Flexibility the key to NHS recruitment drive

Flexible start and finish times are the greatest aid to NHS recruitment, while opportunities for promotion and career development are the most effective retention factors.

A survey of 37 health service organisations, by Personnel Today’s sister publication, IRS Employment Review, shows that the findings on recruitment and retention could be broadly grouped into three categories: higher pay, flexible working, and career development and training opportunities.

However, the message from respondents is clear: the key for employers wanting to boost recruitment and retention is to focus on providing opportunities for flexible working and career development. Other factors, such as more holidays and better maternity leave and pay, came very low in the list of effective retention tools.

A wide range of initiatives is currently under way to boost recruitment and retention in the NHS to address staff and skill shortages. These include the Improving Working Lives programme, and the Agenda for Change, which aims to modernise and harmonise pay and conditions for more than a million employees.


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