Ryan O'Donnell By Ryan O'Donnell • July 10, 2018

How a Modern Employee Referral Program Can Improve Nurse Recruitment

How Modern Employee Referral Program Can Improve Nurse Recruitment

The nursing shortage is real and it already is affecting hospitals and other medical facilities across the country. This demand is only expected to worsen in the upcoming years, as studies suggest that there will be a need for more than 1 million nurses by 2030. Healthcare companies must take steps now to improve their nurse recruitment and retention strategies if they are going to survive the next decade.

The Problem: Nurse Recruitment

Healthcare institutions already are feeling the pinch of the nursing shortage. Not only are they losing experienced nurses, as nurses from the baby boomer generation are now reaching retirement age, but there nursing schools and universities are not graduating enough nursing students to fill open vacancies. In order to find enough talent to provide quality care for their patients, healthcare employers are looking for effective hiring strategies to help them hire and retain top talent.

The Solution: Employee Referrals

Struggling to fill 67 open CNA jobs and 260 open RN jobs, Mission Health, located in Asheville, NC, made nurse recruitment a top priority within the company. They implemented several new recruitment strategies, including an employee referral program. With this referral program, they offered their employees a referral bonus of anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 depending on the specific nursing position. These bonuses are high enough to entice employees to make quality referrals, yet still, keep recruitment costs low.

How to Implement a Successful Employee Referral Program in 2018

When implementing a modern employee referral program, there are several things you can do to make sure it is successful from day one.

Marketing Is Key

Marketing your referral program is crucial and not just at the start of your program, but on a regular basis. You want to keep your referral program fresh in the mind of your employees at all time. You can spread the news about your employee referral program via targeted email or texting campaigns to your employees or by sharing your program on social media or with flyers posted in the break room. Also, share success stories, so your employees can see your referral program in action.

Seamless Mobile Friendly Process

You also want to make it as easy as possible for your employees to make referrals. Remember, your employees are busy and your nurses are on the move, so if the process takes too long or cumbersome they may just not bother making any referrals. Some hospitals have realized they still require employers submit paper forms and fax their referrals information to HR in order to receive a referral bonus.

Making it seamless to submit a referral will increase your programs adoption and ensure a steady stream qualified candidates. This will help to improve not just the quantity, but also the quality of your referrals.

Keep Employee Informed

After employees submit their referrals, it is easy for those referrals to get lost in the shuffle. Referred candidates need to be contacted quickly or else they may be recruited away by other healthcare providers. Additionally, employees who submit referrals are your best brand ambassadors so you should keep them updated on the status of their referral. Nothing is worse than sending a referral only to have it end up in a black hole which creates a poor experience for the employee and the referred candidate.

How Do You Get Started?

If you lead a healthcare provider, chances are you are struggling to attract and retain new and experienced nurses. One thing is certain, the demand for experienced nurses is not going to end anytime soon. Healthcare employers must take proactive steps, like launching a modern employee referral program to remain competitive in the future.

If you want to explore your options when launching a modern employee referral program, contact EmployUs today to learn how you can improve your nurse recruitment with employee referrals.