National Nurses Week is fast approaching! Beginning on May 6 and ending on May 12 (the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing) the week is dedicated to the pivotal work and role of nurses around the world.
This year, support for nurses is needed more than ever. They’ve endured through the pandemic as our frontline heroes for over 2 years now, continued to tend to patients with issues other than COVID-19 (a full-time job in itself before the pandemic) and now workloads have become overwhelming — to the point where the situation has been deemed a national crisis by The American Nurses Association (ANA).
This has caused a serious decline in morale, an increase in stress and a general dissatisfaction with pay and mental health support, all major factors behind the current nursing shortage. Nurses need help, and one of the best ways that employers can show their support is by hiring more nurses.
But before that can happen, you need to know how to attract today’s nursing talent, which requires a different strategy than even just a couple of years ago. Keep reading for 6 ways to celebrate National Nurses Week this year that shows your support, addresses topics that nurses care about and that will help attract more nursing talent to your workplace now and in the future.
1. Promote nursing at the team or job function level, not by individual jobs
The social feeds of candidates — both in nursing and many other industries — are flooded with job posts right now. This is evident in data from Rally Inside, our new analytics and benchmarking tool, which found that 47% more content about individual jobs was posted in the first 5 weeks of 2022 than in the last 5 weeks of 2021.
With so many jobs being posted, engagement with this type of content is down by 35% comparing the same period. What is working better to attract talent is promoting jobs at the team or job function level. For example, promoting a type of Nursing role rather than one individual role. This type of content is receiving 70% more candidate engagement than individuals jobs content, so if you want to stand out to nursing candidates, make it a priority!
This post from Affiniks International is advertising their need for a type of nurse, not someone to fill a specific role. They also encourage candidates to ask questions about this type of role in the comments. This approach encourages more people to at least begin to engage with the company, even if they’re not certain if they’re qualified for the work.
2. Share stories of nurses on your team
People are much more likely to believe people in similar shoes as them than a general corporate entity. This applies to nursing as well, which is why it’s important to share the stories of existing nurses on your team.
The general category of “stories” can include:
- Career tracks (how did an existing nurse at your organization get to where they are now?)
- Workplace achievements (such as winning an award or overcoming a major challenge)
- Stories of growth throughout your company (how someone began in a certain role within your organization and then excelled to the position they hold now)
- Days in the life (what it’s really like to be a nurse, as told by the person themself)
- Why nurses choose to stay at your organization
Data is also showing that few employers are actually publishing this kind of content right now, yet it’s receiving twice the engagement compared to Q4 2021; culture content in particular is receiving 174% more engagement!
If you’re not sharing stories of your nurses that provide a real glimpse into your organization’s culture, values, benefits and everyday experiences, now’s the time to start.
Rally note: For help with building an employee story engine at your company, read our Ultimate Guide to Building an Employee Stories Content Library.
The story of Nikki Garner, RT, what prompted her to want to become a nurse and what her experience has been like on the front lines at Loyola Medicine.
3. Make it easy for your team to share content across their own networks
There is the reach that your corporate channels have, and then there is the reach that each of your nurses has across their own networks. For every person on your team that you get to share content promoting their experiences, your roles and your organization (or all 3), you gain access to the hundreds, if not thousands of people in their networks.
But one of the biggest holdups to gaining access to these networks is content creation. Nurses already have a lot on their plate; asking them to write up a story from scratch, create a graphic, write copy for a job ad or make a video is a big ask.
This is where having premade materials can come in handy. If you have a hub of graphics, videos, scripts and other templated media that people can pull from, and potentially even a system in place that allows them to quickly share to their social channels, you make it way easier for them to create and share this content.
This can be as simple as a themed template made in Canva with the prompt “What did my journey look like getting to my current position?”, to which employees just have to add their own words and photos.
You can also gamify the process, such as awarding those who generate the most engagement or share the most pieces of content with their networks.
4. Share workplace achievements and awards
Competition is stiff right now, and one of the ways that employers are breaking through the noise to attract talent is by sharing workplace achievements and awards.
According to data from Rally Inside, content such as company news, awards and partnerships are receiving 200% more engagement than this type of content did in November and December of last year.
This type of content includes:
- “Best Place to Work” awards
- Positive reviews on Glassdoor and other employer review sites
- Prestigious industry awards (i.e. the Uniform Data System (UDS) for Medical Rehabilitation Top Performer Award)
An easier way to think of this kind of content is this: If you have good news to share, candidates are interested.
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Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine have ranked among the nation’s best hospitals by U.S. News & World Report. This is exactly the kind of content that candidates care about — and that’s worth sharing across as many touchpoints as possible.
5. Host events or giveaways
With so much attention around the profession, National Nurses Week is the perfect time to host a hiring event or careers fair.
Leading up to the event, you can use organic social media posts, blog posts, email, paid ads and other means to drive traffic to sign up. On the day of, you can replicate Sitel Group’s strategy and host a live stream to encourage more people to drop by.
This can be done on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram or any other platform where you have a following, and you can use this stream almost like a concierge, fielding candidate questions and directing them to the event itself when they’re ready.
If a full-fledged hiring event isn’t possible, you can also attract candidates through surveys, games, giveaways and other interactive events. Even if these events just get new people into your talent network, you can use talent nurture campaigns to stay top-of-mind and potentially encourage them to apply in the future.
In anticipation of National Nurses Week, Western Governor’s University put out a call to nurses inviting them to fill out a simple 30-second form for a chance to win a free breakfast or lunch for their entire unit.
6. Share what you’re doing to combat challenges in the Nursing space
Don’t tell candidates how you’re trying to solve their problems, show them!
Conducting research, sponsoring research, interviewing industry experts, talking with nurses themselves to understand their specific issues or implementing policy changes to benefit your staff: all are actions that prove that you care — and that need to be promoted.
You can also promote how you’re taking care of your nurses, such as giving mental health days, offering free healthy meals throughout their shifts or throwing appreciation events.
O.C. Tanner recently held a webinar dedicated to addressing the challenges that nurses are facing right now. Topics include how recognition can prevent burnout and enhance connection, what strategies organizations can use to celebrate special occasions—and connect all year long — and how leading healthcare organizations use recognition to give employees what they need most.
With these strategies, we hope that you can plan for and go into National Nurses Week ready to support, celebrate and attract talent as effectively as possible.
For more help celebrating cultural and social events effectively as a Recruitment Marketer, be sure to read Women’s History Month: How to Make Your Social Strategy a Success and How these 7 Employers Celebrated Black History Month.