Recruitment Challenges in the NHS

By Malcolm Stirling
Monster, in conjunction with Dods Research, conducted a survey of 2,951 NHS staff. Respondents were split almost 50:50 between medical and non-medical staff.  The purpose of the survey was to gain some insight in to the issues and challenges the NHS face with their recruitment.  

 

The inability to recruit suitably qualified staff is proving to be a significant issue for the NHS

There is no question that the NHS is suffering from significant staff shortages. This year the Care Quality Commission (CQC) reported that the NHS was struggling to deliver consistently high-quality care due to a widespread lack of staff.  The Liberal Democrats reported that NHS workers in Wales have made more than 10,000 complaints about staff shortages since 2012.

The trade union UNISON’s survey of nursing staff from across the UK reported that safe staffing levels have seen no improvement over the past year, despite government claims of increased nursing numbers.

The skills shortage has benefited the staffing agencies with recent press articles claiming A&E locum doctors are being paid £3,258 a shift and agency nurses costing £1,800 per shift.  The Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, wants to cut the NHS’s bill for temporary staff by introducing curbs on employment agencies.  He is also trying to persuade NHS consultants to work weekends and is seeking to introduce cuts to overtime pay from April 2017.

The survey
Monster, in conjunction with Dods Research, conducted a survey of 2,951 NHS staff. Respondents were split almost 50:50 between medical and non-medical staff.  The purpose of the survey was to gain some insight in to the issues and challenges the NHS face with their recruitment.

Major reasons why recruitment is a challenge:

  • Seventy eight percent say there is no forward planning for recruitment. We are largely reactive – we advertise roles as and when we need them.
  • Sixty-eight per cent of respondents say that a faster approval process would help to reduce recruitment times and, therefore, reduce the time agency staff are deployed.
  • A majority of respondents pointed to a lack of suitable candidates, supply and skills shortages as barriers to successful recruitment. Linking to the “be more proactive” message many respondents said that there should be a programme of organic growth where more people were encouraged in to the NHS and provided with suitable training.
  • A third thought that career prospects were limited and the work was too arduous.

Out of the 8 key HR performance indicators identified 6 were shown to be recorded by less than half the organisations. With only 23% recording the cost per hire and 13% recording the quality of hire.

For your your copy of the survey click here.

 


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