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Hiring enough nurses seems impossible? Just look around. Your facility would be closed without the nurses who choose to work there every day. If your current staff are showing up, there are hundreds more like them out there.

Employee referrals are the quickest, cheapest, most natural way to connect with new nurses. Instead of draining sourcing work or expensive agency reliance, you could be letting your current staff do the relationship building & role-selling.

This week we spoke again with Melissa Babin RN, on how YOU could be using employee referrals to source & hire more hospital nurses. Melissa spoke about:

  • Importance first of retention of staff
  • The best incentives for referrals at the unit and system levels
  • Unique ways of adding value to positions.

Using an Employee Referral Program to Attract Healthcare Staff

Employee referral programs are fast becoming the superstar of nurse sourcing. They’re cost-effective, viral, and create a “feel good” atmosphere in facilities.

Last week our COO Patrick spoke with Kim Giglio and Emma Kelety from Overlake Medical Center. Overlake’s employee referral program went from hiring a few to 45 nurses in just 1 year.

Why A Referral Program?

They expand your candidate pool, are cost-effective, improve staff morale, engage employees in staff shortages, and result in quality hires.

Kim said:

“We know that if an employee comes into the organization and they have that support structure, they already know at least one person – the person who referred them – that new hire is more likely to stay. Your existing employees- by engaging them – you’re really causing them to think about why do I want to be here…what makes it a good place to work? You’re facilitating that higher level of engagement and satisfaction by asking them to reach out and sell the organization to potential employees”.

Program Design

Kim and Emma recommend making every job in the organization eligible for a baseline reward, then higher-need jobs (e.g. ICU nurse) eligible for more.

You should also celebrate success. Create a draw for employees who have referred someone. This raises morale and encourages participation. More so, the engagement of managers is crucial. They are the influencers in a department and can lead the charge.

Nurses have told the Nurse Recruitment Experts team more about their favorite referral perks:

Opportunity to share shifts with friends you’ve referred.

Accumulative bonuses, increasing depending on how many people they have referred.

Preference for payment as soon as a new hire starts. This “almost instant” gratification pulls the action & reward closer.

Promoting The Program

So you understand the benefits and have approved rewards for your referral program. Now to get it out there!

Emma shared her tips:

“We printed out a bunch of nice posters, we put them on every unit, every break room possible so no one could miss it…We sent out emails to employees and managers. Every huddle they’re bringing it up…When you engage the managers and they engage their staff, it makes 1 big partnership”

You could also consider using:

  • Newsletter articles.
  • Notifications to new candidates and hires.
  • Broadcast drawings.

Ready to hire more nurses?

Connect with Nurse Recruitment Experts today.