Recruiting in the UK

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NHS Employers provides advice and support on the effective recruitment and retention of NHS staff in the UK, from leading your workforce through difficult economic times to financial incentives to recruit from within your local community.

As referred to in the Health and Social Care Act 2012, to safeguard its future the NHS needs to change to meet the challenges it faces. Whilst the Act upholds the current values and principles of the NHS, rising demand and increased treatment costs as the population grows and ages, coupled with the state of public finances, mean that unprecedented efficiency savings will need to be delivered in the coming years. By 2014, the Government requires the NHS to have delivered between £15 billion and £20 billion in efficiency savings, whilst also reducing management costs by more than 45 per cent, freeing up further resources for front-line care. This puts pressure on employers to ensure they attract and retain the right talent to continue to deliver high-quality patient care and remain an employer of choice both now and in the future.

As a public sector employer, and the largest employer in Europe, the NHS also has a duty to increase employment opportunities for young people, graduates, multi-disadvantaged groups and the long-term unemployed. 

As well as fulfilling their Corporate Social Responsibility by opening up recruitment, NHS organisations will benefit from a more diverse workforce, which can lead to higher levels of innovation, greater staff satisfaction and better patient care.  

Role of NHS Employers

NHS Employers is working in partnership with NHS organisations, the Department of Health, obcentre PlusJ and the Cabinet Office to promote the NHS as a place to access a range of opportunities including apprenticeships, internships, work experience and volunteering. 

The pages contained within this section will help you to understand the range of routes into employment within the NHS along with the various support available to employers.



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Successful recruitment

Successful recruitment requires planning, effective advertising, a robust recruitment process, good induction and continuing support.


Case studies library

Across the NHS there are many examples of best practice in recruitment and retention, some of which are highlighted on this case studies page


Socially responsible employers

The NHS is Britain's largest employer and an NHS trust is often the largest employer in a local community.



Volunteers can enhance the service provided by paid NHS staff and help to improve service delivery.

Related News

North Bristol Trust Partnership working with Jobcentre Plus

North Bristol NHS Trust has developed a strong partnership with its local Jobcentre Plus (JCP) and has used its free services to support with recruitment.

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Language competency guidance - updated

Download the latest Language Competency Good Practice Guidance (July 2014).

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