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How to Hire Certified Nursing Assistants Nurses are more in demand than ever. If your business needs to hire a CNA, here's how to attract top talent.

By Desmond Lim Edited by Frances Dodds

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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The continuing coronavirus pandemic has changed the landscape of entire job industries, but perhaps none more than healthcare. According to a new study on nursing care, the global nursing marketing is expected to enter a compound annual growth rate of 4.9% despite the economic slowdown.

One of the most in-demand jobs in healthcare are Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs), who provide much of the hands-on care to patients including repositioning those in bed, monitoring vitals, feeding, cleaning, and more. Hospitals, nursing homes and care facilities of all types are in a constant need of CNAs, especially as the U.S. population ages.

So how can these facilities go about hiring CNAs efficiently?

Know the current landscape

While CNAs have always been in demand, the recent health crisis has pushed demand even higher in the last couple months. In fact, there are over 40,000 job posts for "nursing assistant" on Indeed.com alone. Hiring managers looking to shore up their CNA numbers need to understand the competitive market that will continue for many months, if not years, to come.

A 2018 survey by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that the mean annual wage was $29,580, with a range nearly $8000 higher for markets like New York and California where there is the most demand. This translated to an hourly rate of around $13.72 (median) to $19 on the higher end. But in light of COVID-19, expect the average salary of CNAs to increase.

We are seeing hospitals and care facilities offer rates as much as $25/hour. Part of this can be attributed to certain cities offering hazard pay like in Buffalo, NY. Others are offering up to $5000 signing bonuses due to the competitive market.

Arming yourself with this data can greatly help your hiring process.

Related: Rise of Employment Opportunities in the Healthcare Space Owing to ...

Sell yourself

While hourly rates and salaries are always big motivating factors for CNAs to choose to work at your facility, there are other ways to be competitive. As you write up your job description, it's important to sell your benefits and strengths. It's a seller's market, and you must win them over with your listings.

Location can be a great selling point. Is your facility easily accessible by public transportation or within walking distance of many residential neighborhoods? Is it in a good area of town with other convenient shops? These can be features included in your job description.

The reputation of your hospital or care facility might often be more important than offering the highest wages. CNAs, like any other worker, want to know that the institution they work with is respected and has a history of providing quality care and service to the population.

Upward mobility is also a benefit to offer prospective employees. If you are willing to train up and help certify unlicensed nurses and recent graduates, or if you offer discounted or free continuing education, be sure to include these benefits as well. The lack of career growth is a huge source of turnover in the healthcare industry, so upward mobility is clearly a key factor in hiring and retaining the best nurses.

Write and post your job listing

There are many examples of CNA listings available online. While job responsibilities and job requirements are pretty straightforward, remember that the ability to sell yourself in this competitive environment will help you get more applicants. This is the part that prospective employees will most want to see as they read many different job listings: What can you offer them that makes your facility stand out from the pack?

Once your job description is ready, post to all the major job sites like Indeed and Monster. But post to some of the many nursing-specific job boards as well:

  • connectRN.com

  • nursingjobs.com

  • careervitals.com

  • nurserecruiter.com

  • nursingjobcafe.com

It can be painstaking and time-consuming to post, track, manage, and screen from all these different places to post, so an automated platform to post to and track multiple sites can help smaller hiring teams (often just one or two people) open up the bottle neck to many more applicants.

Related: Nurse Next Door Home Care Services Franchise Information

Interview and hire your CNA

With continued social distancing due to the coronavirus, make sure your interviewing and eventual onboarding process is in place. Video interviews and mobile training are now standard operating procedures for many healthcare locations to help prevent any unnecessary spread. Especially in elderly care homes, you don't want to physically bring in interviewees when video conferencing can work just as well.

Text messaging links to training materials and videos are becoming more accepted and popular during this time as well. Texting also works well with today's young CNAs who have always relied more on their mobile devices than computers. Mobile messaging and video training can be quickly implemented with the right hiring technology.

Related: Here's How App Development Can Change The Healthcare Industry ...

Desmond Lim

Co-Founder of Workstream.us

Desmond Lim is co-founder and CEO of Workstream.us, an automated hiring platform for companies hiring hourly workers. He is a graduate of Harvard and MIT Media Lab, former product manager at WeChat and investor at Dorm Room Fund. He is based in San Francisco.

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