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Travel Nurse Recruiting: 11 Tips for Hiring Travel Nurses

If you don’t have enough full-time nurses to maintain your desired staffing ratio, hiring travel nurses can help you fill in the gaps. Instead of working for the same facility year-round, a travel nurse takes on short-term assignments, making them valuable to hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities. Use these tips for travel nurse recruiting to find high-quality candidates.

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Tips for travel nurse recruiting

1. Partner with a staffing agency

If you don’t have a travel nurse recruiter on your staff, consider partnering with a staffing agency. Travel nurses jobs are somewhat unique, as the contracts often come with housing stipends, bonuses and other forms of compensation. Working with a staffing agency can make it easier to manage the ins and outs of travel nursing agreements.

You can also benefit from the relationships that agency recruiters have with their travel nurses. It’s not unusual for a nurse to accept multiple contracts from the same agency, so travel nurses and recruiters often work together for years at a time. If you need to fill a nursing position quickly, working with an agency may help reduce the amount of time it takes to find high-quality candidates.

2. Use social media

Social media isn’t just for those interested in the latest viral challenges. It’s a valuable tool for healthcare facilities in need of travel nurses. If you already use social media for recruiting, start posting content directed at travel nursing professionals. Highlighting the benefits of working for your facility may help you attract more candidates.

If you don’t have any social media profiles, create some now. Be sure to include the full name of your facility, the location and a link to the careers page on your website. Once your accounts are up and running, commit to posting several times per week. The more you post, the more opportunities you have to connect with travel nurses.

3. Attend job fairs

Attending a job fair has several benefits for travel nurse recruiters. First, there’s a good chance you’ll connect with at least one person with the skills and experience you need. If you attend a job fair in a large city, you also have the opportunity to choose from a much larger applicant pool. The more applicants you have, the more likely you are to find someone who meets the requirements for the job.

Job fairs also give you a chance to increase awareness of your facility. Even if you don’t hire someone immediately, an attendee may remember speaking with you and end up reaching out to you if they need a job in the future.

4. Keep your website updated

If a travel nurse visits your website, they should be able to find plenty of information about your nursing philosophy. It’s also important to post about the benefits available to travel nurses, such as sign-on bonuses, housing allowances and reimbursement for moving costs. If your website has outdated information, travel nurses won’t be able to determine if your facility is a good fit for their current needs.

5. Refine the hiring process

If your hiring process is overly complex, you may discourage experienced nurses from applying for travel positions with your facility. To attract high-quality applicants, refine your hiring process as much as possible.

For example, if you currently require two in-person interviews, consider doing the first interview via Zoom or another video-conferencing tool. This eliminates the need for travel nurses to commute to your facility on two separate occasions.

Another option is to offer a streamlined application process. If you require applicants to enter their job history and qualifications into an online form, don’t make them provide a separate résumé. Otherwise, they may get discouraged and look elsewhere for travel nursing positions.

You may also wish to review and refine your current travel nurse job description.

6. Focus on building relationships

In travel nurse recruiting, relationships are everything. Whether you’re conducting screening interviews or making offers, treat every applicant with respect. They may not accept a travel contract with you right now, but they’ll remember how you treated them. If applicants have good experiences with your company, they may refer other nurses to you or apply for full-time jobs with your facility when they’re ready to stop traveling.

7. Maintain open lines of communication

If a nurse takes the time to apply for one of your travel positions, it’s important to keep the lines of communication open. For example, if your needs change, you should reach out to each applicant, let them know about the changes and confirm that they’re still interested in the position. Effective communication makes a positive impression on applicants, making it more likely they’ll accept employment offers or tell other nurses about your open positions.

8. Use job boards wisely

When you advertise a travel nursing job, make sure you include plenty of details. A nurse should be able to read your job advertisement and understand exactly what you need. If possible, include the compensation range for the job. Travel nurses use these ranges to determine if the pay for a nursing contract justifies the costs of moving and having to learn a whole new way of doing things.

Read more: 10 Nurse Job Boards for Employers

9. Set up a booth at relevant professional conferences

If your applicant pool is a little smaller than you’d like, have one of your recruiters attend nursing conferences in large cities. Setting up a booth at one of these conferences is a great way to connect with nurses who may be interested in travel opportunities. Your recruiter can give away branded items, collect contact information from hundreds or even thousands of nurses and spread the word about the benefits of accepting a travel nursing assignment at your facility.

10. Ask for referrals from current employees

When you’re looking for new talent sources, don’t forget about your current employees. Offering referral bonuses may help you attract high-quality applicants in a more efficient manner, making it an excellent way to increase the size of your applicant pool. In-house referral programs are also often very cost-effective. If your facility doesn’t have the budget for cash bonuses, you can offer additional time off or other incentives for high-quality referrals.

11. Try pay-per-click advertising

PPC advertising allows employers to display their advertisements on social media networks and other websites, making it easier to connect with travel nurses. One of the benefits of using this type of advertising is that you don’t pay unless someone clicks on one of your ads.

If you decide to advertise with Google, you can have your ads appear at the top of the search engine results for specific keywords, during YouTube videos or on websites related to travel nursing. For example, if you bid on the keyword “travel nursing in Detroit,” Google may display your ads any time someone searches for this keyword. This type of advertising is helpful because it gets your ads in front of people who are already interested in travel nursing opportunities.

Facebook also has its own advertising program. One of the main benefits of advertising on Facebook is that you get to define your audience. For example, it’s possible to display your ads to users between the ages of 25 and 45 who live in a specific city or state and have experience in the nursing field. Narrowing down your target audience makes it more likely that users interested in travel nursing jobs will see your ads.

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