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NHS Recruitment Process: Everything HR Need To Know

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Anyone who has ever been involved in the NHS recruitment process knows that it's a very thorough, but perhaps not always the quickest of journeys, especially in the context of a national emergency. More than ever, the UK healthcare industry is faced with a shortage of clinical staff and in the face of the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, this shortage is worsening every day.

In addition to acute current pressures, healthcare organisations must also juggle the competing priorities of lowering costs, improving patient safety and, importantly, maintaining regulatory compliance with (healthcare regulator) the CQC.

Of course, there are important reasons why the NHS recruitment and selection process is so thorough; it’s intended to improve patient safety by ensuring that all staff are properly qualified, whilst at the same time maintaining all-important regulatory compliance. 

But for HR departments within the NHS, and for third-party agencies looking to provide the NHS with nurses, doctors, ancillary or social care staff and fulfil graduate recruitment schemes, the nhs jobs application process can present a real challenge. Particularly when faced with the urgent need for staff resulting from the current Covid-19 pandemic. Even NHS bank and digital recruitment - or recruiting for much-needed volunteers - are long-winded and bureaucratic processes.

Aside from the in-depth and time-consuming process of shortlisting for NHS jobs, the NHS recruitment and selection process - which involves HR, management, and often a dedicated panel of clinical and executive personnel - requires:

You can find out more about this from the NHS Recruitment Process Flowchart.

But the majority of responsibilities when recruiting new NHS staff fall to HR professionals, whose responsibilities also include:

How long does the NHS recruitment process take?

So what does all this mean to recruiters and HR professionals, and how long does the NHS recruitment process really take? Well, it can mean that candidates wait several weeks - sometimes longer - to hear back from an interview, and the recruitment of a single new staff member within the NHS could take as long as 6 months…

"Hiring healthcare workers manually can take providers up to 6 months, and is a real bottleneck to providers attempting to expand and meet clinical demand" (Credentially CEO and A&E Clinician, Dr Kit Latham).

As a result of ongoing pressures in the sector, and of course the current Covid-19 pandemic, staffing levels within the NHS are set to reach crisis point. With NHS bank levels also depleted and the ongoing need for qualified nurses, doctors and care staff showing no signs of abating, something has to be done - and quickly - to expedite the recruitment process and enable HR to make reliable, appropriate appointments fast.

Ways to make the NHS recruitment process faster

So, how can recruiters:

That’s where we come in. Credentially’s healthcare on-boarding software will save you literally thousands of hours of valuable clinical time. 


Ways to speed up the NHS shortlisting process

If you’re an NHS recruiter, HR professional in the healthcare sector or a third party provider, now is absolutely the time to introduce an automated signup, credentialing, and compliance service. Credentially offers a bespoke package, tailored to meet your specific needs. With our software you can:

Our software is designed specifically for healthcare employment and unlike any other package, integrates closely with key NHS credentialing databases. Credentially uses a combination of features across hiring, onboarding and compliance, to take the stress out of healthcare recruitment. Credentially will plug the gaps in your system and optimise your efficiencies for growth and savings, by automating the NHS professionals recruitment process.

Furthermore, our software improves patient safety: our automated failsafes will immediately flag up locums that have been struck off or are under investigation, which would go undetected with manual systems.

Find out more about how Credentially can help you to get staff without delays, evidence without error and growth without exploding costs, here. Our no-obligation demo lasts just ten minutes, during which time we’ll walk you through our system so you can see for yourself how we can save you thousands of man-hours. Signing up takes a matter of minutes and couldn’t be simpler. You can also download a case study, to find out more about how Credentially has helped other organisations to streamline their onboarding process. 

What’s more, we will provide our software free of charge to any NHS organisation needing to rapidly and safely increase their staffing numbers over the coming weeks, to meet the demands of the Covid-19 pandemic. If you’re interested, then call us on 020 7129 8652 or email at covid19@credentially.io with the topic 'Credentially's offer'. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have. Let Credentially help solve your staffing problems, starting today.

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