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Public Healthcare Sector Needs a Solid Graduate Recruitment Scheme

Ash Ahmad

Public Healthcare Sector Needs a Solid Graduate Recruitment Scheme

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The UK public healthcare system is currently facing a serious staffing crisis. Here’s how incorporating video recruiting software into graduate recruitment programmes can help revitalise this struggling sector.

Healthcare professionals are migrating from the NHS into the private sector, drawn by higher salaries, work to life balance and pension packages. As a growing number of skilled workers exits the public healthcare system, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for UK citizens to find timely, affordable medical care, and the burden on staff who have remained behind has reached an untenable level. The result? A dangerously overworked workforce.

As healthcare professionals become increasingly overextended, the problem is getting even worse – the Guardian has reported a surge in the number of nurses who have had to request time off due to stress and exhaustion. Without a solution perched on the horizon, it seems that existing NHS staff and medical graduates will continue to be tempted by the promise of better conditions in the private sector.

UK Public Healthcare Sector In Need Of Emergency Care

In a viral open letter to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt published in The Independent concerning plans to prevent doctors from opting out of weekend hours, junior doctor Janis Burn challenged him to “... look me, and every other doctor in the NHS, in the eye and tell us that you genuinely believe that we are being adequately paid for all the responsibility that rests on our shoulders.”

This sentiment is shared by many of Burn’s colleagues, who feel that their working conditions are poor and their pay is inadequate, that they’re often unjustifiably criticised and that the essential work they perform under pressure is taken for granted and underappreciated.

Additionally, the furore in the public health sector is putting off graduates too, who are currently seeking roles in the big wide world of work. Why would young doctors and nurses want to join an organisation that works them too hard, for too little benefit?

Diagnosing And Treating Recruitment Issues

As the NHS continues to struggle to stem the tide of poor employee retention, recruiters are struggling under the pressure to fill the gaps. While healthcare recruitment faces its own set of unique considerations, projecting a desirable brand is a crucial component of any effective hiring effort.

As nursing and medical graduates enter the workforce, recruiters must figure out ways to effectively demonstrate how valued medical professionals are within the public health sphere really are, and broadcast this message in a way that resonates with this new generation of healthcare workers.

Keeping top candidates engaged throughout the recruitment process is the key to a hospital’s ability to attract right-fit hires, and can be achieved by maximising convenience and opening up solid channels for communication.

This treatment should be extended to all applicants, including those who are ultimately unsuccessful. Well-trained, medical professionals know the value of their hard won skills – meeting them with the respect and courtesy they deserve will go a long way towards securing their continued interest and dedication.

According to Glassdoor, the hiring process takes an average of 28.6 days in the UK. Aim to keep the window between first contact and informing candidates of your final decision as short as possible – a protracted recruitment scheme will often disillusion top graduates and create the impression that they’re undervalued.

Video interviewing has the ability to solve this problem, dramatically expediting the time to hire, adding a built-in degree of convenience for both recruiters and candidates and enhancing the quality of the interactions between the two.

How Video Interviewing Can Help Healthcare Recruiters

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The healthcare staffing crisis is being compounded by the current UK skills shortage. As more medical professionals leave the public sector, recruiters are finding there aren’t enough qualified graduates entering the job market to fill current vacancies.

What’s more, the UK has a significant healthcare training gap at home – today, migrants account for nearly a quarter of UK doctors. Overseas recruiting can be expensive, and introduces the practical limitations of distance and time.

While telephone interviewing is still widely used for screening international candidates, many recruiters are finding that video interviewing paints a much more comprehensive picture of each candidate, which is particularly important for public facing jobs in the healthcare industry.

Using pre-recorded questions standardises the interview process while simultaneously eliminating problems associated with scheduling, time zones and travel-related costs. And although video interviewing is a relatively recent technology, a recent Software Advice study shows that 47% of candidates actually prefer the platform to phone interviews.

Despite the massive need for qualified graduates, a traditional recruitment drive for thousands of candidates would undoubtedly put an unmanageable strain on the already overextended public healthcare sector. Launchpad Recruits’ video interviewing software has demonstrated its ability to facilitate large recruitment drives without sacrificing quality in the process.

When Superdrug set out to overhaul its graduate recruitment programme, the goal was to onboard the hottest new talent in pharmaceuticals while significantly reducing the overall time to hire. With LaunchPad’s help, Superdrug was able to select 16 top pharmacists from an applicant pool of 500.

Most importantly, Launchpad’s software cut the average interview time from 15 minutes down to just 3 – that’s nearly 80%! Needless to say, Superdrug was instantly convinced and has continued to use the software to fill its vacancies ever since.

If the public healthcare sector wants to bridge the UK skills gap and cherry pick the best graduates to fill its ranks, recruiters must utilise every resource at their disposal; with features such as side-by-side candidate comparison, prescreening and client defined scoring metrics, Launchpad may be just what the doctor ordered.

(Main image credit: Zdenko Zivkovic/flickr)

Ash Ahmad

Ash has 15 years in the HR and IT worlds, specialising in how systems can support organisations in attracting and retaining high calibre candidates.