International Recruitment Survey Report

21 / 06 / 2019

In early 2019, NHS Employers and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) conducted a survey into international recruitment in the NHS. We have published the results in a report which explores and analyses the data gathered.

The survey was designed to get a broad snapshot of the recruitment of overseas healthcare professionals in 2018 and understand what international recruitment activity NHS organisations have planned across 2019.

Key findings

  • The main reason that NHS trusts have turned to international recruitment is that local supply has not met demand.
  • Employers found that the biggest barriers to international recruitment are language testing requirements, and visa and professional registration delays.
  • There was a sizeable difference between the number of offers made and the number of overseas applicants starting employment, particularly for nurses. At the time of the survey, 67 per cent of offers for 2018 had not resulted in actual employment.
  • 10 trusts hired allied healthcare professionals in 2018, but in those organisations only 35 offers of employment were made.
  • The amount of time taken to hire overseas staff varies significantly; the average time to hire an overseas nurse was seven to eight months, however, 9 per cent of trusts reported a timeframe of less than three months while 13 per cent estimated it took 12 months or more.

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