NHS to create one-stop Internet jobs billboard

The NHS – Europe’s biggest employer – is to bring recruitment into the 21st century with a one-stop on-line jobs billboard.

The initiative aims to vastly reduce the bureaucracy and paperwork that plagues health service HR professionals and is seen as vital to the modernisation of the health service.

Due to launch in spring 2001, the web site will be a major boost for e-recruitment following scepticism about its effectiveness.

It will be available to both NHS staff and the public in a bid to reach the widest audience possible, while cutting back on the £30m spent on recruitment advertising each year.

It is hoped the site will help the service recruit the extra 20,000 nurses, 7,500 consultants, and 6,500 therapists promised in the Government’s NHS Plan set out last month.

Announcing the project, health minister Lord Hunt said the NHS cannot afford to ignore the Internet as a recruitment tool.

“The site will not just be about recruiting new staff. It will help to develop the careers of those already in the health service,” he said.

It will also cut costs by reducing the need for adverts in specialist magazines, he said. The NHS, which employs 1 million staff in England alone, advertises around 100,000 posts each year.

John Adsett, head of personnel at Basildon and Thurrock General Hospital, said the site will be “one more tool in the armoury” but will not replace traditional recruitment methods as many staff and potential employees are still technophobes or do not have Internet access.

Marion Forrest, director of personnel for Mental Health Services, Salford, said the web site would speed up recruitment.

Benefits of the scheme include:

• Availability of information to determine the effectiveness of recruitment campaigns

• Strengthening of the NHS brand in recruitment advertising

• Being seen as a modern service by employees and patients.

The project was put out to tender last week. The successful bidder will be announced in late September. It is not known how much it will cost until bids have been examined.

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