Case Study

Using system-level partnerships to resolve recruitment challenges

Solving NHS recruitment challenges by partnering with external organisations to connect job seekers to hard-to-fill vacancies.

20 July 2023


South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Integrated Care System (SYB ICS) plays a vital role in finding recruitment solutions for NHS trusts within its system by connecting external supply partners and employers.

Key benefits and outcomes

  • No cost to the NHS.
  • It widens participation to candidates who are new to healthcare and are from diverse backgrounds.
  • Saves NHS recruitment teams time as sifting and shortlisting is done for them.

What the system did

Bespoke Recruitment is an employability programme that has successfully matched candidates to hospital vacancies. SYB ICS works with each trust to identify hard-to-fill vacancies, such as facilities and management, business admin, healthcare support workers and services assistants.

The ICS liaises with partner organisations, such as the Growth Company, South Yorkshire Housing Association and Reed in Partnership, to deliver pre-employability programmes aimed at filling the roles. These companies already have a pool of job seekers on government commissioned contracts.

The partners are given the job description and advert, they shortlist candidates and prep them for interviews. NHS recruitment teams are invited to conduct the interviews at the site hosted by the partners, bringing the recruitment out into the community.

A value-based recruitment approach is used to assess the desired values and behaviours of candidates. This involves informal group sessions to assess skills like communication and teamwork. Candidates will usually be informed on the day if they have been successful. Unsuccessful candidates receive feedback and further support from their employment advisor.

Results and benefits

  • SYB ICS has run three programmes so far with 31 candidates offered a role.
  • The conversion rate of candidates filling roles is 77 per cent.
  • Partner organisations are responsible for shortlisting and preparing candidates, which saves time for the NHS recruitment team.
  • There is no cost to the NHS.
  • It widens participation to candidates who are new to healthcare and are from diverse backgrounds.

Take-away tips

  • Having an employability lead within each trust increases the success rate of the partner led employment programmes.
  • Openness to try new ways of working needs to be reflected across the system to improve recruitment challenges.