The NHS is currently facing the biggest staffing crisis in its 75 year history. The past few years have seen an increase in demand on services coincide with an increase in staff leaving the service or retiring. This has changed the employer market dynamics – candidates now have more choice in the organisations they choose to work for, and employers now have more competition. As experts in the healthcare recruitment space, we have seen these changes develop over time and have adjusted our products and services offering to include Employer Branding accordingly.
NHS Employer Branding
Employer branding has been an emerging trend over the past 12 months as NHS organisations continue to diversify and expand their recruitment methodologies to attract experienced and qualified clinicians. As part of a wider range of recruitment options, employer branding showcases the unique benefits and culture of your organisation, differentiating you from other employers and helping you find candidates with aligning values.
We have seen internal recruitment teams, whether directly or in partnership with agencies, become increasingly proficient in fulfilling junior roles – particularly with international candidates, who are more readily available than UK trained candidates, and have the required skillsets to come into vacant posts. International recruitment has proved vital to the NHS workforce, with internationally educated clinicians filling 20% of posts.
However, when it comes to senior roles, often in niche sub-specialisms, the level of qualification and experience required to fill these roles is often hard to find in international candidates. Therefore, demand far outstrips supply for appropriately qualified and experienced candidates – creating a highly competitive recruitment environment. These are niche specialisms within the NHS that are already critically understaffed. With limited numbers of training placements coming to fruition and a workforce plan that services a far longer-term solution: increasing training numbers from the grassroots, organisations are having to explore more options to ensure that they staff their services appropriately in the short and medium terms.
This is where employer branding can have a big impact and can be crucial in attracting candidates and converting interest. Well presented, relevant information about a role and employer can be the deciding factor for a candidate – and high-quality digital marketing campaigns can increase awareness of your organisation, reaching and engaging candidates who are both passively and actively looking for a career change. With candidates in high demand and an increasingly competitive market, employer branding can be the deciding factor for a candidate to join one healthcare organisation over another.
Changing Market Dynamics
The past year has seen an increase in attention on employer values, wellbeing offerings and culture – all things employer branding can define and advertise. While traditionally a more competitive market would drive up wages, the NHS’s pay scales do not allow for this – and as such, NHS employers must look for new ways to attract candidates for hard-to-fill vacancies.
At Remedium, we have seen the market dynamics shift over the past 12 months – and the emergence of employer branding as a result of this. This is why we have recently expanded our services to offer videography and branding support. Our proposition takes industry leading recruitment knowledge, coupled with high quality media production, to create bespoke campaigns and a suite of candidate centred materials to help resolve your hard-to-fill vacancies.
How can Employer Branding attract candidates?
In many instances, a strong employer brand is a complement to a robust and strategic workforce recruitment and retention initiative – a way of amplifying and adding to an ongoing recruitment process. However, in certain sectors, such as mental health and community paediatrics, demand for healthcare professionals far outweighs supply, meaning that even the strongest traditional resourcing methods can come up shy of what is needed. Harnessing digital media and implementing wide-reaching, innovative media content can prove a valuable tool for mitigating this problem. Especially when HTF vacancies are concentrated in areas of the country which may prove difficult to attract international clinicians, highlighting the strongest traits of your healthcare organisation in a precise and concise manner can be crucial to securing your workforce.
If you are interested in finding out more, or you think employer branding could be right for your NHS organisation, please do not hesitate to reach out to us here.