6 Innovative Recruitment Strategies in Healthcare

When the going gets tough, the tough get…creative. Take healthcare recruitment. The industry talent shortage isn’t going anywhere, so savvy healthcare employers are developing innovative ways to attract recruits.

Because let’s face it: not everyone can offer tippy-top compensation. An iconic reputation. Or even an ideal climate.

That said, there are many things you can do to entice candidates. Consider these six real-world recruitment strategies your peers are using.

Should you try them, too?

1. Take Job Fairs Online

Most recruitment outreach happens online—and for a growing number of hospitals, that includes hosting some form of virtual career fair. These allow employers to connect with candidates around the country—and even the globe—in casual, convenient ways that professionals are embracing.

For example, organizations like Mayo Clinic now hold specialty-focused webinars to meet particular hiring needs. Others, like Johns Hopkins, host weekly virtual drop-ins for nurses, so RNs can chat with recruiters on their own terms.

2. Think Beyond Full-Time Roles

If you’re like many hospitals, you’ve already introduced flexible scheduling, to give employees greater control over their hours. But if you truly want to attract more candidates, consider swapping out some full-time positions for more part-time/job-sharing roles.

Consider this: as a test, Buchholz Hospital’s surgical emergency department advertised a single opening two ways—as both a full-time and a part-time position. While the full-time ad went unanswered, the part-time post generated a flood of applications.

This led the hospital to create job-sharing arrangements, as well as more part-time positions. Yes, it takes more planning and admin, but hospital management couldn’t be happier. 

3. Go BIG on Benefits

Chances are, you already offer extensive benefits…but there’s always opportunities to sweeten the pot.

Take St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. In addition to all the standard benefits, the hospital offers a healthy maternity program, fertility benefits and adoption assistance. Other facilities offer pluses like eldercare benefits and discounts on home and car insurance. 

In addition, student loan repayment programs are exploding in popularity. Vanderbilt University Medical Center now offers registered nurses a student loan repayment benefit of $500 per month for up to four years—an impressive total benefit of up to $24,000. 

And some hospitals are offering their full benefits packages to part-time employees—not just a compelling recruiting tool, but retention tool as well.

4. Pile on the Perks

It’s a given that healthcare professionals are drawn to caring employers. One way to show you care is to shower your people with onsite services that make life easier and make the workday more fun.

For example, some hospitals offer their employees:

  • Onsite massage therapy
  • Dry cleaning pickup
  • Meals to go   
  • Car wash/detailing services
  • A travel office
  • Onsite farmers’ markets
  • Bike sharing 
  • Free concerts and seasonal entertainment
  • Discounted tickets to local events 

One plus about perks: they’re often affordable and easy to arrange—and they allow you to partner with local businesses, strengthening your ties to the community.

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5. Wow Your Visiting Candidates

It’s key to impress out-of-town candidates who travel in for an interview. Every moment of their visit is an opportunity to win them over—and should be scripted as such.

Beyond five-star hotel and restaurant reservations, show them the best of what your area has to offer—whether treating them to city tours or the area’s top attractions. 

And, above everything, reimburse them promptly for their travel expenses. If your accounting department needs more than two weeks to cut a check (and many, it seems, still need up to six), that’s undercutting your efforts.

For this reason, more hospitals are outsourcing candidate reimbursement. Our program, Candidate by UrbanBound ensures that applicants are reimbursed quickly, while showcasing our clients’ hospitals and cities on our online portal.

6. Relocate Them Like Royalty

When courting long-distance candidates, one of the most compelling recruitment strategies you can leverage is a smooth, fully supported relocation.

Today, recruitment-savvy hospitals are providing more than a relocation allowance; they’re offering new hires access to innovative relocation technology.

At UrbanBound, we pioneered relocation technology—and we specialize in healthcare. In fact, several leading healthcare organizations (including St. Jude and Mayo Clinic) have entrusted their relocation program to us.

Looking for innovative recruitment strategies that work for your peers? Take a closer look at us.

Human Resources Today