Healthcare Virtual Career Fairs: How UNC Health Used Live Recruit to Hire RNs Quickly

DownloadHealthcare virtual career fair


candidates engaged via omni-channel marketing


of candidates interviewed hired


of job offers accepted

About UNC Health

UNC Health is a not-for-profit integrated healthcare system owned by the state of North Carolina and based in Chapel Hill. Originally established Nov. 1, 1998, UNC Health currently comprises UNC Hospitals and its provider network, the clinical programs of the UNC School of Medicine, and 11 hospitals across the state.

The system has more than 3,200 physicians and 350 clinics, and their medical staff members manage 3.5 million clinical visits, 120,000 surgeries, and 470,00 emergency room visits annually. To keep up with the large number of patients, their recruitment team is responsible for filling hundreds of positions a year.

The Challenge

Healthcare Recruiters Struggle to Hire Nurses

UNC Health, a leading integrated health system in North Carolina, had a number of open oncology, emergency, psychiatry, operating room, medicine and surgery nursing positions. The vacancies meant that they had to turn to overtime pay — costing hospitals 50% more per hour1 — and travel nurses, which cost 166% more per RN per hour.2

As a result of high costs, UNC Health wanted to fill positions quickly; however, they faced a number of challenges:

  • A Tough Industry: There are
    200,000 new nursing positions created every year
    , yet the job pool isn’t large enough to fill all of them, making nurse recruitment a challenge.3 In fact, it can take anywhere from
    65 to 250 days to fill a hospital position
  • No Opportunities for In-Person Hiring Events: UNC Health traditionally used onsite hiring events and in-person career fairs to attract nurses. However, COVID-19 and concern for attendees’ safety meant that these were no longer options.
  • Hiring Pauses: COVID-19 hiring pauses led to recruitment department challenges. Approximately 80% of the recruiters’ time had to be spent on screening job board candidates and setting up interviews which left them with very little time for their recruitment marketing efforts and sourcing passive candidates, who are
    25% more likely to stay long-term
    and perform 9% better.5

The Solution

Virtual Hiring Events for Healthcare Recruitment

By utilizing Live Recruit, a virtual job fair and recruiting event platform, UNC Health built awareness around their employer brand, converted passive candidates, and filled critical RN positions — all while saving time and money. Live Recruit’s strategic approach included:

  • Easy-to-Use Technology for Healthcare Recruiters: The health system’s recruitment team simply signed into Live Recruit, where they could connect with candidates. Recruiters were able to:
    • Seamlessly message and call with the click of a button.
    • Schedule follow-up meetings with hiring managers.
    • Rate and categorize potential candidates based on a variety of factors.
    • View comprehensive, real-time analytics — all in one place.
  • A Positive Experience for Candidates: RN candidates entered a simple and sleek virtual environment where they could learn more about UNC Health, interact with healthcare recruiters, and meet hiring managers on the same day — without having to leave the comfort of home.
  • Dedicated Account Management: Live Recruit’s account management team — known for their white-glove service — provided on-going support throughout the process, conducted regular check-ins, and offered best practices and tips to ensure the events were successful.
  • Omni-Channel Marketing for Virtual Hiring Events: Using the Live Recruit team’s 19+ years of recruitment marketing experience, UNC Health engaged thousands of RNs across multiple channels, including email, social media, live calls, and search ads. The marketing drove candidates to customized registration pages, where they signed up for the virtual recruiting events for healthcare professionals. Candidates then received regular reminders, boosting attendance.

The Results

Virtual Career Fairs for Healthcare Recruitment: Increasing Productivity & Reducing Cost Per Hire

Live Recruit helped UNC Health’s team engage passive healthcare candidates, increase efficiency, and cut costs. High-quality nursing candidates came straight to recruiters during a 4-hour window. Within minutes, candidates were introduced to hiring managers and many were extended offers on the spot. The results speak for themselves:

  • 11,800+ candidates engaged via omni-channel marketing
  • 73% of candidates interviewed were hired
  • 91% of job offers were accepted
  • $910 cost per hire —
  • 90% less than health systems typically pay
  • to market open positions and recruit nurses6


  1. Debra Pollick, RN, MS, EVP/COO, Volume Recruitment Services and Ron Benfield, FACHE, CEO, Millwood Associates. (2018, August 31). RN recruitment: The cost of doing nothing is costly. Becker’s Hospital Review.
  2. Brian Colosi, BA, MBA, SPHR. (2021). 2021 NSI National Health Care Retention & RN Staffing Report.
  3. U.S. BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS, & Elka Torpey. (2018). Employment outlook for bachelor’s-level occupations.
  4. Association for Advancing Physician and Provider Recruitment. (2021, June 3). Benchmarking – AAPPR.
  5. What it Really Takes to Win Over Passive Candidates. (2020). Recruiterbox Blog.
  6. Lingo, A. (2018, January 22). The Real Cost of Nurse Turnover. PassportUSA.

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