We have worked with many health visiting teams, and other services in the NHS. They have highlighted to us how important the recruitment process is. Getting it right will result in good quality applications from people whose values match your organisation's.
The recruitment process is your opportunity to showcase your organisation. Some of the features which will reflect well or badly on it, and influence potential staff to apply include:
How much support you provide for candidates
Providing clear, accurate and accessible information for prospective candidates is essential if you are to make them feel supported and positive about applying to work for you. Read our guidance about ‘creating an effective health visitor job advert’ to help you produce succinct, useful information in your advert.
Trusts that we have worked with, have used a range of opportunities for prospective health visitors to learn about what the job entails in general, and in their specific environment;
Videos or podcasts, such as this one from NHS Northwest which describes ‘what it means to be a health visitor.’‘
Open days, or 'explore' days are offered by some trusts, to give candidates an understanding of what the role entails, as well as a feel for the environment and teams they could be working with.
Whether the process is smooth running and efficient
Health visiting teams we have worked with have told us that flaws in their recruitment processes included; miscommunication of information to candidates, and references and other documents being lost. These create negative reflections on the new organisation for new staff.
Having clear communications, and one person who interested candidates can easily contact will contribute to a positive candiate experience.
The length of your recruitment process
We know that some trusts can take as long as 6 months to fill a health visiting vacancy. Though 3 months is more typical, shortening this would have benefits for the service, and reduce strain on the rest of the team.
For tips on how to streamline your processes from a partnership who has done just this, visit our streamlining programme webpage.
The Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust has reviewed how it carries out employment checks, and reduced the average time it takes to hire by over six weeks. Find out how they did it here.
Whether it is based on your values
The NHS recognises how important its staff's values, attitudes and behaviours are, and what an impact they have on how care is delivered. A holistic approach to establishing your organisational values and embedding them in your ways of working is about much more than recruitment. But getting the right people into the organisation is a good start.
The nature of the job requires many skills of a health visitor, but also many personable qualities if they are to provide good support to the communities they serve. Making your organisational values clear to candidates throughout the recruitment process will help you to attract people who have the same values and are driven by a desire to provide an excellent service. Find out more on our recruiting for values web pages.
Whether you advertise in the relevant places
Putting your advert out in a range of places will help you to reach a wide pool of prospective staff. Options used by some services include;
NHS jobs website
Local papers and media
Open Days / Jobs Fairs
Specially developed recruitment Apps
Advertising in spaces used by many people, such as trains, planes and gyms
Who has done it well?
North East London Foundation Trust (NELFT) has invested in, and run a successful recruitment campaign, called ‘Behind every door’. Adverts were published widely, and even on the back of several London buses! See what NELFT has included in their campaign here.