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Oct 12

Top health and social care recruitment trends

It’s no secret that health and social care recruitment is a turbulent market. According to a recent NHS Improvement report more than 100,000 NHS job posts are unfilled . This figure alone makes healthcare one of the most in demand occupations in the UK, yet successful applicant figures stand at a 3-year low.

A recent report by the UK government predicted that a further two-million new workers would need to be recruited into the health and social care sector by 2022 – a demand which HR managers are struggling to keep up with.

There are a number of ways recruiters can attract new talent from improving their brand offering to using social media effectively. In this blog, we explore some of the top trends in health and social care recruiting:

The importance of strong employer brands

Jobseekers have more choice than ever in today’s job market, therefore in order to attract talent employers need to set themselves apart from competition. Many healthcare organisations have turned their efforts to strengthening their brand with campaigns that market company culture, values and personality to attract new applicants and reduce employee turnover rates.

For example, back in July of this year the NHS launched a multi-million recruitment campaign which used company culture and personality as the driving force.

Leveraging employee brand advocacy

Social media has changed the recruitment landscape drastically, with a touch of a button jobseekers can access social media platforms and reviews and get an insight into what it’s like to work for a certain company. The influence that employee opinions have on jobseekers is growing and 69 percent of job seekers would not take a job with a company that has a bad reputation.

To utilise employee brand advocacy as an asset, leading healthcare providers have started to adapt their recruitment strategies. This begins with getting an insight into what nurses, social workers and other professionals like about their workplace and whether there is any improvements that can be made. Although not a quick fix, continued communication and support can lead to an increase in employee advocates and brand reputation, which can be attractive to jobseekers.

Relevant job post content

Although personalisation remains key when writing job posts, there has been a movement towards unique and relevant content. As people primarily search for jobs via internet, it has become increasingly important to make sure online vacancies appear in search engine results.

While Google loves high-quality, information rich content, it holds a special place for unique content that doesn’t appear anywhere else on the web. The search engine also praises web pages full of relevant keywords. To satisfy this health and social care recruiters have started to deviate away from standard job descriptions and review their keyword strategy to boost search engine rankings.

Process optimisation

One of the main challenges that hiring managers in the health and social care sector face is slow hiring, with multiple roles to fill and a stack of CVs recruiting can become a long drawn-out task. Not only is a lengthy recruitment process frustrating for HR managers, but it can lead to loss of talent as candidates will either lose interest or accept a ‘faster’ offer from another company.

With slow hiring on the up, it’s time that managers look to review hiring timescales and streamline processes to ease the burden on everyone. Instead of running five rounds of interviews when recruiting for a social worker you could do one interview with role play activities, to see if applicants have got the skills you’re looking for. By optimising the recruitment process you’ll be in a better position to manage the candidate experience and keep top talent engaged.

Ultimately, the health and social care sector is forever changing and recruitment methods need to be updated as a result of this. Hiring managers need to take the reins and be proactive when it comes to attracting new talent, whether this be implementing new approaches, optimising the process or strengthening their brand.

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