Wye Valley NHS Trust (WVT), located in the beautiful valley of the same name between the English and Welsh border, serves a population of 180,000 in Herefordshire and its surrounding areas. Employing approximately 2,700 staff, the Trust is committed to providing excellent patient care across the board, including its busy Accident and Emergency department. Key to the delivery of this is safe staffing levels and high quality recruitment.
As with many trusts across the UK, WVT has been affected by the well documented shortage of A&E doctors in the UK, and, as result, has experienced difficulty in recruiting for substantive posts in this specialty. In order to address this issue, the Trust decided to turn to a recruitment agency for help filling four A&E vacancies, and approached HCL in December 2014. Previous experience with HCL meant that the Trust were confident of the benefits to be gained from working together, both in terms of time and money saved, and in terms of the quality of candidates provided.
HCL’s first aim was to understand the Trust’s exact requirements and desires, so that they could be sure to find the right candidates. The Trust was in need of four middle grade A&E doctors, with a minimum of one year’s experience in emergency medicine and eligibility for GMC registration. HCL set about pre-screening candidates for WVT, including conducting psychometric testing as part of the vetting process. Thanks to their large database of over 30,000 highly skilled doctors, HCL was quickly able to draw up a shortlist of ten suitable doctors to present to the Trust.
Of these, eight were selected for interview, which it was agreed would be held at HCL’s Birmingham office, situated an hour and twenty minutes away from the Trust, with Skype interviews set up for the Trust to interview candidates from overseas. Following the success of this interview day, four doctors were offered emergency medicine posts in early February, with an additional candidate being offered a post in general medicine. Two doctors have already accepted the posts and wheels are in motion to bring about the move.
Kate O’Shea, WVT’s Medical Staffing Manager, says of their experience with HCL: “Having worked with HCL on an ad-hoc basis previously, we were confident they would be able to help us with our volume recruitment project and they did not disappoint. From the standard of candidates put forward for interview, it was clear they had been very thorough in listening to our requirements and ensuring these were met when screening candidates. Due to the high quality of the eight candidates that we interviewed, five were offered a post, which was one more than we initially intended. HCL’s staff have been very communicative and supportive throughout the process, and organised the interview event at their office seamlessly. They are now helping both us and the candidates through the transition, and we are looking forward to having our new recruits start in the coming months”.
Over the next three months, HCL will work with the Trust and the doctors to ensure a smooth move into the posts. HCL will support with pre-employment checks, including references and the verification of medical certificates, while also supporting the doctors with relocation, helping them to gain sponsored visas, and securing a UK bank account. Due to the success of this project, the Trust is keen to work with HCL in the future to fill more vacancies on ongoing volume recruitment projects.