrassing or uncomfortable than if the mistake was made in-house.
  5. Be clear on how you will go about recruiting: Will the process be in-house or outsourced? Will there be a single point of contact, or will recruitment be handled by a team of people? Having a clear process in place ensures all parties know where they stand and will enable those responsible for recruitment to respond quickly to candidates, giving you the best chance of hiring the right person.
  6. Be transparent: If you’re going to attract the very best talent – and retain that talent – you need to be upfront and clear about everything: expectations, culture, the type of work available, salaries and shift patterns. Any unexpected surprises could just put potential candidates off your organisation, or see them jump ship shortly after joining you.
  7. Have a plan for the interview stage: A clear process for assessing candidates is crucial to screening the most suitable talent. Again, it’s worth considering whether this is something that will be handled in-house or externally. If handled externally, ensure that your recruitment consultant has clear guidelines as to what you are looking for – they may be able to conduct a brief initial interview with candidates and narrow the focus of your search, so you can consider only the best.
  8. Ensure the recruiter understands the job spec: Nobody knows your staff or the vacant position you need to fill like you do. That’s why it’s so important to give a clear, detailed and accurate job description to whoever is doing your recruitment – especially if you’re handing the task over to an external recruiter. Ensure that they understand the job spec entirely, as being able to accurately represent the role to prospective employees stands you in good stead for finding the person with the skills and experience needed. It may be a good idea to enlist the help of a reliable, specialist nursing recruiter who has the experience of recruiting nurses and care workers and is familiar with the intricacies of the health sector.

Hiring the right person is tough for any organisation, and especially so in the competitive climate of healthcare. We hope these eight steps will make recruitment more straightforward, so you can successfully appoint the right person to the post. Not only will a clear recruitment strategy and a trusted recruitment partner make the hiring process better, it’ll give your organisation the boost it needs to thrive in the long term.

You might also like to read our blog on The best tech tools for Care Home Management, and if you’re looking to recruit now, get in touch with us by calling 01772 259121 or Register a Vacancy directly online.

Click the following link to download our latest report on trends in recruitment: The 7 critical recruitment trends for businesses that will impact your talent pipeline in 2019.

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