Use a “personal approach”.
(This approach can be used with any role that is hard to fill, competitive and critical you your business success.)
Filling RN roles has two major components:
1. Recruit, recruit, recruit – meaning, get the word out about how great your hospital or facility is, what great care you deliver, and what great careers nurses have with you.
2. Fast track hiring – in a competitive landscape, timeliness is a measure of interest and business efficiency.
We will cover recruiting in a separate article. Outlined below is one way to look at fast-tracking the hiring process.
For this approach to fast tracking to work, all players must know their roles and must play their roles.
Part of what is presented below may be generic, and can be easily customized based on the size of your organization, the scope of leadership coverage and available of roles, like nursing educators, and the geography that needs to be covered. Also, blending on-line tools like applicant tracking systems adds a critical element.
The overall approach is to use a “human touch” – person to person relationships to facilitate the hiring process. To allow each nurse to feel special, that he or she is wanted, valued and in turn can easily see how they can have a meaningful place as a caregiver in your facility.
To be successful, we want to connect applicants or candidates with other people, not with systems or processes. We will have a process on the back end, and if followed properly, the candidate will never see or know they are in a process or part of a process.
Another element of success is tied to a senior team commitment that hiring skilled care givers is a top line priority for the company. If it is not, then do not follow this process, it will not work. If this type of hiring is a priority, then it must be treated as such by all involved, and this approach will deliver great outcomes.
A simple overview of the process follows. A couple of key concepts are “keep moving” and “escalation”. For this process to work there can be no excuses or reasons to not keep moving and to not escalate.
Candidate enters facility – usually HR. Either is a walk-in or was invited.
Candidate meets with the nurse recruiter for 10 minutes. Is given a little bit of prepared info to read and a short form to fill out. (These details may vary depending on other aspects of your hiring process.)
Immediately after the candidate arrives, a call is placed (or paged) to the nurse manager. The manager has been pre-scheduled or is expected to take a meeting given the priority placed on clinical hiring. A five minute response time is allowed to confirm the meeting.
If no response, then a second call is placed to the nurse manager; another five minute period is allowed for response.
If no response, a call is placed to the nurse educator (or to an alternate nurse manager). Again, a response time of five minutes is allowed.
If no response, a call is placed to the appropriate nursing director. Again, a five minute response time is allowed.
If no response, a call is placed to the CNO; the commitment from the CNO is that he or she will be available, if even for a few minutes to visit with the candidate.
(The goal here is that no matter what is going on, we will connect the candidate with a member of nursing leadership. If we move up the escalation, HR will take the candidate on a short tour of the facility and have some interesting information to share. Within 20 minutes or so, the candidate will be connected with a member of nursing leadership.)
If executed properly, the candidate will not be aware of the escalation or of the availability or lack of availability of any manager or director.
They will know that they got personal attention and were able to have a great discussion about nursing at your company – all within a reasonably short period of time.
The will fee like they got personal attention – because, in fact, they will get personal attention.
There are process options when this approach is customized that take into account applicant tracking systems, diverse geography, and unit cohorts, multiple directors and other factors unique to your company.
The primary basis for success is to not let anything, not systems, not clerks, not busy schedules, not application forms, not clinical crisis, not lack of caring – let nothing get in the way of extending a personal touch to the hiring of key, critical, hard to hire staff.
Commit to the priority and live the priority.