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NHS Shared Business Services targets improvements in NHS recruitment efficiency with new dedicated service

Posted: 11/15/2013
SSON / Shared Services & Outsourcing Network
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Building on the efficiencies already being delivered by its Payroll and Pensions* team, NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS) has now launched a dedicated recruitment service aimed at helping the NHS recruit the right calibre of people while achieving much-needed efficiency savings.

The NHS SBS recruitment service is targeting a reduction in the average time it takes to hire new NHS employees by more than a third. It also supports putting patient care at the heart of the NHS by ensuring that the right people with the right skills and background are hired, particularly by carrying out a robust series of checks to assure full compliance.

The new service builds on NHS SBS’s Payroll and Pensions division which has been rebranded NHS SBS Employment Services. It currently works with 80 clients and has a dedicated team focusing on offering customised services for payroll and pensions provision. The latter is currently achieving an accuracy level of 99.8% while the other services have all delivered substantial savings for the NHS*.

Having established a dedicated recruitment team, NHS SBS will handle the various steps in the selection process including placing advertisements, shortlisting candidates and arranging interviews. It will also work with NHS organisations to introduce tailor-made workflow systems that help managers speed up the selection process. Through this, NHS SBS believes it can cut the average time it takes to recruit staff from an average of 21.8 weeks to around 13 weeks, thereby helping to reduce the reliance of the NHS on more expensive agency cover.

Tasy Warn, Director of Employment Services within NHS SBS explains: "Often delays and frustrations occur as a result of managers not knowing where in the pipeline the recruitment process is up to. We have developed a recruitment management system that our team will maintain and will ensure compliance of agreed processes as well as giving managers the transparency they need to help speed up the process.

"The savings that our service will provide are potentially enormous given the current reliance on agency cover, and it will enable NHS organisations to redirect resources towards frontline care rather than recruitment administration.

"Importantly, we will follow a similar approach to our existing payroll and pensions service so rather than a one-size-fits-all approach, we’ll work closely with individual Trusts to tailor the service to their needs. The recruitment service is a natural extension to our payroll division and we’re aiming to build on the success we’ve achieved so far by working hard to be an extension of the in-house team, proactively coming up with solutions and identifying further cost saving opportunities, rather than simply being a remote processor of standardized procedures."

The recruitment services team of seven will be led by senior recruitment manager Jeremy Webb, who has extensive HR and recruitment experience within the NHS.

One of the first contracts that the team will be handling is the hiring of non-medical staff on behalf of the Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Partnership NHS Trust as part of a five-year framework agreement under which NHS SBS is also providing finance & accounting and procurement services.