You post a promising job opening, but barely anyone replies. What do you do?
Even experienced recruiters and blue-chip employers can run into trouble with their job posts. That’s why you’ll find approximately 963 articles online about how to improve your job postings and attract higher-quality candidates.
Well, we read them all so you don’t have to. Scoured the web for advice that’s data-based and not just vibes. Added key evidence from our own database.
Just a few improvements to your nursing job descriptions can already cut your cost per hire significantly.
We see this in our utilization statistics. When nurses are more likely to click on your job, you will fill them more quickly — and save money. And when you post your nursing job on NurseRecruiter, effective job descriptions pay off double!
Here’s how that works:
- The better your job post, the more nurses will find it in their job matches.
- The higher your match rate, the more you’ll appear in their matching employers too.
- Nurses see those right when they sign up — and every time they update their profile.
- So you reach more nurses in real time, right when they’re most eager to apply!
11 ways to make your job post attract more (and better) candidates
1. Include a salary or salary range
We cannot stress enough how effective this is. In general, almost half the candidates on a job board are looking primarily for a better salary, and that number is probably higher in nursing.
Including at least a salary range doesn’t just demonstrate your dedication to transparency and fairness, it also increases the likelihood that you’ll fill your position quickly by up to 38%.
Most nurse employers already include dollar numbers, but we still see plenty of posts without. Because those are unpopular with nurses, we list jobs with salary info first, and we’re not the only ones. So this is absolutely the simplest way to optimize your nurse job post!
2. Clearly flag additional benefits
Everyone loves a generous benefits package, but few people love vague promises about a “generous benefits package”. If you have something extra to offer that differentiates the job from other workplaces, spell it out!
According to Indeed, 83% of job seekers say benefits and perks have a significant influence on whether they’ll accept a job offer, and 42% say it’s a “variety of benefits” that attracts them most.
Inclusive benefits like paid family leave, flexible hours and childcare subsidies will play well with new generations. Tuition reimbursement, specifically, is the top ranked non-insurance benefit for Gen Z, according to Unum research. Every other generation prioritizes generous PTO most.
Health coverage, 401k, sick leave, career advancement opportunities — whatever you can bring to bear, make it explicit!
3. Find the right place to post your job
When Forbes asked its Human Resources Council for expert healthcare recruitment tips, Workplace Evolutionist Marcia F. Robinson offered this great advice: “Consider using niche job boards that will put job announcements in front of new, focused audiences.”
That’s us! With our database of over 400,000 active, self-registered nurses, NurseRecruiter makes attracting top nursing talent easy. We’ll get your positions filled more quickly than generic job boards!
4. Shorter is sweeter
Recent LinkedIn data was pretty clear about this: shorter job posts get better results!
Posts with less than 300 words get 8% more applications. Posts with 150 words or less even get 18% more candidates to apply than job posts with 450 to 600 words.
This is especially true in our mobile age. More than half of our users are browsing their jobs on mobile devices. So make sure the most important information is right there, even on a small screen!
5. Cover the basics in a snappy first line or two
Just fourteen seconds. That’s how little time most candidates take to decide whether to keep reading your job post. That’s 60 words, if you’re lucky!
So make sure to include a recap right at the top of your job description that highlights the essentials. Both in terms of what you’re asking (what’s the job, how many years of experience are required) and what you’re offering. Make it easy for them to decide whether to dive in or scroll on!
6. Formatting matters. Attention to detail too.
Congratulations, you used a good opening hook to cross that 14-second hurdle! But you still need to convince them to hit that “I’m interested” button, so make the info they’re looking for easy to find.
On a mobile screen, it doesn’t take much for your job post to look like a wall of text. Different candidates pay attention to different things, so break up your content in short paragraphs so they can skip straight to the parts they’re especially interested in. Use bullet point lists, even headings if your text is longer.
Take that extra minute to cross your t’s and dot your i’s as well. Spelling, grammar, formatting — 52% of job seekers still say that this kind of thing is “very” or “extremely influential” when it comes to their decision whether to apply or not.
7. Beyond the $ number: listen to nurses
Even if your facility isn’t able to offer top dollar compensation or fancy perks, there’s a lot you can do to appeal to a nursing workforce that’s desperate for authentic recognition.
Nurses have not been shy about expressing what’s important to them in recent years, and it’s not pizza parties or “Heroes Work Here” signs. If your job posting conveys that you’ve listened to their concerns, they’re more likely to trust you and hit that “I’m Interested” button.
Asked what keeps them motivated, nurses have highlighted the autonomy they enjoy in their work and “flexibility in job hours, enabling them to spend more time with families”. What repels them isn’t just rotating shifts, it’s a general “lack of support and of respect”.
So if your organization is proud of its working environment or its commitment to its employees, mention that too — and include something specific! What has your company done to protect the physical and mental health and well-being of its nurses? How has it improved nurse retention? If it doesn’t fit in the job description, put it in your company profile!
8. Keep your requirements list short and to the point
This one is tricky in staffing for healthcare facilities — the devil is in the details in our profession.
In general, the consensus advice is to keep your bullet point lists limited to max five items — seven if you want to push the envelope. The more you’ll add, the more potential candidates will second-guess themselves and move on.
Since we’re dealing with the life and health of vulnerable patients, nursing job requirements often need to be more specific, but avoid exhaustive detail nevertheless. How you frame expectations counts as well: posts that mention “responsibilities” rather than “requirements” receive 14% more applications per view. And if you can distinguish between must-haves and nice-to-haves, that’s perfect.
If you’re posting your job on NurseRecruiter, you also don’t have to worry about littering your post with keywords so they will show up in searches, because that’s not how our site works! If they have the right qualifications and your post meets their settings, they’ll see it automatically.
9. Showing some personality? Avoid the fluff!
Since many of the nurses you’re targeting will have been idly scrolling through job posts for a while, it may be tempting to grab their attention with a little bit of personality. Maybe even a dash of humor.
Tread carefully, though: job-seekers are 2-4 times less likely to apply to an overly casual job posting than a more generic or formal post, and four times more likely to see your company in a negative light. Showcasing your company culture can help catch a candidate’s eye, but it’s better to grab their attention with concrete perks and benefits.
Employees have become quite adept at reading between the lines as well, a Toggl post pointedly observed. “We’re a family” – is that a good thing, or does it just translate as ‘office politics and no boundaries’? A “fast-paced” working environment, does that just mean the staffing ratios are atrocious? Best to avoid the well-trodden cliches!
10. Think like a job-seeker
In the end, recruiting experienced nurses is a simple business of supply and demand. When candidates have a greater choice of job openings, it takes a little extra to stand out.
If your job post is just a long list of obligations and requirements, you’ll still attract those who really need a job right now. But you’ll miss out on hiring qualified nurses who do the occasional bit of browsing to see what better opportunities might be out there — and there’s real talent there!
Ads which focus on what the employer offers relevant candidates are three times more likely to get higher-quality applicants than ads which focus on what the employer wants from the candidate. So before hitting ‘post,’ ask yourself: What’s fulfilling about the job? Why pick this job and not another?
Nurse staffing strategies: why not ask nurses who just accepted a job what sealed the deal for them? Integrate candidate feedback into your nurse hiring process!
11. Finally: Don’t post and run!
We already mentioned Dr. Marcia F. Robinson earlier, but she had another important piece of advice too: “Don’t just post and run!” On NurseRecruiter, we make following up easy with our in-site messaging tool. Use it to introduce yourself to passive candidates, so you can save the calls and texts for when you’re sure someone is actually interested.
You can send messages to an unlimited number of candidates, and only pay for those who respond. Our data is unambiguous here: recruiters who make use introductory messages place more candidates, faster!