NHS to tackle skill shortages online

A nationwide NHS online recruitment scheme that aims to tackle skills
shortages and slash millions of pounds in costs is due to be rolled out during
the course of 2004.

It is hoped the project will create a ‘one-stop job shop’ for the NHS, which
will attract a wider spectrum of applicants, more resource-efficient
recruitment and more comprehensive information on candidates.

Under the £6m initiative, NHS employers using the service will have to
account for money saved due to reduced temporary staffing, advertising and
administration costs. Any savings will then be reallocated within the local NHS

Organisers hope to make local savings of £24m a year.

A pilot scheme is set to begin in November and will be evaluated in March
2004. Following this, the service will be rolled out for use by NHS employers
across the country.

The online service, which is being developed in conjunction with internet
support consultancy Methods Application, will include job vacancies and
information about NHS jobs and employers, online application forms and e-mail
alerts for prospective candidates.

Keith Johnston, HR policy adviser at the NHS Confederation, which represents
the NHS employers, welcomed the project as a significant step for the health

"The facilities offered by the new service will help promote the NHS as
the employer of choice to potential applicants worldwide," he said.

The site will link to local NHS employer sites and make it possible to
recruit for local vacancies through national advertising campaigns.

The NHS is Europe’s biggest employer, with more than a million staff and
running costs in excess of £50bn. It advertises more than 150,000 vacancies
every year.

Any NHS employer wishing to take part in the pilot scheme should contact Sarah.clark@doh.gsi.gov.uk

By Michael Millar

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