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Career days can help recruiters find the best nursing talent

BY: John Roszkowski on October 6, 2017

Nurse.com Career Days connect recruiters with nurses

The quest for nursing talent is never-ending. Hiring nurses who are the right fit for the job is key to maintaining a well-staffed institution. Participating in outreach events such as career days can be an important tool for nurse recruiters in finding and hiring the best talent.

Nurse.com Career Day events like this one in Chicago connect nurse recruiters with job seekers.

Career-day events are designed to connect nurse recruiters with potential job candidates. Unlike Nurse.com’s past career fairs, which were much larger full-day events with several breaks for live continuing education classes, career days are half-day events that focus solely on nurse recruiting. These smaller, more intimate career-day events for nurses are held in multiple cities throughout the U.S. on an ongoing basis and are unique to Nurse.com, according to Jean Scheuer, vice president of business development for the East region of OnCourse Learning, parent company of Nurse.com.

Participation in a career day has benefits for both employers and job seekers, Scheuer said.

“The job market has changed dramatically,” Scheuer said. “There are more jobs for experienced nurses now. It’s become increasingly difficult and more costly for nurse recruiters to fill positions for experienced nurses.”

Intimate environment

A typical Nurse.com career-day event may have between 20 to 30 booths compared with past career fairs that might have had up to 100 booths or more. This more intimate and focused setting gives nurse recruiters and potential job seekers a chance to interact one-on-one in a low-stress environment, Scheuer said.

Meeting face-to-face with potential job seekers is extremely helpful in determining if a nurse is a good fit for an organization, said Nancy Feger, MSN, RN, CHCR, human resources business partner with South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside, N.Y.

A nurse recruiter for 16 years, Feger said she attends Nurse.com career days and finds them to be very useful.

“Job candidates may appear one way on paper; however, meeting them is so much more enlightening as to their personal qualities,” Feger said. “Soon after I meet them I know if we should proceed with the application process.”

 Making connections

Scheuer said nurses attending career-day events generally are intent on making a change and are in the market to either find a new job or return to school.

Jean Scheuer

“Our new Career Day format is a streamlined event for the sole purpose of linking up nurse recruiters and nurses,” Scheuer said. “We offer Nurse.com CE Gift Card giveaways along with incentives to draw nurses to the event, but the event itself is a more steady, meaningful flow of experienced nurses and new graduates who are seeking a new career change or a higher education degree.”

Many new nursing graduates attend these events as a way to meet with recruiters in hopes of landing their first job, according to Scheuer.

“The opportunities for new grads are better now than compared to one year ago,” she said. “More hospitals are offering new grad programs and see the internship process as a way to grow their own talent.”

Feger said she has recruited many new hires at career-day events, “from new grads for our new graduate residency programs, to experienced RNs for our fellowship programs in critical care and the emergency department.”

These events also are an excellent venue for schools of nursing to showcase their higher education programs to potential applicants, Scheuer said. “The career day provides a great opportunity for nurses to not only find a new job but to also to explore options on the next degree or certification for their practice,” she said.

Time savings

Meeting a higher volume of RN candidates face-to-face in one morning or afternoon can save organizations time in the hiring process, said Andree Mulia, BSN, RN, senior talent acquisition consultant at Children’s Hospital, Los Angeles.

Recruiters talk to potential job seekers during a Nurse.com Career Days event in California on Oct. 4.

“I’m looking for RNs that have a passion for pediatrics and the heart for providing patient- and family-centered care,” she said. “We see approximately 100 resumes per day. However, there is nothing that can compare to meeting a nurse in person to identify that passion.”

Attending Nurse.com career-day events has been fruitful for CHLA in finding new nursing talent both for its new graduate training program and in seeking experienced RNs looking to take part in the transition to its pediatrics program, according to Mulia.

Scheuer said participation in career days can save time for recruiters as they can meet job candidates and network with colleagues during a single event.

“For four or more hours, recruiters have the ability to see a steady flow of nurses who have a serious interest in finding a new job or going back to school,” she said. “These events are focused on these areas.”

Cost-effective

Scheuer said participation in career days is good business for nurse recruiters, as the cost to recruit experienced nurses can be very high.

“Participation in a career day is more economical for vendors as they can meet high-quality job candidates in a more focused, smaller event, which gives them the time to talk to potential candidates,” she said. “It’s a matter of quality versus quantity.”

Mulia said she has found participating in career days provides a good return on investment.

“Having the opportunity to conduct on-the-spot interviews, reviewing someone’s background and resume, and having time to discuss our reputation and the opportunities we provide as a Magnet hospital can all be done at a career day,” she said. “It works both ways; they meet and learn about us, too.”


Freelance writer Carole Jakucs, BSN, RN, PHN, contributed to the writing and research of this article. 

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John Roszkowski

John Roszkowski is content manager of healthcare recruitment for the Advertising Solutions division at OnCourse Learning. He creates and manages content for the Nursing Recruitment Source blog, newsletters and Digital Resource Guides. He has developed content for healthcare and financial services at OnCourse Learning for the past four years. He has more than 25 years of writing and editing experience and previously worked at weekly and daily newspapers.