News

Manager training key to getting nurse recruitment right, private providers told

Poor interview skills and lack of emphasis on candidates' values lead to recruitment problems

One of the biggest factors in poor recruitment of nurses to private hospitals and care homes is the lack of selection training given to line managers, according to a business consultant.

Independent consultant Jeff Grout said this year is going to be probably the toughest recruitment market for a decade.

He told an audience of HR directors, at an event organised by recruitment consultants Liquid Personnel at the RCNs headquarters in London, that candidates have a wide choice of employers available and mobility is increasing.

Mr Grout said mistakes in recruitment often occur when managers are insufficiently trained in interviewing, and make snap decisions.

It is important to check whether every line manager in your organisation has been trained in the interview process, he said. Allowing a line manager to conduct interviews without training is dangerous and the outcome could be disastrous.

He urged employers

One of the biggest factors in poor recruitment of nurses to private hospitals and care homes is the lack of selection training given to line managers, according to a business consultant.

Independent consultant Jeff Grout said this year is going to be ‘probably the toughest recruitment market for a decade’. 

He told an audience of HR directors, at an event organised by recruitment consultants Liquid Personnel at the RCN’s headquarters in London, that candidates have a wide choice of employers available and mobility is increasing.

Mr Grout said mistakes in recruitment often occur when managers are insufficiently trained in interviewing, and make snap decisions.  

‘It is important to check whether every line manager in your organisation has been trained in the interview process,’ he said. ‘Allowing a line manager to conduct interviews without training is dangerous and the outcome could be disastrous.’

He urged employers to focus on values when recruiting nursing staff. Mr Grout said organisations need to assess candidates' competencies and delve into the values that drive them.

‘If you understand someone’s values, you can predict their behaviour,’ he told his audience.

Sarah Spackman, director of human resources at Haven House children’s hospice, said her organisation is struggling to recruit children’s nurses. She said the east London charity markets itself to nurses, showing what it can offer compared with an NHS employer.

‘There is a shortage of children’s nurses out there now so we’re having difficulty,’ she said.

The discussion moved to how organisations can create 'stories' to make themselves more attractive as employers.

A healthcare charity HR manager said: ‘We want to give the message we are not just a plush hospital and we do give back. The clinical candidates are not as concerned about salary but want to feel the job is rewarding. We feel telling our stories from the heart will aid attraction.’

Another HR manager said her organisation's selling point is that it is a small hospital, has low infection rates and no MRSA.

Health and social care charity Community Integrated Care places huge importance on using the interview as an opportunity to understand an individual's values, said regional director and learning disability nurse Sam Leath. She said the company spends up to 30 minutes with the candidate before interview, compiling an A4-page profile of the individual.

Ms Leath's role involves recruiting healthcare support workers to care homes for people with complex and challenging needs. She told RCNi there is a crisis in support staff recruitment in Hampshire

‘It can be difficult to find people with the right values who want to go into healthcare. When working with challenging needs, we have to ensure we have people who are resilient and passionate about making a difference.’

Sign up to continue reading for FREE

OR

Subscribe for unlimited access

Enjoy 1 month's access for £1 and get:

  • Full access to nursing standard.com and the Nursing Standard app
  • Monthly digital edition
  • RCNi Portfolio and interactive CPD quizzes
  • RCNi Learning with 200+ evidence-based modules
  • 10 articles a month from any other RCNi journal

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this?