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The Power of Nurse RPO Services

Published May 31, 2024
two nurses looking at a laptop

If your organization is struggling to hire nurses quickly and keep them on board, you're not alone. With a growing shortage of qualified nurses on the market, timely and effective nurse recruitment is getting increasingly more challenging.

For example, from 2021 to 2023, the number of days needed to hire hospital RNs has increased across several specialties, including critical care, progressive care, and surgical. Hospitals and other healthcare organizations are left with a puzzling question — how can they find the talent they need to ensure optimal patient care? A common solution to fill staffing gaps is hiring travel nurses, but this can be costly and unreliable.  Another quick fix is asking core nursing staff to work overtime, which can lead to burnout and high turnover.

There's a better alternative — recruitment process outsourcing (RPO). Collaborating with an RPO provider can decrease time-to-fill rates and address other nurse recruitment challenges, such as intense competition due to high turnover and low nursing school enrollment

What Are Nurse RPO Services?

With RPO, a healthcare organization outsources all or part of its recruitment process to a third party. RPO providers can handle every aspect of nurse recruitment, from sourcing qualified RNs to onboarding, depending on the organization’s needs.

Unlike traditional nurse recruiters and RN staffing agencies that primarily focus on sourcing and screening candidates, an RPO provider offers comprehensive, end-to-end recruitment services. A good RPO partner will form a strategic, streamlined relationship with your organization, hold itself accountable for its results, and strive to help your facility develop long-term solutions to your most pressing recruitment challenges.

Some RPO companies also recruit under your brand, immediately helping nursing talent feel connected to your organization. At Hueman RPO, we recruit for you, as you, to create a seamless experience for candidates.

The Advantages of RPO for Nurse Recruitment

Nurse staffing shortages can lead to a host of issues, from high turnover rates to decreased quality of patient care. By collaborating with an RPO provider, you can overcome recruitment challenges and transform your process — with real results.

For example, we reduced the number of job openings by 41% for a healthcare partner facing difficulty recruiting for nursing and dietary positions. See our success stories to learn more about the impact of our recruitment services. 

Let’s review some of the top benefits of partnering with an RPO provider for nurse recruitment.

Leverage Expertise to Hire Top Nursing Talent

As many healthcare administrators would agree, attracting nursing talent is anything but easy in today's extremely competitive market. Difficulties in hiring and retaining nurses has led to limited talented pools, increasing the need for healthcare organizations to set themselves apart. 

An experienced healthcare RPO provider knows how to make organizations stand out from the crowd and attract top talent while relieving HR workloads. Here are some of the ways an RPO partner can help:

  • Keep specialized talent pools full: Need assistance filling nurse practitioner and other specialized nursing roles? RPO providers have access to deep networks of highly qualified candidates to ensure your specialized talent pool stays full. An RPO provider can also conduct compensation surveys and recommend competitive salaries to help you better attract specialized talent. 
  • Harness a deep understanding of the healthcare industry: An RPO provider with expertise in healthcare recruiting has comprehensive knowledge of the industry and all its nuances, including role-specific compliance regulations. You can feel confident that a healthcare RPO provider will navigate recruitment-related complexities promptly.
  • Utilize tailored marketing strategies: RPO partners often use customized marketing strategies to help healthcare organizations engage top talent. For example, an RPO might guide an organization as it defines its employee value proposition, builds a strong employer brand, or creates compelling job ads. Either strategy can help position your facility as an employer of choice to potential candidates.
  • Employ sophisticated recruitment technology: RPO providers are skilled at using the latest recruitment technology to streamline recruitment. You'll often find technology like AI-driven applicant tracking systems and video interviewing software in an RPO provider's toolbox.
  • Decrease time-to-fill rate: An RPO company uses a combination of industry experience, recruiting best practices, and the latest technology to ensure critical nursing roles get filled quickly. For instance, at Hueman, we reduced a pediatric hospital’s time-to-fill rate to an average of 36 days across all roles.
  • Provide long-term results: RPO providers find full-time talent who align with your organization's values and want to work at your healthcare facility for the long term. This decreases the need to continually recruit, onboard, and train new staff, reducing related costs.

two nurses and a doctor talking

Decrease Reliance on Travel Nurses

With RN shortages and a growing demand for patient care, healthcare organizations sometimes depend on travel nurses to supplement staffing levels. While working with travel nurses can be a temporary fix, it's not an ideal long-term solution. 

Blockquote: Hospitals spend an average of $125 an hour for a travel nurse to cover a staffing shortage, versus $45 an hour for a full-time RN. Without contracting travel nurses, a CNO could hire more full-time nurses to reduce the workload and burden on the other staff members. 

Relying on travel nurses to quickly fill roles is problematic for the following reasons:

Increased financial strain: Organizations typically provide travel reimbursements and accommodation allowances in their travel nurse rates. These expenses can lead to substantial financial strain, especially if a facility continually works with travel nurses. Consider that in January 2022, travel nurses accounted for approximately 23% of nurse hours but 40% of nurse labor costs.

Time-consuming training: When a healthcare facility recruits travel nurses, it must train them on processes and protocols. This requires time and resources from existing staff and also disrupts productivity.

Inconsistent care: Travel nurses may not be familiar with an organization's policies, which may lead to inconsistencies in care and decreased patient satisfaction.

Decreased morale: Core nurse staff usually know that travel nurses receive higher pay without greater responsibility. This can lead to team animosity, reduced job satisfaction, and lower morale overall.

Your organization can break free from travel nurse reliance with the help of an RPO company. An RPO partner provides tailored, flexible RN recruitment strategies, including leveraging metrics and forecasting, to ensure your facility maintains adequate staff levels.

At Hueman RPO, we offer a Travel Nurse Reduction Program geared at helping organizations obtain full-time nursing talent through value-based recruiting strategies. We can also build float pools to support your facility when coping with unexpected staffing shortages.

Reduce Turnover Rates Among Nursing Staff

High nurse turnover is one of the top challenges healthcare organizations face. According to the American Nurses Association, burnout among nurses is the leading cause of turnover. Many different factors can lead to nurse burnout, including demanding workloads. The problem is often cyclical — insufficient RN headcount spreads existing teams too thin, leading to heavier workloads, greater stress, more burnout, and higher turnover.

An RPO partner can help prevent burnout and reduce nurse turnover rates by ensuring sufficient staffing levels, which in turn decreases nurse workloads. Integrating retention strategies into recruitment also makes a difference. A quality RPO provider will incorporate core value fit during recruitment to increase retention rather than merely fill roles. 

At Hueman, you can rely on us to help your organization hire nurses faster, relieve your staff of heavy workloads, and proactively address burnout. We offer a unique and thorough implementation process that enables us to deeply understand your organization's culture and values. After we get to know your organization, we'll be ready to tailor our recruiting strategies to your needs.

Elevate Nursing Recruitment With Hueman RPO

Nurse recruitment can be a challenging, time-consuming, and costly process without the help of an experienced healthcare RPO provider. That’s where we come in.

Our recruitment leadership team has over 28 years of experience serving healthcare organizations and providing tailored people-first recruitment strategies. Complete our contact form to discuss how we can revamp your recruitment strategies and solve your most complex healthcare staffing challenges.

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  • Healthcare