Nurse Recruitment Campaign

AIM

Continuing to find excellent nurses is a high priority for South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust. In Summer 2014, they identified a number of additional vacancies. These resulted from a combination of natural turnover, and the Trust’s commitment to keep investing in nursing services.

The Trust has always been a strong employer in the local market. Historically, their hiring strategy has focused on long-term, local engagement and investment. The Trust prides itself on existing primarily for its local community, both as a provider of healthcare, and as one of the region’s largest employers.

The Trust asked TMP to communicate to prospective candidates why they were one of the best NHS Trusts to work for. We created a campaign which engaged with the marketplace in a compelling, relatable way, and promoted the Trust as a great employer.

APPROACH

We wanted the campaign to promote the Trust’s excellent rate of staff satisfaction, and achieve long-term local engagement with candidates. So, rather than speaking to the market purely as South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust, the campaign put their staff front and centre.

Our campaign was called'I recommend SWFT'. We created a microsite which reflected the Trust’s values and brought this strategy to life. The ‘Welcome’ page of www.irecommendswft.com features a carousel of images of the Trust’s staff, with their statements of recommendation taking the place of traditional corporate landing page copy.

We worked closely with the Trust and they produced a staff video highlighting the range of reasons why they recommend the Trust – from the Trust’s values, to strategic direction, to the support they’re offered. As well as featuring individual testimonials,they asked as many staff as possible to appear in the video holding placards with the campaign hashtag #irecommendswft. This was embedded in the ‘Who we are’ page.

The microsite was complimented, and page visits boosted, through an investment in the Trust’s online presence – from a Google paid search attraction campaign, to activity across their wider social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and blog.

IMPACT

From September 2014- June 2015, 140 Band 5 nurses have been recruited and started in positions across the Trust. This has reduced the vacancy gap from a high of 28% to 10%, and falling.

The campaign resulted in a boost to social media engagement, evidenced through the increase in the Trust’s Facebook 'likes' from under 2,000 to over 6,500 in nine months. This makes their Facebook page the largest single NHS Trust recruitment site on the social network.

The Trust’s views and applications on the NHS jobs website continue to increase. Candidates are of high quality, locally sourced and fully engaged.

The campaign has also recently won an HPMA award –“HSJ award for strategic approach to recruitment” and the judges commented that “This was a values-linked and transferable project that was people-centered and had gained senior buy-in”

Human resources director, Ann Pope, said: “I’m thrilled that our Recruitment Team has won an Excellence in Human Resources Management Award. Although there was stiff competition from great teams from organisations around the UK I feel it’s deserved as I know how much hard work they put into the ‘I Recommend SWFT’ campaign.

“Recruiting nearly 100 nurses is no mean feat but their focus has not been on targets and numbers. Instead they have striven to find the right people for the job, people who share our values and so can provide first class care for our patients.”