Blog post

Using technology in recruitment

Eve Lucas, resourcing manager at Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust discusses how the trust is using technology in its recruitment processes.

18 June 2020


  • Eve Lucas
    Eve Lucas Resourcing Manager at Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust

At Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust (KCHFT) we have been making best use of technology, from interview to on-boarding.

For interviews, we use video calling technology. The recruiting manager will set up the interview by calling the candidate and other panel members.

We have also been able to remotely carry out competency tests. When candidates are given an interview date, they are also provided with a date and time they will receive an assessment. The candidate has one hour from receiving the test to complete it and email their work back for assessment by the panel. During the interview, we ask the candidate questions on their completed assessment to mitigate against the risk the candidate has received help while completing the task.

While some successful candidates are being deployed in the organisation, for example. nurses, and so can complete their induction face-to-face, those who are recruited and remotely deployed have access to an online induction package created by our education and workforce development team working with subject specialists.

All candidates are given a log-in to the platform with their offer letter where they can complete statutory mandatory training. The platform also helps them to meet our chief executive through a welcome film from him. Previously, we would organise two induction sessions each month, now our new starters can be inducted at any time using the portal.

In addition to a central induction programme, we acknowledge the responsibility teams and managers have in successfully on-boarding new starters to make them feel a part of the team as quickly as possible.

This personalised approach includes virtual coffee mornings where staff can catch up with colleagues and recreate some of the daily interactions that are lost when working from home, such as daily quiz questions, origami lessons and inspirational quotes to get the day off to a positive start.

We have virtual "wobble" rooms set up (as well as physical ones in our hospitals) which are run by our Time to Change champions and are a chance for people to dial in and chat if they feel they need some support.

There are also daily digital briefings sent to all 5,000 staff that include key information and videos from executive team members, as well as stories from around the organisation and sometimes celebrities who have been approach via social media - they take the time to thank people working at KCHFT.

The use of technology has seen tangible benefits, including a reduction in the interview did not attend (DNA) rate, a reduction in travel time for candidates and interviewers, and a reduction in the time commitment for the interview process compared to a face-to-face session for candidates. We are continuing to collect and analyse data.

Going forward, we intend to continue using technology to its full capabilities. In the pipeline are: robotic process automation of some routine administration tasks, an electronic signatures' programme that will reduce admin for staff and candidates and virtual recruitment events, where potential new starters have the opportunity to talk to HR and recruiting managers to get a flavour of what it it like to work at the trust, discuss job opportunities and apply for them on the same day.