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It’s no secret that we’re seeing tough times for healthcare recruiting. Many nurses and caregivers left the healthcare industry during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the nursing shortage was already a pressing issue. Given the challenges of this hiring environment, how can you find healthcare workers who are skilled, passionate about helping patients, and ready to get to work? 

With limited candidates and a great deal of demand, one of the most important factors you can control is how quickly you hire. By investing in the right recruiting tools and hiring software, you can spend less time waiting for candidates to come to you and more time proactively getting qualified healthcare professionals in the door. 

This year, your top priority should be reducing the days between posting a job and making an offer. We’ve compiled our top five tips to help you do this.

1. Distribute Jobs Widely 

Get your job posts in front of as many eyes as possible—and track metrics to understand which sites are yielding the best results. Popular job sites like Monster and Indeed are a great place to start, but for the greatest success, spend time exploring niche sites and job forums as well. Job seekers might use these large sites, but they’re just as likely to seek out more specific job sites that focus on RN, HHA, or CNA roles.

Ultimately, you want to post jobs on the forums where your ideal candidates are congregating. Think through what websites are likely to appeal to your candidates. 

This process might take you to some surprising places. In a 2015 survey, two-thirds of job seekers reported using Twitter to find new opportunities. YouTube and Facebook are still the most widely used platforms overall, but Snapchat, Instagram, and TikTok are especially popular with users aged 18 to 24. If you’re trying to attract Zoomers under age 25 or the younger generation of Millennials, building a presence on these platforms could pay off. Not sure where to begin? Check out our guide on social media recruiting for healthcare.

If tracking job posts across dozens of sites and social media platforms sounds unrealistically time-consuming, never fear. A service like Apploi will automatically distribute your jobs to 80+ sites, including healthcare-specific and diversity-focused sites, and tell you at a glance which posts are seeing the most traffic. 

2. Incentive Employee Referrals 

Your HR team and administrative staff don’t have to find healthcare workers all on their own. An employee referral system will help you reach more candidates by reaching your existing staff’s social networks. Ask your employees to tell their friends about open positions, and offer rewards like cash bonuses, time off, or paid gym memberships to whoever refers your newest hire. You’ll boost morale while attracting more candidates. 

Employee referral programs work. Over the past decade, about 28-30% of all new hires have come through referrals. When organizations specifically stress the importance of referrals, though, that number jumps to 35-45%. You could see a 10% increase in qualified candidates just by asking for them. 

Since rewards occur after a hire has been made, your staff is motivated to find applicants who are actually qualified. You’re essentially incentivizing employees to pre-vet candidates. It’s a win-win strategy that distributes the work of recruiting more evenly and can result in some of your strongest hires. 

3. Show Off Your Culture

Your best candidates aren’t just qualified for their role—they’re also excited to join your organization or hospital. Just as you’re looking for great healthcare providers, job seekers are looking for great employers who provide strong benefits, fair pay, a positive work environment, and transparent communication. If you’re hoping to get a quick yes to your job offer, make your values public information. Make it easy for prospective employees to see how they’ll fit into your workplace. 

Nurses and caregivers value strong communication. In fact, a lack of communication is one of the top reasons caregivers voluntarily leave their roles. Make it clear that you also prioritize clear communication by being upfront about your values. 

If you’re using social media in your recruiting process, invite applicants to interact with your social media accounts. This could be as simple as answering questions publicly, or it could be as pre-planned as a live Q&A session. Strategies like this will help you find healthcare workers who aren’t just qualified, but also passionate about your mission. 

4. Create An In-House CNA Training Program

The greatest obstacle to healthcare hiring is a basic lack of qualified candidates. This was true before the pandemic, and it’s certainly true now. Most of our recruiting tips focus on making contact with qualified candidates before your competition does, but here’s a totally different approach. It actually is possible to create more qualified candidates, if you have the time, resources, and dedication to develop an in-house training program.

CNA positions are relatively accessible for people interested in pivoting to a healthcare role. In New York, CNA training programs can take as little as a month to complete, plus 30 hours of clinical training time. If training requirements are holding people back from a career change, you can remove this obstacle and connect with passionate applicants. We’ve argued before that in-house CNA and home health aide training programs could revolutionize healthcare hiring. Recruiting software is powerful, but there’s no beating proactively creating these relationships with prospective staff members.

5. Think Like a Marketer

As the hiring process has moved toward digital recruiting platforms, candidates have gotten used to looking for jobs online. An online job search has distinct advantages and limitations. Your digital job posts are competing for attention, affected by SEO, reposts, and digital visibility. In short, to find healthcare workers online, you’ll need to think like a digital marketer. 

An ideal job post is easy to find, simple to understand, and appealing to the person who is reviewing it. Start by making sure your job posts are optimized for the web. Include the most important keywords, like job title and location, at the top of your post. Check that the language is clear and that your tone is helping you come across as promising and trustworthy. We’ve got a whole article on crafting winning healthcare job posts to help you out.

Build a strong brand so candidates will jump at a chance to work for you. This means making yourself recognizable on social media, but it also means foregrounding the benefits you offer. A successful recruitment marketing strategy is one part optimization, and one part offering a genuinely great place to work. 


Apploi is on a mission to help healthcare recruit more successfully through smart job distribution, streamlined onboarding, and digital credential management. Our platform automatically distributes job posts across 80+ job sites, and offers 1-click apply to attract the widest possible pool of qualified candidates. With digitized employee record-keeping and automated credential renewal reminders, we help you make sure your workforce is always ready.

Interested in learning more about how you can recruit, hire, and on-board healthcare staff quickly? Contact us today for a free demo of our end-to-end solution.

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Pritma Chattha, DNP MHA RN

Pritma is a Yale-educated nurse executive with 18 years of experience advocating for patients at the bedside and in the boardroom. She currently serves as the Head of Healthcare Innovation at Apploi—healthcare's leading recruitment and credentialing platform. Over the last decade, Pritma has honed her expertise as a health informaticist, building and improving electronic health records and credentialing platforms. She is the immediate former Executive Director of Electronic Quality and Safety for Alberta Health Services, the largest health system in Canada. Pritma enjoys rethinking healthcare processes to provide safer, better, and more accessible healthcare.