Stop the Revolving Door: How to Hire (and Keep) Employees in this High Turnover Field

Question: What’s one of the most in-demand jobs with one of the highest turnover rates?

No, it’s not middle school teachers who have to make sure kids don’t eat Tide Pods. Nor is it postal workers who work in canine laden neighborhoods. So, what job is it? The answer is registered nurses.

Healthcare is one of the fastest growing industries and registered nurses are one of the fastest growing occupations, so naturally, recruiters are constantly trying to woo the best candidates to fill their pipelines. And to complicate matters, hospitals experience a nurse turnover rate of 18%– and that number is still climbing!

With the odds stacked against them, how do employers attract the best hires while dealing with the ever-revolving door of hiring? Well, it’s high time we start listening to what nurses actually want and taking key steps to reach a solution.

Despite what pop-culture tells us, not every healthcare worker is a strict and ornery Nurse Ratched. According to a survey Nexxt conducted of nearly 2,500 healthcare professionals, the top reason cited for getting a job in the industry is… you guessed it… a desire to make a difference (71%).

But let’s face it, meaningful work isn’t enough to keep an employee past their first year if there are major pain points. So what else is happening behind the scenes?

Turns out, over half of survey respondents (57%) have felt frustrations with out-of-touch management while working in healthcare. Another major pain-point according to nearly a third of survey respondents is the job’s emotional tax. Nurses work long hours providing critical medical care to many patients at once. That kind of puts the tiff you had today with your coworker in perspective, right?

So what steps can employers take to not only hire, but retain, the best nurses for the job?

  1. Leverage Text Message Tools

First, use an SMS text message tool, like Text Recruit, to reach a large, curated talent pool of qualified jobseekers. The bigger your pool, the more selective you can be through your interviews, and quicker you can hire.

  1. Evaluate Soft Skills

Second, think about the way you interview candidates. Evaluate their soft skills through behavioral questions. For example, ask the candidate to share a time they were proud of their healthcare team or how they handled a particularly stressful situation with a patient. Make an honest assessment of their answers, even if it means passing over a few qualified, but average, candidates in the process. It will cut down on employee turnover in the long run. Besides, these folks are working directly with your biggest advocates – your patients. Why wouldn’t you want to make sure their bedside manner is impeccable?

  1. Carefully On-Board News Hires

Third, establish a robust new-hire orientation and require that each new nurse checks in with HR every month for a full year to nip any concerns in the bud before they become a problem. Enforce an open-door policy for nurses to speak candidly to supervisors and management about hours, workload, patients or emotional demands. A small annoyance like a testy patient can build up over time without positive reinforcement from supervisors. A quick, regular temperature check with an employee can keep them from walking away in the long run.

  1. Start a Buddy System

This doesn’t have to be as elementary as it sounds. Pair a new hire with a more seasoned nurse throughout their first year to offer candid advice and guidance or simply a sounding board after a really long week. Train the more senior “buddy” on how they can ease the emotional stress for their partner as they’re starting out on the job.

Hiring for high turnover, in-demand positions like registered nurses doesn’t have to be a daily struggle for healthcare recruiters. By making small changes to your current recruitment strategy today, you can begin to fill your pipeline with high-quality leads.

Want to get in front of the millions of qualified healthcare professionals? Visit to learn how we can introduce you to your Nexxt great hire.

Nexxt is a recruitment media company that uses today’s most effective marketing tactics to reach the full spectrum of talent – from active to passive, and everything in between. Learn more about hiring with Nexxt.

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