5 Strategies for reducing time to hire in the NHS

Reduce time to hire for the NHS

In the midst of an ever-evolving healthcare landscape, the NHS faces the ongoing challenge of ensuring it has the right personnel in place to deliver high-quality care to patients. 

One critical aspect of this challenge is the time it takes to fill vacant positions.

Prolonged recruitment processes can lead to understaffing, increased workload for existing staff, and ultimately, compromised patient care. It’s no secret that it’s imperative to streamline hiring processes to minimise the time to hire without compromising the quality of candidates brought into the system. 

Here, we delve into specific strategies the NHS can adopt to achieve this goal.


1. Implementing an Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) that meets your unique recruitment needs

The right Applicant Tracking System (ATS) can revolutionise the way the NHS manages its recruitment processes. By automating administrative tasks such as CV screening, application tracking, and candidate communication, an ATS significantly reduces the time recruiters spend on these mundane activities. 

More importantly, an ATS system can utilised to create strategic talent pools, enabling recruiters to tap into a pre-qualified pool of candidates for future vacancies, thereby expediting the hiring process.

Learn how University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, revolutionised their recruitment process using innovative recruitment technology. 


2. Using EDI Tools to Create Inclusive Job Posting 

Is your bias your backseat driver? 

What specific diversity initiatives does your NHS Trust have in place and are they working? 

Crafting clear, compelling and inclusive job postings is crucial for attracting top talent efficiently in this competitive market. Using EDI tools can help you create inclusive and compelling job postings, therefore attracting a wider range of candidates. 

However, using EDI tools to create inclusive job postings is only the tip of the iceberg. These tools can help you with AI-powered selection criteria, dynamic workflows, and tailored content to help bake fairness and efficiency into every step of the recruiting process.


3. Standardising Interview Processes

Standardising interview processes across NHS trusts can significantly reduce time to hire by streamlining candidate evaluation. By establishing clear interview protocols, including predefined questions and evaluation criteria, recruiters can ensure consistency in candidate assessment while expediting the decision-making process. 

Moreover, incorporating technology such as video interviews can eliminate scheduling conflicts and geographical barriers, enabling recruiters to assess candidates more efficiently.


4. Prioritising Internal Mobility and Talent Development

Encouraging internal mobility and investing in talent development programs can help the NHS fill vacancies more rapidly by tapping into its existing workforce. By promoting opportunities for career advancement and providing training and development initiatives, the NHS can nurture a pipeline of qualified candidates who are already familiar with the organisation’s culture and processes. This not only reduces the time to hire but also enhances employee morale and retention.

Data automation recruitment technology can take the weight off your team and streamline this process.


5. Collaboration with Educational Institutions

Establishing partnerships with educational institutions can provide the NHS with access to a steady stream of qualified candidates entering the healthcare field. Collaborative initiatives such as internships, apprenticeships, and residency programs not only expose students to real-world healthcare environments but also allow NHS recruiters to identify and cultivate talent early in their academic careers. By proactively engaging with educational institutions, the NHS can reduce the time to hire for critical healthcare roles.

Here are few suggestions:

  • University hospital partnership programs
  • Apprenticeship scheme in nursing
  • Residency exchange programs
  • Collaborative research projects with universities
  • Dual degree programs in healthcare management
  • Work-based learning initiatives
  • High school healthcare career pathways
  • Joint recruitment events and career fairs

Reducing time to hire is paramount for the NHS to address staffing challenges effectively and deliver optimal patient care.

For further inspiration, explore how numerous NHS Trusts, Police Forces, and Government organisations are streamlining their recruitment processes to get ahead of the curve.

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