How To Leverage Technology in Recruitment

Filling open nursing positions remains a top priority in health care. Finding the right candidates to fill those positions is equally important. By using technology in recruitment in innovative ways, you can accomplish both of these things.  

“In a highly competitive employment market, recruitment technology can provide the edge needed for a successful staffing strategy,” said Dawn Plested, Esq., MBA, a Consulting Principal at Medical Group Management Association.

Tools are having a major impact

Headshot of man in suit who uses technology in recruitment
Andrew Lampitt, RN


At Cooper University Health Care, leveraging technology has made nurse recruitment more efficient and effective. “Ultimately, this enhances patient care delivery and organizational performance,” said Andrew Lampitt, MSN, RN, Nursing Director of Clinical Recruitment.

Technology in recruiting is helping organizations turn the corner on the nursing shortage. About 193,100 openings for RNs are projected through 2032, according to the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Three-quarters of U.S. hospitals reported an RN vacancy rate over 10% in 2023, according to a survey of 273 hospitals from 35 states.

The good news is that some states are seeing a decrease in nurse vacancy rates. Florida hospitals had a vacancy rate of 13%, down from 21% in 2022, according to the Florida Hospital Association’s 2023 Workforce Report.

Technology in recruitment identifies nurses earlier

Recruiters are identifying nurses with the required skills and competencies earlier in the process. “It also removes unconscious bias from the process. That can lead to a more diverse workforce,” said Jung Paik, a partner in the Boston office of McKinsey & Company.

According to Paik, technology is helping nursing recruiters in these four ways:

Headshot of man smiling who uses technology in recruitment
Jeff Lowery
  1. Applicant tracking systems (ATS) do initial screening of resumes, to check for key skills and competencies. This goes beyond the traditional screening criteria of degrees, education, or years of work experience. “It embeds a skills-based hiring approach into the process. That reduces variability in how applications are screened,” Paik said.
  2. Candidate relationship management (CRM) software creates a database of potential candidates that can be filtered for key skills or competencies. Sometimes an application is received from a candidate who is not the top pick. If so, recruiters match the candidate’s information to other open positions.
  3. Technology allows candidates to record video responses to questions. This provides insight into specific skills. “It can collect valuable information about a candidate that is often not evident in a resume,” Paik added.
  4. Simulations or psychometric screening collects information about candidates’ behavioral traits. “This identifies nurses who are likely to be a good fit for the organization’s culture,” Paik said.

Tools find the best-fitting applicants

Headshot of woman smiling who uses technology in recruitment
Jacquie Lidell

Technology is an ideal complement to skills-based hiring. “Recruiters can solicit e-portfolios, and use keywords for evidence of critical skills,” suggested Catherine Ling, PhD, FNP-BC, an Associate Professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing.

At Novant Health, recruiters use online assessments and ATS to identify specific nursing competencies. “We are identifying candidates who are better equipped to excel in the roles we are seeking to fill,” reported nurse recruiter, Ashley Sullivan.

Nurse recruiters at Mass General Brigham use a CRM tool to enable passive candidate sourcing. “To enhance our outreach, we’ve bolstered our presence on LinkedIn and Glassdoor with expanded profiles,” added Jacquie Liddell, Vice President of Talent Acquisition and Human Resources.

At the University of Maryland Medical System, ATS is used to organize candidate data. The tool facilitates communication between recruiters and applicants. “Recruiters target candidates more effectively and improve the overall quality of hires,” shared Jeff Lowry, Vice President of Talent Acquisition and Workforce Planning.

Once top candidates are identified, nurse recruiters conduct video interviews.  This provides valuable insights into candidates’ abilities, communication skills, and cultural fit. “Automation and technology streamline the recruitment process. This reduces time-to-fill and administrative burden,” Lowry concluded.

Tools help to nurture relationships

Headshot of recruiter smiling who uses technology in recruitment
Ashley Sullivan

Technology in recruiting can broaden an applicant pool. However, there is a potential downside. Using text and keyword screening can limit an applicant pool as well. “Technology use, especially in evaluating humanistic criteria, can be a double-edged sword,” Lang cautioned.

Ideally, recruiters use multiple technology tools in nursing recruitment. Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are most helpful in gauging clinical skills and decision-making, said Lang.

Overall, the recruitment process should make candidates feel welcome and valued. “Technology should support this process. It should not separate the recruiter from the applicant,” offered Terry Bennett, RN, MS, CHCR, President of the National Association for Health Care Recruitment.

Some nurse recruiters use social media to give applicants a personal, behind-the-scenes look at the workplace. “We post videos about a day in the life of a nurse on specific units, and getting to know nurse managers,” said Morgan Gaffney, Marketing and Community Relations Coordinator for Nursing at Upstate University Hospital.

At Northwestern Memorial Healthcare, recruiters use CRM tools to nurture relationships with nurses. “This has improved the line of communication not only with new graduates but with experienced nurses as well,” said Kate Colfer, RN, MBA, NE-BC, Workforce Planning Director for Human Resources.

For more information on recruiting through our skills-based talent marketplace or to build your custom talent acquisition solution package, contact us today.