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December is an excellent time of year for many different activities. This is a special time when we celebrate Christmas, enjoy the snow, start new adventures, and cherish the moments with loved ones. But it is also an important season, most especially in recruitment, as it offers an excellent opportunity to attract nurses. 

People assume that hospitals slow down towards the end of the year like other industries, but the truth is actually the opposite. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics report, the healthcare industry gained an additional 55,000 jobs in December.¹ This means hospitals can’t afford to take a break and are constantly working to find new positions and meet increasing demands. 

Let’s explore why December is considered the best time for recruiting and why it’s wise to focus on hiring nurses during this period. 

9 Factors That Make December Ideal for Healthcare Recruitment 

Nurses can make the most of their time off during this holiday season to reflect on their career choices and opportunities. Here’s a list of why December can be an ideal month for healthcare recruitment. 

1. Target New Nursing Graduates Eager to Begin Working 

December is a prime month to recruit nurses who have just graduated from nursing programs. Most nursing schools wrap up their training programs in December as the fall semester ends. Newly minted nurses are eager to enter the workforce quickly after graduation.  

Recruiting around nursing school graduation allows staffing firms to connect with qualified candidates when they are most enthused about starting their careers. Thus, tapping into the new graduate nurse pool in December can yield many promising hires. 

2. Meet the Rising Demand During the Holiday Season 

A study reported in the PMC – NCBI revealed that hospitalization risk is heightened during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.² Additionally, the Consumer Product Safety Commission indicates that, on average, over 6,000 people seek emergency room treatment each year between Christmas and December 31 due to holiday-related products or activities resulting in severe injuries.³  

This creates added pressure on healthcare resources. As such, facilities look to temporarily increase nurse staffing to prepare for higher patient volumes.  

3. Incentivize Nurses to Join Staffing Firms for Holiday Work 

Some firms offer special incentives for nurses who join in December. Sign-on bonuses, higher pay rates, and other perks can motivate nurses to pursue new jobs ahead of the hectic winter months. With the right incentives, staffing firms may more easily fill urgent seasonal nurse staffing needs.  

4. There is Little Competition 

While your competitors believe in the common misconception of waiting until the new year to start hiring, you can seize this opportunity to be proactive. Start the hiring process now and tap into your pool of potential candidates. 

Since there are fewer people applying for jobs, it’s easier to make yourself noticeable. Stay ahead of the game by initiating conversations with prospective nurses and securing their commitment before the January rush. Instead of viewing December as a time to take it easy, consider it as a period when your efforts can bring the most rewards. 

5. Some Nurses Seek Extra Income During the Holidays  

December is a time when many nurses look for additional work opportunities to earn extra income for the holidays. Between gifts, travel, feasts, and other holiday expenses, nurses often take on side jobs or pick up extra shifts in December to pad their wallets. The added financial motivation makes some nurses more open to considering new permanent or temporary nursing roles. 

Related Reading: How to Build a Global Talent Pipeline With Healthcare Staffing 

6. Employee Referrals 

During the holidays, when your employees have more free time and are likely to be very active on social media, it’s an excellent opportunity to encourage them to find referrals. Because employees will be going to holiday gatherings, events, and parties, there’s a greater chance that they’ll meet and interact with potential candidates face-to-face.  
 
Encourage them to send holiday greetings to these potential candidates and take advantage of the opportunities during this season to strengthen their recruitment relationships. 

7. Year-End Reflection Sparks Career Exploration for Nurses  

As the year draws to a close, many nurses are gearing up to make strategic moves in their careers. This is the time when these dedicated healthcare professionals begin carefully considering relocation as a means to explore new job opportunities and advance their careers.  
 
The combination of a year-end reflection and the promise of a fresh start in the coming year prompts many nurses to initiate their career relocation plans during this season of transition. 

8. January is Go Time 

In January, we all want to move forward and focus on achieving our business goals for the following year. People have high expectations for performance and feel pressured to start the year strong.  

Instead of waiting until January to begin recruiting, doing it in December allows you to have your team ready and motivated right from the beginning of the year. This way, you can take advantage of the positive and hopeful atmosphere of the New Year. 

Related Reading: 5 Key Healthcare Staffing Industry Trends in 2022 That Will Transcend to 2023 

9. An Opportunity to Improve Your Recruitment Strategies 

Even if you choose not to increase your recruiting efforts in December, the slower period is a great chance to improve your strategic recruitment plan. It’s a perfect time to assess your year-end performance metrics and initiate efforts to enhance your processes. 

You can consider enlisting a staffing firm’s expertise to collaborate on creating and implementing successful hiring plans that match your objectives. 

Related Reading: How to Hunt for the Best Direct Hire Nursing Partner in the US Today 

What Better Gift to Give than a Great Job 

During the holiday season, when we’re all thinking about giving and sharing, getting a job is also like receiving a meaningful gift. It’s an interesting perspective because it changes how we feel about recruitment. It’s not about being invasive; it’s about providing them with an exciting opportunity that can positively impact their lives and their families. 

This “gift” doesn’t cost candidates anything, but it can bring them long-lasting benefits such as financial stability, opportunities for career growth, and a better life. When you hire someone, it’s not just about filling a job but also about giving people a chance for a better future and the possibility of making positive changes. 

LET PRS GLOBAL BE YOUR PARTNER IN REACHING CANDIDATES, EVEN DURING THE BUSIEST SEASON 

PRS Global is here to assist you in finding the most skilled nurses, whether it’s during the busiest seasons or at any other time of the year. Through our global sourcing and direct hire services, we ensure that you will discover dedicated healthcare professionals who are enthusiastic about beginning the year with you. Contact us today, and let’s take the first step toward your goals and objectives for the new year. 

References 

1 U.S. BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS. “Employment Situation Summary.” Bls.gov, 1 Sept. 2023, www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm

2 Clinical complexity and hospital admissions in the December holiday period. Published online 2020 Jun 11, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0234112, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7289422/ 

3 Zhang, Dian, and Bianca Pallaro. “Holiday Emergency Room Visits Explained.” USA TODAY, 20 Dec. 2022, https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2022/12/30/holiday-emergency-room-visits-explained/10940949002/