NHS discusses creating a diverse recruitment strategy
Head of Organisational Development for NHS Blood & Transplant, Aongus McGrane joined HRD Connect to discuss how the organisation created a common recruitment strategy to cater to the different roles in NHSBT. He also revealed how to enhance candidate diversity when faced with a shortage in more senior roles.
Ensuring your jobs stand out
Given the varied range of job roles required within the organisation, from scientific careers, nursing, to manufacturing and support – NHSBT uses creative ways to recruit.
Aongus said: “We use appropriate advertising where necessary, for example for specialist roles with HR we would approach CIPD, the body for HR professionals. We also have a dedicated careers website which we keep updated and it highlights what a great place the NHS Blood & Transplant is to work. It also gives a chance to showcase what we do and the variety of jobs we have. On there we use stories of those who work for us, so that people get a better feel for what we do and what it’s like to work here.”
Though for some roles a more creative strategy has been put in place, Aongus said: “For an IT role we sometimes use Twitter to recruit. We have also approached universities to go in and speak to students. At one stage we held an online forum discussion with our Chief Digital Officer to help people understand the roles that would be available. Overall, we have a increased the use of social media technology which makes it easier for people to find us, to find out more about us and to understand the role.”
Creating a common recruitment strategy catering to different roles
With a workforce of 5,500 employees in wide range of roles throughout the UK, from nursing, IT/digital to project management roles –creating a common recruitment strategy that caters to the different skills required is vital.
Aongus said: “We use an NHS technology, which is an upgraded NHS jobs website, and that’s the key place where people can actually log-on and have alerts sent to them based on where they want to work and the type of work they want to do etc. Of course we also use specialist advertising when necessary”
Applicants also have the opportunity to meet recruiters by attending recruitment fairs, certain roles are promoted through these schemes: “We bring young people into our organisation to experience what we do, this is done by working closely with colleagues and bringing them in to our apprenticeship scheme.”
Aside from recruitment, identifying talent within the organisation is an important part of the process. With a formal talent management programme, NHSBT is able to recognise internal talent.
Aongus said: “We have a very open approach to our talent, we believe that everybody has talent to offer. What we do is try and bring out the best of people, and the best talent so that people are ready for their next role if and when they want it. Part of that is having an excellent learning development team. We offer a huge amount of development in-house to people, that ranges from frontline, management development up to aspiring chief executive development.” For more senior posts, NHSBT works with other agencies such as the Department of Health.
Within the organisation, Aongus reveals there are pathways to follow for personal and management development which is encouraged by the organisation: “This might involve completing a degree, masters or a doctorate where appropriate to their role or their future role and we always support that.”
A diverse pool of candidates
NHSBT’s Recruitment Team have worked to develop of a number of internal improvments to improve the quality of applications, for example, engaging with a wider and more diverse pool of candidates.
These candidates have been targeted in many ways to ensure the organisation is well represented, aside from being a disability friendly employer, due to the lack of representation in more senior roles, Aongus said: “We run specific mentoring, coaching and targeted programmes if employees are looking to transfer careers. We use data which focuses on whether we need to do a little bit more around certain locations, like London perhaps. Internally we also have a black, Asian and ethnic minority network and they help and work with our BAME colleagues internally. They also do this to attract a wider and diverse pool of blood and organ donors.”
“We have recently launched an LGBT forum within the organisation as well, this is to help us ensure that the organisation continues to be a great place to work for people from a diverse background.”