Once your organisation has pledged to Step into Health it’s important to share the news and let potential candidates form the Armed Forces community know that your organisation is a Forces-friendly employer.
Here you can find ideas on how to take your commitment to the next level and really engage with the Armed Forces community, showcase your support and improve interaction with potential candidates.
- Promote your commitment to the Armed Forces community on your social media channels, newsletters, website and intranet.
- Add the Step into Health branding to your email signature and encourage others to do the same.
- Share the branding guidelines with your recruitment and HR partners to increase exposure and understanding.
- Update any relevant documents to include the Step into Health logo.
- Mention Step into Health and include the logo if you submit an article to an Armed Forces publication.
Hosting events, whether in person or online, is an effective way to promote your organisation and the employment opportunities it offers. It's also a great way to showcase the NHS as the employer of choice.
The Step into Health team can support the promotion of your event and can also attend on the day. If you’d like a member of the team to attend your event, please send us an email with the details and we will check our availability.
The Career Transition Partnership (CTP) will also support the promotion of your event. Discuss any event ideas with your CTP regional lead well in advance.
Here is a range of event ideas that can help you reach and support potential candidates from the Armed Forces community.
Insight days are a great way to showcase your organisation to members of the Armed Forces community and can be delivered as a virtual or in-person event.
By organising an insight day, you can provide information about your organisation, the roles available and the opportunities it can offer.
You can conduct the insight day on your own, but it is often better to work with other organisations to reach a wider audience in the Armed Forces community. You can find an example insight day agenda here.
To get more ideas on how to run an insight day, read our blog post about a successful event organised by United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
If you create an event with online registration, you could use the following text to capture information after each person registers. This will encourage candidates to register with you and means you can follow up with them afterwards.
Thank you for registering for <insert your organisation’s name> insight day/ event [delete as appropriate].
We are looking forward to meeting you and introducing you to the NHS, our organisation and exploring the opportunities for you to become part of our team.
In preparation for the event please create and verify a Step into Health profile.
Please be sure to select the following options so that we can follow up and offer support after the event:
Locations of Interest: <provide a drop down of locations you are working across>
How did you hear about us? <provide a list of options>
For example: NHS <organisation’s name> intranet event flyer
NHS <organisation’s name> intranet
NHS <organisation’s name> website
NHS <organisation’s name> line manager
Recruitment webinars give you the chance to highlight your organisation and the NHS as an attractive employer to potential candidates.
These are online presentations that can be hosted solely by your organisation or in partnership with other NHS organisations in your area. You can also collaborate with Step into Health and the Career Transition Partnership to create your webinars.
A short webinar could be around 45 minutes, including a presentation and time for Q&As.
A longer webinar (one and a half hours maximum) could follow the format of a short webinar but have more interactive elements. For example, breakout rooms where you can have deeper discussions with potential candidates.
The Step into Health candidate recruitment webinars are for members of the Armed Forces community across the country.
These online events run quarterly to continually engage with the local Armed Forces community and promote opportunities.
The webinar lasts for around 60 minutes and provides an overview of the NHS as an employer and the benefits of creating a Step into Health candidate profile.
Candidates hear from an individual from the Armed Forces community working in the NHS and an NHS organisation who can give more information about the different roles and opportunities available, as well as the support they provide.
If you want to showcase your organisation or someone from the Armed Forces community who works for you at one of these webinars, contact the Step into Health team.
Other activities to support the Armed Forces community
Here are some ways you can demonstrate your continued support for the Armed Forces community:
Some members of the Armed Forces community, particularly service leavers, may not have experience in creating a CV, filling out an application form, or participating in an interview since joining the military.
To support these potential candidates, you can refer them to the Step into Health top tips webinar.
Also, offering additional guidance and support on the NHS recruitment process can be even more helpful.
Some organisations provide workshops on NHS applications or interview guidance, either in person or online, to offer a tailored approach to multiple candidates simultaneously.
Having an Armed Forces champion or network in your oganisation can be hugely beneficial.
A network can offer ongoing support to employees who are connected to the Armed Forces community or are interested in becoming advocates for them. When candidates come through the Step into Health programme, they can be welcomed into this network, to provide them with further support and a sense of community.
Sign the Armed Forces Covenant
Organisations can make a commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant. This pledge is a promise made by the nation to ensure that members of the Armed Forces community, including those who are currently serving or who have served in the past, and their families, are treated fairly. Find out more information about the Armed Forces Covenant.
Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Awards
Once you have signed the Armed Forces Covenant, your organisation can apply for the Defence ERS Awards. The Defence ERS offers bronze, silver and gold awards for organisations that pledge, demonstrate or advocate to support the Armed Forces community.
Veteran’s Covenant Healthcare Alliance (VCHA) – Veterans Aware Accreditation
The Office for Veterans' Affairs' Veterans' Strategy Action Plan for 2022-2024, states all NHS trusts in England must become accredited as 'Veteran Aware' by March 2023, and independent providers and hospices throughout England must become accredited by 2024. To learn more about the Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance (VCHA) accreditation, please visit the VCHA - Veterans Aware Accreditation web page.