It probably comes as no surprise that 3 of Canada’s top 12 in-demand jobs—and therefore the most difficult to fill—are in healthcare. This is leaving medical providers looking for a few creative recruitment strategies to help them stand out from the crowd.

This problem isn’t going away any time soon as baby boomers (the largest population segment) age and require more medical attention. Medical recruiters currently face a big challenge in hiring nurses. Job-search website Monster.com, calls it a perfect storm: The population in need of healthcare is rising as bottlenecks in nursing schools churn out fewer graduates.

If shortages like this have you looking for creative ways to recruit healthcare employees, read on. We have a few tips and some employee recruitment giveaways you may want to try.

Creative recruitment ideas

Employee referrals: Employee referrals are excellent for finding new talent. When employees actually make referrals, that is. According to recent statistics, only 7 percent of employees provide referrals, but when they do, 40 percent of those candidates are hired. If you don’t have a formal program, you may want to consider starting one. Many companies with referral programs provide a cash incentive or chance to win a sought-after prize. You may also want to give a small token of appreciation to team members who give successful referrals. Consider a flower pot mug with a fun message like “Thanks for helping us grow!”

Use recruiting cards: In addition to seeking employee referrals, ask your team members to help spread the word about your hiring efforts. Make it easy for them by giving out recruiting cards in an imprinted card keeper. These business cards share your recruiting message and include contact information for the positions you’re trying to fill. Encourage employees to give the cards to people they encounter who may be a good fit for your organization.

Consider former employees: Sometimes your best recruits will be people who have worked for your organization in the past. While not all former employees are a good fit, it’s likely there are some you’d like to bring back. And the feeling may be mutual. In one survey, 40 percent of employees said they would be interested in returning to a former employer if asked back. Maintain contact with employees you’d consider having back and begin to sow the seeds of rehiring them. If they decline, ask if they could refer someone who might be a good fit. If they do accept your offer, make their return special by taking a fun team photo and framing it with a welcome back message on a curved photo frame or magnetic frame.

Work with local colleges: In your search for qualified recruits, it might be best to go straight to the source. Consider partnering with a local college. Could any of your staff teach a course? Could any of your open positions be offered as internships? Is your organization able to donate equipment or resources to the college to foster collaboration in the community? As you find yourself working closely with students or attending college job fairs, consider handing out promotional products so students will remember you in their job search. Think like a student when deciding on career-fair giveaways—they should be useful, trendy and fun. Steel tumblers, notebook sets, power banks, Syringe Pens or even fold-up blankets are sure to keep your brand on their mind.

As you search high and low for new talent, consider these creative recruitment strategies. Pair them with effective employee recruitment giveaways to help fill those in-demand positions in no time. Good luck!

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