Case Study

Hyperlocal recruitment at Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust

Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust (LCH) filled vacancies by recruiting from the communities it serves with a variety of initiatives.

15 September 2023


LCH changed its approach to recruitment and went into local communities to advertise the benefits of working in the trust and how NHS employment could benefit future employees. The recruitment campaigns took a few different approaches, including direct community engagement, working with the third sector to encourage applicants from diverse groups and looking at career pathways.

Key benefits and outcomes

  • Successful recruitment of new members of staff from the local community.
  • High-quality of applicants from referrals from third-party organisations.
  • Positive impact on the local community by offering good work.

What the organisation faced

LCH faced challenges recruiting to various posts, particularly nursing staff, healthcare support workers and administration staff so it needed to reconsider its approach to recruiting to help fill these vacancies.

What the organisation did

LCH took its recruitment campaign into the community and used its bases across Leeds to go into local communities and advertise the benefits of working in the trust.

The recruitment campaigns focused on the positive impact of working close to where you live, with walkable commutes and less reliance on a car. The trust engaged with community directly and worked with the third sector to encourage applicants from diverse groups and looked at career pathways.

  • In one area of the city, it deployed posters and flyers and had conversations with residents. The trust advertised the broad range of roles available in the NHS and emphasised the flexibility of working in the trust, highlighting the part-time and flexible working options available. This direct engagement was a huge success, receiving over 300 expressions of interest, leading to the recruitment of 30 people, including registered nursing staff.
  • It worked with a housing and employment service, that suggested the trust could increase uptake by paying for interview expenses and advised how best to support applicants who required reasonable adjustments.
  • The trust also attended a recruitment event for young people with special educational needs and disabilities. Activities were customised and attendees appreciated being given the interview questions in advance and touring the building before the interview. These learning moments convinced the trust of the benefits of looking at values and potential when recruiting, offering opportunities to those who may have been long-term unemployed or not have the correct qualifications.
  • It introduced the band 2 healthcare support worker apprenticeship to broaden the talent pool. Those who were successful could learn as they go, moving to a band 3 role after completion.  

The trust embraced the ethos that everyone should be considered on their own merits, and while their preferred role might not be suitable for them at this point, it is able to support applicants with achieving these goals through training, development, and advice on career pathways.

Results and benefits

With several different approaches to hyperlocal recruitment, the trust successfully recruited 101 new members of staff from local communities in the 2022/23 financial year. It is keen to increase the number of staff recruited to 150 in 2023/24, with a particular emphasis on referrals from third party organisations as they have found the quality of applicants to be exceedingly high. The trust is particularly pleased with the impact on individuals, by thinking creatively they have been able to change the trajectory of someone’s life by offering them an opportunity.

Take-away tips

  • Consider values-based recruitment for certain roles as this can widen the talent pool and support the local community.
  • No one project will fill all vacancies, work with different third-sector organisations and engage with the community directly to increase recruitment.
  • The traditional application process does not work for everybody, review how you can change the process to support applicants with specific requirements.
  • Hyperlocal recruitment is not intended to replace recruitment through NHS Jobs, but complement it, both approaches are viable and can run concurrently.
  • Starting a hyperlocal recruitment initiative is easier when focusing on unregistered roles, as recruitment can more easily be done at scale.