The Situation

Our client is a private healthcare company with hospitals and services around the UK. They are relative newcomers to the market in comparison to their competitors. Recruitment was managed directly by Hiring Managers and an over-worked and understaffed HR team. Our work focused on their hospital in the South-West, and the particular areas within that hospital where they were struggling to recruit staff. The client's inability to attract suitably skilled healthcare staff resulted in a number of beds being closed, which led to reduced profit.

The hospital has a wonderful location, but is located a few miles outside of the town centre making the commute for any non-car users difficult. As well as recruiting current vacancies to allow them to reopen beds, we had to manage and improve their reputation in the local area. Excellent candidate experience was a high priority and key to meeting many of their challenges.

The Solution

We reviewed and rewrote adverts where appropriate, then reassessed advertising channels being used and trialled print and radio. We ran open days and invited the community to see the hospital for themselves. 

We became much more active in the targeted sourcing of candidates and talking to them rather than relying on inbound applications. In addition, they had several years of previous unsuccessful applications that had not received any feedback. We reviewed all applications using these as a starting point of a candidate database. We also took control of their social media which had previously had very low activity, posting updates, team profiles, photos of event and job postings.

 

Challenges

Combining the fact that nurses are in short supply across the country, and the possibility of leaving the NHS to move to private providers, it often means that some candidates rule out considering the role before any conversations can even begin. 

Some key members of the senior leadership team changed during our time on the account. Morale amongst their own staff was low in parts. Awareness of the hospital in the local community was low, due to lack of local advertising and the relatively little time they have been open.

Local competitors are big NHS hospitals or other well established private hospitals. It was difficult to use the usual approach with competitors as many consultants from our client also working in these hospitals. We had to take a much softer approach, such as raising awareness of the amazing care for patients and the great working environment. We also encouraged the current staff to think about their own networks and take advantage of the referral scheme in place.

The application process on their website was also far too long, and there were too many pages that candidates had to work through before being able to submit their CV and contact details. This was likely putting off some great candidates, so we worked with their IT team to remove some of these pages, streamlining the process.

Outcomes

Our recommendations and actions greatly reduced the number of vacancies in key areas allowing the hospital reopen their closed beds and greatly increase the number of patients seen on a daily basis. All candidates had a consistent and focused point of contact, ensuring all interactions had the same message and tone. We also significantly increased their followers and interactions on social media, helping to improve brand awareness in the local area.

By releasing HR and Hiring Managers of the bulk of recruiting duties, we have freed up huge amounts of their time which allows them to focus further on their day job.

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