Ambitious recruitment campaign: 200 nurses in 200 days


In response to the growing need for professional nursing staff at its hospitals – Brampton Civic and Etobicoke General – William Osler Health Centre (Osler) launched the 200 Nurses in 200 Days recruitment campaign in May of last year. The campaign was a complete success, and much to the delight of Osler took less than 200 days to get there.

“It was a team effort,” says Wendy Gale, Osler’s Manager of Retention and Recruitment. “The recruitment team, hiring managers and many others in the organization stepped up to the plate to hire nurses for the campaign.”

Once the 200 Nurses in 200 Days Campaign goal was set, the recruitment team pulled out all the stops, they did walkabouts throughout the hospitals visiting nursing units and other departments to promote the hospital’s referral program. Team members visited local malls, libraries, schools and community centers to post flyers and make contacts. Ads were placed in newspapers and trade publications, even on Roger’s TV and in public transit subway stations. Illuminated ads were purchased in local malls to attract the community to the campaign. When the applications came in the team worked feverishly to contact potential recruits, arrange interviews and, with assistance from Osler’s Patient Care Managers, process applications and make offers.

To encourage and perpetuate interest, Osler placed a thermometer on the internal website to track the campaign’s progress. Stories in the hospital’s staff newsletter kept the effort at the forefront and encouraged staff to refer friends, family and former coworkers to come to work at Osler. To date almost one third of those hired were referred by Osler staff.

For Brampton resident and new grad Christina Calvano, one of Osler’s first 15 nurses hired during the campaign it couldn’t have come at a better time. “This is the place for me,” says Christina about her position as Registered Nurse in the Intensive Care Unit at Brampton Civic Hospital. “Here I will gain the knowledge I need as I move forward in my career and get a chance to help the people in my community at a time when they are the most vulnerable.”

When Osler announced the recruitment campaign, registered nurse Priya Raphel applied for a full-time nursing position on the Rehabilitation Unit at Etobicoke General Hospital. She has since become the 200th nurse to be hired in the campaign.

“The idea of staff being able to refer people they know to work at the hospital is a great way to recruit people you would like to work with,” says Priya, who was referred to Osler by a friend who works at Brampton Civic Hospital. “Knowing someone who works here was a great way to get a glimpse into what kind of place it is to work and what the staff are like.”

“The campaign, possibly one of the largest formal nursing recruitment programs of its kind ever undertaken by a community hospital in Ontario, has now exceeded its target,” says Lori Diduch, Vice President, Human Resources and Organizational Development and Communications. As of December 5, the campaign’s official close, 217 nurses have been hired through the campaign. “It is just part of an ongoing effort to hire staff to fill current and future positions at both Brampton Civic and Etobicoke General Hospitals and for Peel Memorial Hospital once redevelopment is complete.”

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