The future of staffing: Online?

Kandace Mclaughlin, for HealthLeaders News , January 2, 2008
If your resolution is to be fully staffed in the New Year, look to Saint Francis Medical Center's newly-launched recruitment campaign for inspiration. Facing a growing regional healthcare employee shortage, Saint Francis, in Cape Girardeau, MO, needed to fill 26 nursing positions immediately and hoped to hire as many as 100 new nurses each year going forward.

Working with The Roberts Group in Waukesha, WI, Saint Francis developed a multimedia recruitment campaign. An internal employee referral program combined with a mix of print, TV, outdoor, online, and a DVD were used to drive the audience to a new micro site ( where users can watch streaming video featuring real St. Francis nurses, request more information, apply online, and forward the link to friends. The hospital also plans to add a blog.

The results of the campaign should alleviate doubts about the effectiveness of online campaigns. After the first week, the hospital received more than 250 employee referrals. After four weeks, the number jumped to 750. After three months, Saint Francis filled 16 of 26 nursing vacancies. The average visitor was spending almost four minutes on their site--five times longer than the national average for other Web site users.

Kandace Mclaughlin is an editor with HealthLeaders magazine. Send her Campaign Spotlight ideas at




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