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Enlist a recruitment army to draw in new recruits


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To help recruit the best and brightest, form a recruitment force that includes all your organizational employees, family members, and even volunteers. Use an employee referral incentive program to help mobilize your recruitment army.

Most employee referral programs offer a referral fee to employees who refer prospects that hire on and remain at least one year. The employee usually receives one half of the referral fee upon the new hire's sign-on, and the other half upon the new recruit's successful completion of a year of employment. Referral fees or bonuses vary widely depending on the position level-lower fees are offered mostly for beginning-level positions, and higher finder fees for administrative positions. Some facilities increase referral fees for difficult-to-fill positions.

A trend in referral incentive programs is to offer referral fees to employer family members, organizational volunteers, and individuals in the community. Organizations can also hold drawings for individuals who make successful referrals, awarding such prizes as a free trip or a new car. Other innovative recruitment techniques include:

Placing job opening lists on unit bulletin boards. Make them interesting-include a quote of the week or a cartoon.
Negotiating with other departments on a consistent paper color for recruitment materials, something flashy like hot pink or lime green, will attract the most attention.
Make sure job listings are available to members of your community. Establish a system whereby administrators immediately place positions on your Web site. Make sure your facility's homepage includes a "Job Opportunities" button. Keep the listings fresh by immediately removing filled positions.

Encourage your recruitment army to constantly look for and develop creative strategies. Also help them to understand that it's never too late to recruit. One North Carolina nurse left the hospital that employed her for a number of years to work in a local nursing home. On her first day of employment at the nursing home, she received a beautiful flower arrangement with a card signed by each of her former hospital coworkers saying, "We miss you! Please come back!" Within two weeks she returned.

Editor’s note: This was an excerpt from HCPro’s book, Surviving the nursing shortage: Strategies for Recruitment and Retention. Check out our latest nursing resources here.