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How to boost your Nursing recruitment efforts

How to boost your Nursing recruitment efforts

Months, even years before the Covid-19 pandemic, gaps for nursing vacancies at Trusts across the UK had reached record levels. Data from the Health Foundation revealed that, in the first quarter of 2018-19, nurse vacancies reached 44,000.

According to the report, this number could spiral to 100,000 in a decade – and this number was estimated without considering the pressure that the Coronavirus is now wreaking onto the healthcare system.

As the gap widens, a need to recruit a pipeline of permanent nursing staff will become more vital for each and every Trust in the UK. So how can you recruit qualified nursing staff which complement your Trust’s culture, in one of the most competitive periods in history?

There are plenty of ways to think outside the box when it comes to recruiting nurses via social media and more specifically, through targeted Facebook ads.

Here are several considerations that you might make:

Know what nurses want, and be a leading employer


Your brand awareness is vital in a competitive market with little to differentiate one Trust from another. Decide what you stand for and how this should be perceived through online advertising and recruitment efforts. What are your values? How can these be attained? And what can you offer your existing and future workforce?

There is always a reason that a qualified nurse will have their head turned by a prospective new employer. This might be a new opportunity to learn, with higher pay; a chance to gain new skills or qualifications; flexible working hours; a new, modern Trust environment which listens to its staff members, or the opportunity to move to a new area, with a brand new team to be a part of.

Rotational roles, transfers, mentoring and support from clinical educators are all selling points to nursing staff looking for the Trust which suits them best.

By understanding who you are attracting and what you can offer them, you’ll begin to see which elements of your offering are the most persuasive to different candidates. Shout about your unique selling points, and offer clear, concise benefits to joining your Trust.

Tailor your message


If you’re seeking to recruit nurses with a specific skillset, speak to that. Tell them why you need them, how a move to your Trust will impact their careers. Let them meet the like-minded people they will be working beside, see where they could be working, and how their careers will benefit.

A range of social media advertisements, and tweaks to each tailored message, will help drive results. It is important to know which social media platform offers the best exposure to the audience you are keen to reach.

For example, 59% of internet users between the ages of 18 and 29 use Instagram; this drops to ⅓ for those over 30. A huge 83% of internet users are on Facebook, and users aged 65 and over are the platform’s largest growing demographic – proof that digital advertising can reach audiences of any age with the right message.

Think outside the box when it comes to candidates

Luring qualified candidates away from other Trusts is one way to recruit permanent nursing staff to your wards. But there are many other avenues to explore in terms of passive jobseekers who may be interested in joining your Trust.

Consider targeting student nurses in their final years; trainees; those returning to practice and overseas candidates. Each group will be served by a different angle, and messages will need adapting, but this can be a very successful method of recruiting.

According to research from the House of Commons Library, the majority of NHS staff in England are British – but a substantial minority are not. Around 153,000 out of staff reporting a nationality say they are non-British, which equates to just over one in eight.

There are countless ways to engage with foreign nursing staff through recruitment-focused Facebook ads, and you can offer them Skype interviews just as you might a candidate working in a different part of the UK.

Additionally, there are approximately 900,000 working age veterans in the UK, and 14,000 more leave the Armed Forces each year. Many of these individuals are job ready and contribute to a pool of staff your organisation can tap into.

Their recruitment needs are currently being assisted by the Step into Health programme, which the NHS runs in collaboration with the Armed Forces – and offers another potential avenue through which to recruit.

Use your educational connections


If your Trust is linked with a University, these grounds are obviously ripe for new recruits.

Take advantage of all possible (virtual) job fairs, join panel discussions and webinars to ensure that the students have your Trust top of mind when it comes to applying for roles.

Offering university and college courses as part of training and development for nursing staff is also an excellent draw. Ensure you are active in social media link ups with the education facility you’re part of too; getting involved with their followers will increase your reach and pique the interest of new faces.

Take advantage of a social media boom


The Covid-19 crisis has forced people to stay at home, cutting off most social contact – so naturally, many individuals are spending far more time on their phones and online. It’s the perfect time and method to attract passive jobseekers.

A recent campaign run by Just R for Cornwall Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (link) exceeded audience reach expectations by an incredible 240%. The campaign sought to recruit Theatres staff to the Trust, and led to more than 100 enquiries in just two months.

There has never been a more crucial time to employ social media advertising.

Through a campaign to recruit nurses with Just R, you’re able to target a defined audience, and run a story of tailored written and visual content leading to a simple enquiry page. Recruiting nurses through Facebook and other social media channels has never been simpler and more effective with an expert partner.


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