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How a great email format gets your message to the marketplace

BY: Eileen Williamson, MSN, RN on February 20, 2019

It’s often said first impressions are lasting, and we have only one chance to make them.

The same is true when it comes to first impressions prospective job seekers get from your organization’s marketing materials. Your job as a recruitment specialist is to get the right message to the right audience, the right way, at the right time.

You probably send today’s most popular and effective communication tool — emails  — instead of calling or sending mail. So how do your email format messages perform?

Why your email format matters

Today’s experienced RNs are in the driver’s seat when it comes to job hunting, but it’s you who must drive them to your facility. Your emails must be different, better and stand out above everyone else’s.

You don’t want them to say what everyone else is saying or promise what everyone else is promising. You want your email format to reflect your organization’s culture and showcase it as a great place for nurses to practice.email format

First, the subject line matters; it should be the prime message you want to get across.

“Jobs available” or “Great job opportunities” isn’t enough to pique nurses’ interest. You need to grab recipients’ attention, engage them and make them want to know more.

Nurses are busy, so you can skip the “window dressing” and get right to the point.

They want to know exactly which positions are available and what’s in those jobs for them. Specifics about the role, unique perks, shifts you have open, etc., need to be included. Don’t make them guess. Tell them exactly what you have.

Emails should be about your organization and the important role nursing plays there. They also need to be about the nurses reading them. Address the kind of professionals you’re looking for and the education, talent and experience you want them to have.

You know what your quality of care is, why your patients are satisfied, and why your good nurses stay. Tell the story of those powerful positives at your organization.  “Opt for messages that mirror your company’s style and are similar to face-to-face conversations,” suggests a Workable.com article.

Also include a special message about what makes nursing great at your organization that’s not part of your mission statement. List the organization’s values and beliefs or share the vision statement or tag line used in your branding and marketing.

Those things are important, but to really grab nurses’ attention explain how and why nursing is different and better at your organization and why they should want to work there.

Other points to remember

Don’t be repetitive or robotic in your emails, either in content or timing, by sending out the same messages and templates over and over again. If you rely on templates, use them sparingly. Personalize them, update them and measure which ones bring you the best results.

Good advice you might say, but who has time to keep composing new and individualized emails?

You don’t have to start from scratch and reinvent the wheel with each email. Here are some tips you can follow to freshen up your emails:

  • Periodically put together new, fresh looks with newly edited messages.
  • Keep your subject lines and openers strong.
  • Include new job and facility information and updates.
  • Brag a little about your retention rates and upward mobility.
  • Add success stories about nurses who progressed through the ranks to leadership positions and stayed because of your growth opportunities.
  • Include endorsements from your nurses and your patients.
  • Keep things fresh and active.
  • Never get complacent — measure the success of your emails and improve your content while growing and tracking your response rates.

Remember, you’re reaching both active and passive job seekers with your emails. The nurses receiving your messages may not be actively job hunting, but if the right opportunity comes along, they might leave their current positions to take it.

Don’t forget your emails are targeted at professional nurses, so maintain a professional tone. Forget the smiley faces. Ditch the emojis. And lose the hip, popular text abbreviations others may be using.

In the end, you are the experts. Your recruitment team knows the kinds of emails nurses typically reply to — or don’t — and why. Make sure yours are in the former group.

You know best when it comes to communicating with nurses. Share your thoughts on the importance of good emails, along with tips on software, programs and tools that can help.

Quick online searches will show you there’s agreement from different groups of recruitment and HR specialists on the important role emails can play in reaching nurses.

job application process

Here are a few links to learn more about great email formats:

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Eileen Williamson, MSN, RN

Eileen Williamson, MSN, RN, is a former senior vice president and chief nurse executive who led nursing programs and initiatives. She continues to write and act as a consultant for Nurse.com. Before joining the company in 1998, Williamson was employed by North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System in New York, where she held a number of leadership positions in nursing and hospital administration, including chief nurse at two of the system’s member hospitals. She holds a BSN and an MSN in administration, and is a graduate fellow of the Johnson & Johnson University of Pennsylvania Wharton School Nurse Executives program. She also is a board member and past president of the New Jersey League for Nursing, a constituent league of the National League for Nursing.