South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM) is a highly regarded Mental Health Trust with over 4,500 staff, serving a community of 1.1 million and supporting almost 800,000 patient contacts across four hospital sites.
Historically they relied on standard nursing press and local print for recruitment campaigns, advertising on an ad-hoc basis which delivered inadequate results. The problem was obvious but the solution required some careful consideration from TMP.
South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM) has an outstanding clinical reputation and close working links with the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IoPPN). SLaM is undoubtedly a world leader with a history spanning back to 1247.
There’s no doubt their reputation as a mental health care provider, of pioneering research and clinical excellence is hard to rival but their employer reputation wasn’t matching up; through our research and insight, ‘we found that their target recruitment audience viewed them as ‘aloof’ and ‘choosy’ and more worrying, ‘inaccessible’ as an employer. Internally, the use of agency staff had become part of the culture; something that they wanted to change.
Instead of relying on standard nursing press and local print for their recruitment campaigns and advertising on a role by role basis we agreed with SLaM that they needed to improve their employer brand profile and spend their budget more smartly to make substantial increases in permanent nurse hires.
Our solution was to develop a new online, social and ambient presence in conjunction with a new recruitment brand, whilst promoting a strong recruitment message that would attract nurses from different backgrounds and geographical locations.
TMP worked closely with SLaM to develop a series of strategic approaches to deal with specific areas of concern and also raise their employer profile on a general basis with the aim of becoming an employer of choice and one that was accessible to their wide and diverse target audience, across London and the South East.
We adopted an ‘always on’ approach and consistent presence using Google Adwords and TMP’s own Social Network Awareness Package (SNAP). Using SNAP, we promoted mental health recruitment through sponsored content on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest. SNAP and Google were also used in specific campaigns, delivering a targeted approach for ‘hard to fill’ areas, reaching the most appropriate passive candidates with limited wastage.
For specific campaigns, we developed campaign microsites where candidates were treated to creative that resonated with them and making the campaigns more engaging and personal. These specific creative campaigns were based on thorough internal and external research to ensure that the messaging used was accurate, appropriate and accessible. The campaigns ran across social, radio and online options – all specifically targeted to reach their target audience groups.
“The recruitment market has been incredibly competitive, with a narrow talent pool of candidates having a wide choice of potential roles and employers. It is evident that a successful recruitment strategy is reliant on a strong brand and effective marketing and new and innovative techniques needed to be adopted. TMP have a real understanding of the NHS and quickly got to grips with our specific needs and requirements. I’ve been impressed by their professional approach and extensive knowledge of branding and advertising.”
Brand and Resourcing Manager
SLaM have seen real success with increasing engagement and applications from our candidates and applications coming from previously untapped sources.
There was a 650% increase in visits to the SLaM careers site compared to the same month previous year – so far, this has resulted in almost 100 new applications that month alone. Nurse hires alone totalled over 140 in a seven month period, with more applications still coming in.
With the combination of University Student Ambassadors, outdoor/ambient media and bus passenger panels we raised the Trust’s visibility on a huge scale; during the campaign period, their careers site saw a surge of activity by 70%.