One stop recruitment shop

Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust

Frieza Mahmood, Deputy Director of People and OD

Michelle Jarrott, Recruitment Manager

Amir Ali, Head of Engagement, Retention and Nurse Recruitment

The aim was to design a recruitment process that was candidate focused, accessible, stress- free and streamlined. Its success meant that vacancy levels reduced by over 54% in 6 months and the dropout rate reduced from 35% to 7%. Time to hire reduced from 27 weeks to 10 weeks and sickness levels in hard to recruit areas fell by 1.5%. Temporary staffing spend decreased yielding over £1.2million saving.

Key points:

  • Combined tester and recruitment events specifically for area/department recruiting
  • Candidates met executive team, spoke to staff, had 4D virtual tour and experienced the job they would be doing
  • Candidates had preview of range of benefits on offer
  • Completed job application on the day
  • Ability to receive on the day job offers and walk away with contract.

Judges’ view

A clear diagnostic process led to the team creating recruitment initiatives that connected with the community in more ways than one. They facilitated the opening of Trust buildings and enabled a preview of staff benefits so that potential recruits could see for themselves what it would feel like to work there.



Solving the crisis

West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust

Jayne Taylor, Head of Organisational Development

The aim was to solve the nursing recruitment crisis by adopting a collaborative multi-team improvement approach. There are now no band 5 nurse vacancies in in-patient adult wards. The agency spend decreased from £37m to £13m and the vacancy rate by 8%. Turnover of staff has decreased by 13.5% and overall a change in culture has been felt across the Trust.

Launched domestic and overseas nurse and medical recruitment campaign

Key points:

  • Showed staff were valued: #TeamWestHerts, career coaching, staff awards, internal transfer scheme
  • Revamped on-boarding and induction, introduced reconnect sessions for staff
  • Created local ‘agency consortium’ to manage approach to agency spending
  • Launched multi-profession preceptor programme – year long programme for nurses, AHPs, biomedical scientists and midwives.
Judges’ view

The panel thought it was obvious that the Trust had worked as a team to make a significant impact on staff and how it felt to come to work. They had turned around what was potentially an unsafe and certainly overwhelming situation through focus and collaboration from all areas of the Trust.



NHS Wales Student Recruitment Streamlining Project

NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership

Paul Thomas, Director of Employment Services

This project streamlined healthcare student recruitment across Wales through process redesign: reducing multiple job applications, the recruitment process timeline and turnover. This portal for final year students showed available vacancies across NHS Wales which has increased student retention – 94% of those who trained in Wales were recruited into NHS Wales

Key points:

  • 4-week window for students to make 4 choices with an algorithm to match applicants’ choice with vacancies
  • Outcomes shared with Health Boards who score the applicant, algorithm re-run and conditional offers all sent to students on same day
  • Pre-employment checks allow students to start as soon as results known.
  • Reduced first year turnover and administrative costs.

Judges’ view

This entry demonstrated the achievements that can result in system-wide collaboration, reducing the manual intervention of allocating students to vacancies and the need for multiple interviews.


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