The Belfast Health and Social Care Trust walked away with the much coveted Best Recruitment Initiative of the Year Award at the annual Healthcare People Management Association (HPMA) Excellence in HR Awards last night in the Hilton Manchester Deansgate.

Amidst a chronic shortage of nurses in the UK and Ireland, the Belfast Trust decided to take a less than traditional approach to the promotion of their annual Nursing Recruitment Open Day with the objective of reducing the Trust’s 486 Band 5 registered nurse vacancies.

A total of 233 nurses attended the Trust’s event in April 2018 and 122 nurses have since accepted and have either commenced employment with the Trust.

The event led to a reduction in the Trust’s Band 5 registered nurse vacancies by 25.1% and saved over £1.2m when compared to recruiting 122 nurses from the Philippines or India.

The impact of having an additional 122 nurses working on the wards also reduced the Trust’s need for temporary agency nurses required to backfill the equivalent shifts of 122 Band 5 nurses at an estimated cost of £6,100,000 per annum.

The HPMA Awards are judged by senior HR professionals including Executive Directors of Workforce and Human Resources working in the NHS.

The judges had the following comments to make about the Belfast Trust’s winning entry.

“Excellent campaign. Clearly thought out, well scoped and executed. The use of different channels and not restricting the campaign to traditional methods clearly worked. The use of a trusted partner, and analysis of value for money versus International recruitment clearly delivered results.”

“A clear and simple strategy well executed with clear evidence to demonstrate impact. Like the video and the branding. Clearly made impressive savings compared with other potential recruitment methods.”

“Loved the strategy identify, attract recruit. New idea of vox-pox interviews with existing staff as a recruitment tool. Excellent conversion rate and impressive attendance at the recruitment events.”

The Belfast Health and Social Care Trust’s Nursing Recruitment Open Day was organised and managed by Healthdaq® (formerly known as HealthSectorTalent®).