Best Way to Recruit Travel Nurses

The last two years were very fluctuating regarding the healthcare staffing market. The most successful staffing firms have been the ones that were agile in their approach, adapting their business strategies to the market’s demand and customers’ evolving needs. And one of the most successful strategies to remain agile is diversifying your talent sourcing strategies.  Reach your potential candidates on domain specific job boards, attend job fairs and be present at networking events, and reach out to healthcare specific recruitment/staffing agencies.
As per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, by 2024, there will be more than a million registered nurse openings. With a considerable gap in the demand and supply of nurses, healthcare institutions are looking for ways to recruit additional nursing staff quickly. Traveling nurses have become very popular in the past few years.

Before, we deep dive into the subject, we need to understand that there are quite a few aspects of travel nursing staffing that make travel nurse recruiting unique compared to other recruitment industries. One of them is the short-term nature of the assignment. It implies that travel nurses and recruiters look for jobs more frequently than in other industries. For example, the typical contract length in IT staffing or any other industry is 6 months to 1 year, while the specific duration in travel nursing is 3 months. This means more resources are spent on job searches and higher candidate turnover. 

Hiring managers catering to healthcare who can assess future staffing needs accurately have the edge over others in recruiting traveling nurses because they can reach out to prospective candidates proactively long before the start date of an open position.

To cater to the unpredictable demand, US health agencies are counting more than ever on staffing companies to get them, temporary staff. However, one word of caution; the cost of hiring travel nurses must be closely watched. Hiring cost has always been a significant challenge for hospitals and healthcare institutions. Inflation and rising labour costs further add to the difficulties of hiring temporary nursing staff. 

This article will discuss some of the most effective talent-sourcing tools you should adopt to recruit travel nurses.

1. Strengthen your employee referral model 
Employee referrals can help you close open positions in a fast and much more economical way. Maintain a robust referral database and active pipeline. Internal references help you get more qualified candidates by leveraging the employee network and filling vacant positions with more qualified candidates faster. 

2. Target specialized job boards
Your ideal candidates are available on specific job portals, so you must be there too. When you place your job requirement and Ads on specialized portals, there are higher chances that qualified candidates will respond to your posts. 

Here is the list of the top 10 job sites for nurses- 

  • Onward Healthcare
  • RN Wanted
  • NurseFinders
  • Nursemp
  • Ultimate Nurse
  • CampusRN
  • DiversityNursing
  • HealthJobsPlus

3. Be part of travel nurse communities 
The golden rule is to be available where your target audience is. There are many communities where travel nurses are present. If you want to connect with the right candidate, join the popular travel nurse communities. 
Some of them are listed below – 

  • Passports and Preemies Travel Community
  • Travel Nurse Network – The Gypsy Nurse
  • Premium NICU Travel Assignments

4. Optimizing your search through Facebook
By now, you already know about the vast network of the travel nursing community on Facebook. There is much more to sourcing from Facebook than just posting on your page and scouting your messenger. Optimizing search through Facebook requires a planned strategy and investment of time and money. Some of the steps you can take are – 

  • Post job ads on relevant Facebook groups – Posting open positions on specific affinity groups and travel nurse communities are a great way to connect with the right talent available for new jobs.
  • Leverage Facebook advertising with job title targeting – Create custom ads for specific campaigns. Monitor your Facebook audience meter and re-align your strategy for the best results. Once you have built a qualified audience, you can start creating your Ad targeting your viewers as per the profile specifications. 

5. Always ask for referrals from current and past hires
Referrals may be the best way to get new candidates and enhance your candidate database. However, referrals will not fall into your lap magically. You have to ask for them and follow up! So ask for them at every opportunity you get.

6. Make paperwork easier for travel nurses
Studies have shown that the lengthier the application process, the higher the applicant abandonment rate. 72% of travel nurses said they would be more likely to work with a new agency if they didn’t have to complete paperwork at the outset and it is considerably reduced. 

Once you have established the groundwork for successful travel nurse recruiting, you can focus on attracting the most qualified candidates to their healthcare organization. Maintaining relationships with consistent communication will be helpful for future requisitions. One golden rule never leaves a good candidate hanging with an update.

By following best practices such as sharing clear job descriptions, conducting thorough screenings, and offering competitive compensation & benefits, creating a positive work environment, and providing opportunities for learning and professional development, organizations can attract and retain top-quality travel nurses.
Stay happy, Stay healthy!

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