A New Approach to Nurse Recruiting

Many of our healthcare clients have the same problem – they need nurses. This problem will continue to compound as Baby Boomers age and the size of the population with healthcare insurance increases. With more than 8,500 employers currently sourcing for Registered Nurses, there is heavy competition to attract qualified talent.2

With healthcare organizations vying for the same pool of prospects, nurse media outlets and associations are saturated with recruiting ads touting relocation incentives, sign-on bonuses, flexible schedules and more. Healthcare organizations must now be prepared to recruit with less traditional methods and present a compelling message to potential nurses at every touch point.

Recruiting Tactics

Don’t utilize just one tactic; create a media mix to make a memorable impact on prospective nurses.


Indeed is the definition of a must-do in recruiting. If you aren’t on Indeed, get there.

Direct Mail

Direct mail is a great way to target specific demographics for your ideal nurse candidate. While postage and printing can be costly, direct mail can be tracked to calculate ROI of the effort. Few other advertising tactics allow matchback, or identification of the specific applicants or interviewees responding to your mailer. Start with a budget your team is comfortable with (but a large enough sample to be relevant test). Allow 60 days and match the mail list back to inquiries, applicants and interviewees to determine if your direct mail effort yielded results. If so, repeat with a different target area or demographics. If not, focus budget on other tactics or test with a different region or demographics profile.

Household IP Targeting

If you have a direct mail list, consider layering household IP targeting in to your media mix. Household IP targeting uses your existing direct mail list and matches it to specific computer IP addresses. Digital ads are only served to the IP addresses being targeted (and matched to your mail list) via a digital advertising network of websites. This allows your targeted mail list to receive a mailer and also see your message via digital advertising for additional impressions and improved conversion rates over direct mail alone. Testing this tactic is easy to do since we know the names being targeted and they can be matched back to measure lift over direct mail alone.


LinkedIn should be a platform being heavily utilized by the organization to dovetail all recruiting and organization efforts. It is a great way to build your brand’s reputation and expertise while making open positions known and targeting job seekers. Like Facebook, nurses can be targeted directly in the location desired, as well as by years of experience. Boosted posts are a great way to reach targeted nurses with relevant messages and open positions. With so many options available through LinkedIn, work with your agency or LinkedIn representative to determine a strategy that is best for your organization and budget.


Facebook is an efficient way to expand the reach of your recruiting message. Facebook’s targeting tools go beyond demographics and allow you to target those who are likely nurses, so your advertising dollars are spent more efficiently. Most organizations have a Facebook presence; if it is not allowed in your company, perhaps you can obtain approval for a Facebook presence exclusively for HR and recruiting use. This page could be a forum for HR to post messages that are appropriate for public audiences while celebrating the culture and workforce of the organization. In addition to recruiting and job openings, the page could announce employee recognition awards, wellness initiatives and other HR initiatives that speak to the positive culture of the organization. To increase your organization’s reach, create Facebook campaigns that include both ads and boosted posts. Test messages to determine which garner the most response. Start with a limited geography and expand with additional reach and budget as messaging is fine-tuned.


Like Facebook, Twitter advertising is best if you already have an active Twitter presence. With a variety of targeting options, Twitter is a great way to target those who are likely nurses or know nurses. Twitter also integrates nicely with a Search Engine Marketing (SEM) campaign by facilitating remarketing to those who have visited your website with Twitter as well as through digital display. As with all digital campaigns, test your messaging to improve effectiveness, and then broaden your reach and budget.

Search Engine Marketing

If nurses are actively seeking positions in your area or for specific types of nursing positions that you offer, your organization should be at the top of the search results. While some nurses will seek their next position through an association job board or Indeed, some nurses or their families may utilize Google or another search engine to see what’s out there. If you are offering a sign-on bonus at your hospital in Tulsa, for example, don’t hide this fact—there may be a potential candidate searching for “sign-on bonus in Tulsa.” An SEM campaign will also allow for remarketing. If a potential candidate visits a nurse position page on your website, you can continue to follow them with targeted display ads after they leave your website.

Other Paid Media

Many paid advertising options through major nursing associations and websites are very cost-prohibitive. However, they do have a reach to nurses that is hard to deny. Review the media kit carefully and select option(s) that will not make you ‘one of many’ organizations, like in the print publication ads. Consider eBlasts, online ads or other targeted media options where results are more easily tracked and you have more control over timing and placement.


Read about a two-tactic, successful nurse recruiting effort: Effectiveness of Direct Mail & Household IP Targeting Case Study

Interested in learning more? Contact Angela Harless at 918-938-7912 or AngelaHarless@nullAcrobatAnt.com.

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