How to Recruit Applicants for Your Nurses’ Aide Opening

Alexandra Sheehan
Apr 11, 2018 · 8 min read

Nurse supervisors are no strangers to being short staffed. And it’s challenging from more than just a staffing perspective. Research has found that patients suffer too: As staff levels decrease, so does the level of care.

That’s why it’s important to find quality candidates during the hiring process. But how can you attract the right applicants for your nurses’ aide and assistant roles in a senior living facility? It starts with crafting a compelling job ad and ends with putting it in front of the right people.

Writing your nurse’s aide job ad

In Indeed’s Hiring Lab Report: Targeting Today’s Job Seeker, they found that more than three-quarters of Millennials use mobile devices in their job search, with Gen Xers close behind at 73%. That’s why it’s important to remember, and accommodate, your mobile job seeker. Bullet points, short sentences, subheadlines and bolded text should be used to make the job ad more scannable on a mobile device.

More than three-quarters of Millennials use mobile devices in their job search.

What to include

Summary: At the start of your ad, include a high-level summary of the position, the ideal candidate and your company. Keep it brief; two to four sentences is sufficient here.

Remember: Before candidates sell themselves to you, you have to sell them on the job. As noted above, it’s a job ad, not a description, so treat it as you would any other advertisement if you want to convert candidates. Including photo and video content, for example, will help your ad stand out and engage potential candidates, not to mention make the ad easier to read on mobile.

Check out the example below for a CNA opening at The Waters Senior Living: They introduce the role and the company mission. You could take a similar approach, as well as add an additional line about the opportunity if needed.

Image: The Waters Senior Living

Job duties: The job duties should be described from an “a day in the life” perspective. In other words, highlight the daily responsibilities for this individual, as well as common recurring duties.

Bullet points work great here. Again, the example from The Waters shows exactly which responsibilities fall under the CNA position.

Required skills and experience: Here, list the required expertise that a successful candidate must possess. This includes anything from job-specific skills, such as knowing how to record vital signs of patients, as well as things like work ethic or the ability to lead a team.

Mandatory education, licenses and certifications: In healthcare especially, there may be required education, licenses or certifications to perform the job. Remember to consider federal, state and local guidelines to ensure you’re abiding by the law. The Waters combines the required skills and certifications in the same section:

Nice-to-haves: There may be some skills and experience that aren’t deal breakers but certainly preferred. It’s helpful to list these in the job ad to give prospective applicants more insight into the role as well as help you vet the more qualified candidates.

Perks: While candidates need to sell themselves to employers, employers also need to sell the role. Listing the perks of the job is your chance to highlight the benefits of being an employee at your care facility. Don’t be afraid to remind applicants of the rewarding experience of working in senior care. The Intelligence Group found that 64% of Millennials want to make the world a better place, and a job with you could be one way to do that.

Other specific perks may include:

  • Flex scheduling
  • Free or discounted public transportation passes
  • Training programs
  • Education opportunities
  • Attractive pay (According to data from Indeed, for example, the average hourly wage for assisted living nurse assistants in the U.S. is $11.75.)
  • Health and fitness benefits
  • Bonuses

The Waters also takes a great approach to highlighting the benefits of a career there:

How to apply: Last but certainly not least is the instructions on how to apply. Whether they’re able to apply on your site or must use a different channel, you’ll want to make it clear on what the next steps are. 60% of job seekers abandon the online application process because it’s too long or complex, according to one CareerBuilder study, so keep it simple and mobile-friendly.

60% of job seekers abandon the online application process because it’s too long or complex.


The job ad above from Bishop McCarthy Center is another excellent example. The CNA ad is brief but still gives enough detail about the opportunity for job seekers to determine whether it’d be a good fit. Bullet points make it readable, pictures add a visually appealing and human element, and a sign-on bonus adds a sense of urgency for applicants.

If you want more inspiration, Monster has a free CNA job listing template to get you started >

Promoting the ad and recruiting applicants

Your website

Sunrise Senior Living has an excellent careers page. With sections dedicated to the benefits of working there and exploring the company culture, it gives applicants accurate expectations of their potential employer. Plus, pictures of employees enjoying their jobs, paired with testimonials, drive home the positive and rewarding experience of working at Sunrise.


Quick tip: Implement live chat functionality on your careers pages. This will help applicants through the process, which can increase the number of successfully completed applications you receive.

Job board sites

Craigslist is another site to promote your job ad, but keep in mind that you may need to go through a more rigorous vetting process for these candidates.

Industry-specific job boards are another great alternative to attracting applicants for your nurse’s aide opening. Here are a few to consider:

Look within your network

Employees: Let your employees know about the opening and encourage them to share it with those they think would make a good fit. They can do a bit of the vetting for you, as they’ll likely share a first-person account of the job, and they also know what it takes to be successful in that role. Consider incentivizing employee referrals for successful hires to get the word out even more.

Volunteers: If you have a volunteer program, there could be a chance that those individuals would be interested in a more committed — and paid — position at your care center. Again, they likely have a decent impression of what it takes to do the job, plus you already know their work ethic and how they fit in with the team and patients.

The nursing and senior care community: Your potential employees put a lot of weight on your reputation in the industry. After all, this is going on their resume and will potentially help them propel their career forward. Being active in the nursing and senior care community will enable you to make connections, as well as share your staffing needs with those connections.

Social media and email: Your own social media followers and email subscribers could be filled with qualified candidates. Share the job ad on your profiles and to your email list. Again, these individuals are already familiar with your brand, so they’re likely more qualified than those coming from Craigslist, for example.

Local schools: Look to local community colleges or vocational and technical schools to share about your job opening. Counselors may have specific students to recommend.


Perhaps the purest form of “geo-targeting” is by promoting the opening on-location. You never know when your next employee will walk through the door, be it a volunteer, patient family member or someone unexpected. Print ads in local papers and publications are another traditional method of spreading the word.

Online geo-targeting offers even more opportunities. With paid social media and display ads, you can target based on geographic location, as well as other potential parameters including education, job title or interests. And with Apploi’s at-location feature, you can target mobile users who are within close proximity.

Stay up-to-date on Apploi’s geo-targeting and other features that make hiring nurses’ easier and streamlined.


Tech solutions to hiring challenges

Alexandra Sheehan

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Tech solutions to hiring challenges