International Recruitment Survey analysis

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Read the results and key findings from a survey into international recruitment conducted in early 2019 by NHS Employers and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).

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.

We received survey returns from 90 NHS organisations in England, covering all the regions and a mix of acute, mental health, community and ambulance trusts. You may find the data useful when planning your international recruitment activity, allowing you to compare your strategy and numbers to other organisations.

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 starting employment, particularly for nurses. At the time of the survey in early 2019, 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.

Read the full report.

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