A recruitment campaign launched by University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) has resulted in 148 additional applications for hard to fill posts in just six weeks.

On 19 September 2016, UHMBT launched a six week online and social media campaign aimed at attracting professionals from across the country to apply for hard to fill vacancies, i.e. those posts that the Trust finds hard to recruit, both due to national shortages and additional challenges with our geography.

The campaign was made up of numerous visual and interactive methods, including images and quotes from current UHMBT staff shared online with links to vacancies, and Twitter ‘takeovers’ by existing staff - from nurses to divisional general managers - to get an insight on their roles and what it is like to work at the Trust.

In addition, three films were created featuring current nurses, consultant radiologists and radiographers focusing on their working life at the Trust and life living in the Morecambe Bay area. David Wilkinson, Director of Workforce and Organisational Development, UHMBT, said: “The fantastic thing about this campaign is the focus on our staff as they are the people who bring their unique personalities, skills, experience and passion to the Trust, which we know has a direct impact on the care our patients receive.” "Our initial review of the campaign has highlighted an increase in job applications submitted in hard to fill areas, and over the duration of the campaign we have appointed seven midwives, 18 registered nurses, a theatre practitioner, 17 medical consultants, three radiographers and a mammographer. Our focus is now on getting these staff into post as quickly as possible.”

Alasdair Taylor, Consultant Radiologist, UHMBT, said “It was a pleasure to take part in the recruitment campaign and promote all that UHMBT and the surrounding area has to offer both professionally and personally for individuals. “The fact the campaign has encouraged Specialist Radiographers, CT/MRI Radiographers and Mamographers to apply is excellent as these are the types of positions that NHS Trusts across the country struggle to recruit to.”

In addition to the social media campaign, UHMBT has worked with Bay Health & Care Partners - the partnership of eleven local health care organisations in the Morecambe Bay area - to create a recruitment portal website named #BetterWithYou. The #BetterWithYou portal features all the vacancies from the different organisations in one place, making it easier for potential recruits to browse all the roles available quickly and easily. In addition, they can also read staff stories, learn more about research and development opportunities, and explore what the local area has to offer.

To learn more and to see the roles available, visit http://betterwithyou.co.uk/ David concluded: “Recruitment of professionals into our hard to fill roles remains one of our key priorities as a Trust as it not only enables us to get the right people working in the right place, it also helps reduce our reliance on expensive agency staff. “This campaign has further shown to us that there are lots of people out there who are interested in working in Morecambe Bay and by using innovative an different ways of promoting our vacancies, we can turn that interest into applications.”

In future the divisions within the Trust may do something similar to promote some of their hard to fill roles. This is now a real option to them and the Trust knows its proven success.
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