RPO & StaffingTalent Acquisition

How We Solved: Attacking the Nursing Shortage

Implementing healthcare recruitment process management (RPM)

by Bruce J. Tisdale

Saint Anthony’s Health Center is a 229-bed, not-for-profit, faith-based healthcare system, with two campuses located in Alton, IL. Comprised of Saint Anthony’s Hospital and Saint Clare’s Hospital, the organization offers technology and state-of-the-art medicine, administered with skill and care.

Our hospitals had a large number of hard-to-fill openings. The positions were for registered nurses with experience in medical/surgical, emergency, and recovery care. Our timeframe was short, and the target was high, given the severe nursing shortage that existed. This required more than just your average strategy. An intensive branding, marketing, and recruiting campaign was needed to fill the required positions. To accomplish this important and strategic task, Saint Anthony’s and TalentTrack partnered to create a recruitment solution that would attract a very passive nursing candidate pool to these opportunities.

An Improved Strategy and Solution
Focus groups were conducted among key stakeholders, such as human resources and nursing hiring managers. The results confirmed our position in the marketplace as the hospital that provides quality health services motivated by respect for the people we serve and a passion for medicine. These results led to the creation of an aggressive marketing and recruiting campaign that complemented Saint Anthony’s marketing brand. The mission statement tagline, “To serve God is to serve his people,” was incorporated into the campaign, as well as photographs and other elements from the hospital’s marketing literature, but reinterpreted in a way that promoted a unique employment opportunity.

The original goal was to place a targeted number of nurses in 90 days in a remote Illinois location. With a comprehensive recruitment strategy defined, a fierce recruiting blitz was instituted utilizing every means possible to inform nurses about the needs at Saint Anthony’s. Given the small size of our community and the surrounding, more metropolitan area, the strategy called for numerous recruitment streams—including placemats at restaurants, vinyl door clings, data mining, and cold calling. An employee referral program that had been dormant for years was reintroduced with an aggressive internal marketing campaign. Additionally, our hospital’s employee referral program awarded bonuses to existing staff for successfully referring a candidate.  

To efficiently manage this event-based outsourcing model, an applicant tracking system was installed to capture all project elements. This ensured timely action and provided specific recommendations on how to maximize and manage all sources and forms of communication.

Real Results
TalentTrack and Saint Anthony’s successfully partnered to fill every position with the welcome addition of an overall cost per hire reduction of 20.4 percent. The hiring campaign further built Saint Anthony’s employer brand, thereby enticing talented nursing professionals to our opportunities. By building a positive relationship with our hospitals, TalentTrack was able to create recruitment teams that were reliable, customer-focused, and strategic business partners. The partnership allowed human resources function within the hospital to become a strategic partner in future talent planning for our health-care organization.

Headquartered in Toledo, Ohio, TalentTrack is a national provider of comprehensive end-to-end talent management solutions, primarily recruitment process outsourcing. TalentTrack delivers a unique blend of high-touch and high-tech talent applications to client companies in health care, financial services, retail, consumer products, and other industries. Founded in 2002, TalentTrack has been recognized as a leader in RPO for health care organizations, placing approximately 5000 nurses and therapists in the last two years. Named to HRO Today’s “Baker’s Dozen” for Recruitment Process Outsourcing, TalentTrack’s distinctive strategies—a combination of world-class intellectual capital, cutting edge web technology platforms, and other related tools—deliver best in class results, guaranteed, to help clients win the “war for talent.”

Tags: RPO & Staffing, Talent Acquisition

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