How to make NHS Trust vacancies stand out against private sector roles

A senior male staff nurse demonstrates the medical mannequin to a group of medical student nurses . They are all standing around the hospital bed listening to him .

As we carry on through 2022, there is something still lingering in the background when it comes to recruitment: the great resignation. While some may have thought that this was behind us, the reality is that it still has a grip. Research shows that there are still some 29% of the UK workforce looking to turn their backs on their current employers. So, what does this mean for NHS recruitment? 

The NHS is certainly not immune from what is going on around us. Those who have the necessary skills and experience are in perhaps the strongest position than they ever have been. They can pick and choose when it comes to jobs that they apply for. More than that, when they are successful they can be highly selective about the jobs that they actually take.

When it comes to NHS recruitment, we need to ensure that our vacancies stand out from the crowd. As it feels like we’re constantly at war with the private sector to attract and secure the best talent, the NHS needs to set out its stall and bring talent its way. Read on to find out how we can do just that. 

Employer branding

When it comes to looking for a position, the majority of job searchers will turn to the internet. They will search for job titles that match their skillset, but will also include phrases such as ‘best employer’, ‘best xxx job’, and ‘top places to work’. That’s why, for NHS recruitment to be successful, there needs to be consideration given to branding.

It’s no longer enough to advertise a great job role. Today’s employees are interested in the company that is behind the job and career. That means that they will be looking at things such as leadership, company values, and culture. 

For NHS recruitment to stand out from private sector roles, there needs to be a branding strategy. The NHS needs to take control of, and change, the dialogue that surrounds the organisation when it comes to being a place to work. On the most basic of levels, this is just about considering how your NHS Trust is marketed to job seekers and what current employees are saying about it as a place to work. 

Be known for the best candidate experience

Closely linked to the concept of employer branding, NHS Trusts need to be known for offering a great candidate experience. It’s too easy to fall into the trap of following what you need as a recruiter while ignoring the needs of the candidate.

What do candidates want from the recruitment process? There is nothing complex to the answer here. They just want to be kept in the loop. They want updates. They want to know what is happening next. If there are delays that’s okay, but your candidates want to know about them. 

The simplest way of offering candidates the experience that they want is by taking advantage of systems such as that offered by Oleeo. Oleeo has created an applicant tracking system just for the NHS – it’s capable of automating communications with everyone that has applied for your post. As well as being great for applicants, there are also benefits for your NHS Trust. It removes a huge administrative burden from recruiters, and hiring managers – allowing them to focus on what matters. 

young NHS nurse on the ward

De-bias job posts 

There’s a great drive within the NHS to meet set goals for the diversity, equity and inclusion of your Trust’s make-up. And as we all know, there are numerous benefits brought about by having a diverse workforce. If you want to tap into these benefits then you need a job advert that encourages this. After all, when it comes to applying for your vacancy, all that potential applicants have in front of them, to start with, is your job post. 

It is far too easy to, unintentionally, include words that have male or female associations as well as putting off those from other cultures. Of course, there is far more to diversity than just these two examples, but what can you do to ensure that your job post encourages the very best talent, regardless of sex, race, culture, sexual orientation, or any other factor?

  • Check pronouns – consider using ’s/he’, ‘they’, or ‘you’.

  • Avoid gender charged words – words such as ‘analyse’ and ‘determine’ are shown to have male traits whereas ‘collaborate’ and ‘support’ are shown to appeal to female applicants. You could even invest in recruitment technology, like Oleeo’s Intelligent Writing, that flags gender biased terms in your job descriptions and suggests gender-neutral alternatives.

  • Check your use of superlatives – terms such as ‘expert’ and ‘world-class’ have been shown to turn off female applicants.

  • Review requirements – if you have ‘must haves’ and ‘nice to haves’, lose the latter. Females tend only to apply for jobs where they hit 100% of the requirements. Men will do so if they hit 60% or more.

  • Show your commitment to equality and diversity – it’s not enough to assume that applicants know that the NHS is committed to equality, inclusion, and diversity. Your job post needs to tell them so.

  • Company values – as part of NHS recruitment, there is a need to share your Trust’s values within the job post. Infuse these into your posts to demonstrate what your Trust is all about.

  • Flexibility – the pandemic has seen a shift towards flexible working and a hybrid approach combining time at home with time in the office. While not all approaches will be appropriate for many roles in the NHS, use your job post to show just what you do offer. 

Be known as an organisation that hires promptly

While looking to overcome NHS recruitment challenges, a job post should clearly set out the timescales that are being worked to. It’s no secret that applicants become frustrated by processes that are drawn out and unnecessarily long. An overly long recruitment process leads to losing the best candidates and costs your organisation more. 

You can significantly cut down the time that it takes to fill a role, from job post to start date, by utilising the tools that Oleeo has to offer. The system will lead to you having a streamlined process that takes advantage of advanced automation to flag the best candidates, and improve all aspects of the process from interview to onboarding. By identifying and processing talent quickly, you’re in a strong position to move and secure it.

When the best talent is identified, Oleeo simplifies the next stages of the NHS Recruitment Process. From automation to highlight which pre-employment checks need to be carried out, to right to work- checks, and tailored application workflows – we’ll help you reduce your time to hire!

Not only that, Oleeo also has fantastic integrations with NHS Jobs and NHS ESR to create a streamlined applicant journey and onboarding experience.

Why not let Oleeo show you exactly what we can do to ease NHS Recruitment Challenges? Get in touch today and let us show you what we have to offer.

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