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Nursing recruitment

Professional communication ensures good interview process

BY: Eileen Williamson, MSN, RN on February 27, 2019

You’ve had a recent marketing campaign that received some great resumes, and you now have some viable, qualified candidates from which to choose.interview process

Now it’s time to move through the steps of your candidate interview process. Everything from here on needs to be done in a timely and correct fashion to hire the right person for your organization.

And these steps need to be done creatively and diligently to attract top talent, according to an Indeed article. 

The candidates you want to bring in may be setting up interviews at other organizations, so don’t take the chance of losing them because some paper or people processes are better elsewhere.

Make the necessary phone calls and set up the appointments. Ensure everyone follows every step in this initial part of the process and everyone knows their roles.

If you’re including hiring managers, get them involved right away and coordinate calendars so telephone calls are timely and interviews are scheduled as quickly as possible.

“A poor recruitment strategy costs companies more than the average disengaged employee,” according to a Recruiterbox article. “It costs the replacement of the employee who decides to quit and then some.” 

No interview process missteps allowed

When it comes to the right candidates, and ultimately the right hires, there’s no room for error. The process has a lot of steps, and there’s only time to take the right ones.

And remember making the wrong hire is an expensive mistake, according to the recruitment firm Turning Point Executive Search.

“Replacing a poor hire within the first six months is estimated to cost 2.5 times the candidate’s salary. Keep them on board beyond six months, and the cost grows exponentially.”

Candidate interviews matter

Ensure you treat every candidate the way you would like to be treated. Each one deserves an informative, interesting screening and interview process.

To help the interview process goes well, be sure to:

  1. Employ the skills of your best staff members.
  2. Make the entire process as hospitable and welcoming as possible.

The unemployment rate is at an all-time low right now, so recruiters cannot afford to turn off any well-qualified job candidates.

View candidates as prospective employees. A year from now, they may be your employees and you want them to have good memories of their hiring process.

Make sure the staff you involve in the process is articulate and friendly, but also professional, clear and concise in the information they provide. They should be engaging during telephone conversations with candidates, as well as punctual, motivated, involved, enthusiastic and engaging during interviews.

job application process

Don’t forget to sell the position

This one is crucial. Sure, candidates want to know about the facility, salary and benefits, but mostly they want to know about the position. Describe it fully. Talk about staff, management, the unit and the shift, not just about tasks.

Share the professional growth and advancement opportunities the position offers, and mention awards, conferences, staff accomplishments and special unit activities.

Give information on opportunities for promotions and roles other nurses have moved into from this one. Discuss change that may be under way in the nursing department or big things going on in the organization or health system.

And while you’re selling, don’t lose sight of what you’re buying. Listen carefully to your candidates and assess whether they really want the position and if they are the right fit.

Make the offer

This is one of the most important parts of the process. After all screenings and checks are completed and you’ve selected your candidate, it’s time for the offer.

Ensure the offer is made by the right person, at the right time and in the right way. The member of your organization making the offer should be prepared to give a candidate pertinent information, answer any questions and outline the onboarding process.

To get to the final steps of finding the right candidate and making an official offer, your entire recruitment process needs to be seamless.

The experience candidates have with the interview process is a reflection on your organization. You not only want good people to join you, but you want them to stay.

To ensure your interview process is top-notch, follow these tips:

  • Regard all screening phone calls and in-person interviews as important.
  • Establish needed decision and notification time frames and stick to them.
  • Convey all information in informative, professional and attractive emails.
  • Keep candidates informed and up to date; don’t leave them guessing.
  • Send “Thank you for interviewing with us” cards or emails after seeing candidates.
  • Include rejection emails in the notification process because rejections are better than silence.
  • Involve your best staff, since team members are a vital part of the candidate’s experience.

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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.