When Sourcing Nurses, the Phone Is Your Friend

Nov 21, 2014

Nurse with blood pressure-free-Sira AnamwongAccording to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Employment Projections 2012-2022 released in December 2013, registered nursing is listed among the top occupations in terms of job growth through 2022.

The registered workforce is expected to grow from 2.71 million in 2012 to 3.24 million in 2022, an increase of 526,800 or 19%. The BLS also projects the need for 525,000 replacements nurses in the workforce bringing the total number of job openings for nurses due to growth and replacements to 1.05 million by 2022.

According to the “United States Registered Nurse Workforce Report Card and Shortage Forecast” published in the January 2012 issue of the American Journal of Medical Quality, a shortage of registered nurses is projected to spread across the country between 2009 and 2030. In this state-by-state analysis, the authors forecast the shortage to be most intense in the South and the West.

Nurses are not constrained by the 9-to-5-work shift that others must accept. This freedom opens up your opportunities in recruiting them. If you have a work schedule that demands those hours be allocated to some other activity, nurse recruiting may be for you.

Not On LinkedIn

Nurses aren’t always hanging out on LinkedIn.

Oh, sure, there are some listed, but less and less nowadays as the social media sites lose their luster. People are back to work so the best place to find them is at their places of work. It’s a task that is as simple as calling into where they work and asking:

Can you tell me, please, who is the nurse manager on your floor?

Oh? Is she the only one or is there another one scheduled on the next shift?

Where Else to Look

How about a state licensing association? That’s a good call, but it isn’t going to tell you where they’re working (or if they’re working — some aren’t). It’ll give you name, license number, and type, what state the person is licensed in, and if there have been any disciplinary actions. Contact information is not usually available.

To find someone working today the best way is to pick a slate of close-by organizations close to your own and begin making calls.

You might think another place to look is to ask nurses to refer other nurses.

Yes and no.

That works if you know a nurse well and she trusts you. Nurses are circumspect people — they’re used to hearing and keeping secrets and they’re not the types to lightly pass along the name, numbers and other information of their friends.

Nurses are also helpful. Most of them will answer a question like that one above (when posed correctly) without giving it much of a second thought.

They’re also very busy. Being respectful of their time is part of gathering information from them.

Source First, Recruit Later

Your mission is not to call them, frisk them for information, and then try to recruit them all on the same call.

Build your roster and then a week or so later call and recruit them individually. As you build your roster keep track of what shift they’re working. It’s not a bad idea to try to get a direct dial or extension number when you’re doing your sourcing calls so you can more easily contact them on your recruiting calls.

Most healthcare professionals have emails at their workplaces. Once you know the email format the organization uses and the correct spelling of the person’s name, it’s not too hard to figure out their email address.

However — be careful of this. Nurses are extremely conscientious, and receiving emails at work touting another job at another organization are likely to go over like lead balloons. Be careful what you say and how you say it in your written correspondence. Limit your subject lines to a half dozen words or less so the messages are received (and understood) on their mobile appliances. Most nurses are carrying phones these days and many of these are plugged into their organization’s communication systems.

Nurses come in all shapes, sizes and personality types. This fun rundown of four basic nurse personality types, written by a seasoned registered nurse, may amuse you. No matter what personality type you get on the phone, I find most of them are interested in hearing what you have to say.

I find that what works best is a first contact phone call during the day to them at their place of work, Follow this formula:

  • Call at a time of day on their shift when they’re not likely to be in a stressed situation;
  • Be respectful of their time and place, and;
  • Ask for a conversation at a time that “may be more convenient.”
Image: Sira Anamwong /
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