UK recruitment sector joins NHS staffing initiative

Without a doubt, the coronavirus has hit UK businesses hard and in less than two weeks the recruitment industry has effectively been brought to its knees with online revenues being reduced by around 70% – almost literally, overnight.

Commenting on the crisis Mark Stephens, CEO at Smart Recruit Online (SRO) said: ‘Despite the issues we’re all facing at the moment we’re united in our battle to fight through this crisis, along with other industry sectors that have been hit just as hard and, in some cases, even worse than us.

‘On the front line, fighting the effects of this virus on a humanitarian level, are the NHS and its brave and courageous staff.  Unfortunately, they are already light on numbers as many NHS staff have contracted the virus and are now in isolation.  This is placing massive amounts of pressure on those remaining to cope with increasing casualties and a growing problem. Recruiting replacements and volunteers is a major challenge and the UK recruitment industry, despite its own predicament, is stepping up to do what it can to support this NHS staffing crisis.’

Mark has brought together recruitment industry leaders and has created a recruitment initiative which he is now driving forward. ‘Initially I decided to use the spare capacity I have within my own business to help address the front-line staffing issues effecting the NHS right now.  Then, I approached some of the major Job Boards to establish whether there was an appetite for a collaborative effort and the initiative was soon up and running,’ adds Mark.

SRO will provide NHS Hospitals and Trusts with free access to its award-winning recruitment system, tools, screening and support services and the Job Boards and media channels have agreed to provide free advertising for NHS jobs posted from within the SRO platform.

Commenting on why he has created this initiative Mark says: ‘We are in a privileged position where our businesses can combine our efforts to help and support the NHS, without actually placing ourselves into harms’ way.  The NHS and its staff are amazing.  They are our front line troops in protecting the most vulnerable and those effected by this virus.  We are proud to be part of the UK recruitment sector that has put aside its own difficulties and challenges to collaborate on such a worthwhile initiative.’

Theakreh Mosley, Talent Acquisition Lead, NHS Property Services who is tasked with recruiting hundreds of replacement staff across the UK for administrators, cleaners and kitchen staff said: ‘You guys are amazing.  Thank you so much, we really appreciate your help through this initiative.’

So how will SRO and its collaborators be able to help the NHS?  Mark explains: ‘The SRO platform will act as central cloud based, plug and play recruitment system.  It is designed to make the recruitment of staff simpler and more effective than any other means of recruiting staff online.  The system is integrated with the latest AI, Machine Learning and Predictive Analytics to automate large parts of the recruitment process, so that it delivers a better user and applicant experience and will save NHS recruiters lots of time during their screening and selection process.

The system also comes pre-integrated with some of the latest recruitment screening tools too, including dynamic forms, video profiling, behavioural assessments and reference and ID checking. The video technology enables remote interviewing capability and SRO, uniquely, allows clients to onboard and complete basic training in less than an hour. This is something that will prove critical in maximising the number of NHS functions that will be able to take advantage of this service and offer.

‘The SRO platform is fully integrated with leading Recruitment Technology provided by Broadbean and Burning Glass that will allow NHS recruiters to rapidly create and post job adverts, manage and screen applicants effectively and quickly for front line NHS positions.  This will all be complimented by free national recruitment advertising media provided by the UK’s leading job boards including CV Library, Reed, Totaljobs, Guardian Jobs, Monster and JobsToday.  With such a strong collaboration, we are confident that we’ll be able to positively contribute to the recruitment of key NHS staff that are essential in enabling us to fight coronavirus.’

Lee Biggins, founder and CEO of CV-Library added: ‘These are truly challenging times and sadly the recruitment industry is feeling the effects.  However, we’re also part of the solution.  By harnessing our expertise and working together with companies like Smart Recruit Online we can help the NHS to tackle what lies ahead and recruit the front line staff our country so desperately needs.  We’re delighted to be a part of this initiative and to help push these roles in front of the 15 million candidates in our database, including 1.1 million healthcare professionals.’

Ruth Edwards, Business Development Director at Talent in Logistics commented saying: ‘Dealing with the outbreak of COVID-19 is a big enough challenge for the logistics sector. There is high demand on the supply chain, with the need to keep shops, hospitals, and fuel stations stocked. In these unusual times, we understand that extra resource and staff are needed to fulfil operational and delivery requirements and are, therefore, delighted to be part of this important initiative.’

‘Our goals are clear,’ concluded Mark. ‘We will assist the NHS wherever we can in the recruitment of staff to ensure that front line positions are filled quickly.’

How you can help

  • NHS – If you work within the NHS and need to recruit front line staff, then call 0800 634 1818 and speak to the Smart Recruit Online team who will get you set up quickly and your jobs live within 24 hours.
  • Candidates – Go to either CV Library, Reed, or Guardian Jobs and search for ‘NHS Jobs’ or to Smart Recruit Online. You can also register for volunteering positions at GoodSAM.
  • General public – Please share this information with your entire network. We need to get this message in front of as many NHS recruiting staff as possible.