Telling people not to come for a job at your organisation might not seem like the smartest move for a recruitment campaign. But there’s method behind it…
by Dan Charlton
The new recruitment campaign we’ve developed inhouse is designed to sell the idea of a career with Sussex Partnership to nursing graduates. Hence the strapline advising people ‘don’t come here for a job’. It may not be Saatchi and Saatchi (we don’t quite have the budget or creative nous for that) but we’re hoping it’ll pack enough of a punch to grab people’s attention in what’s a pretty crowded recruitment marketplace.
The problem is that nurses are the backbone of the NHS and we need to recruit more of them. But there’s a relatively small pool of newly qualified nurses and NHS organisations are all fishing in the same place. At Sussex Partnership, we spent a whopping £6.4m on agency nursing staff last year. And well over a third (£2.4m) went straight on agency fees. So the stakes are pretty high.
Our multimedia campaign involves a combination press ads, paid for social media and a call out to staff to spread the word. And the hard news element of our agency spend convinced regional BBC news to come down and talk to some of our nurses about the challenge.
What’s important about the campaign is there’s real substance behind it. We’ve overhauled our offer to newly qualified nurses with a focus on helping people move from student to staff nurse as quickly as possible. That means personal coaching and mentoring, an apprentice scheme and fast track promotion opportunities. And we’re offering people the chance to help design their own personal rotation scheme to get a taste of working in specialities that interest them the most.
All of which amounts to a pretty good career offer, rather than simply trying to tempt new recruits by offering financial incentives (though we’re not above doing that as well). This is backed up by the personal stories of people who are already working as nurses at Sussex Partnership which feature throughout the campaign.
One of the nurses said “I cannot speak highly enough of the privilege of this profession, and how amazing the patients are, they really blow me away”. Another described her nursing role as having “the opportunity to change someone’s life when they don’t think it is possible themselves.” You can’t get a much better advert than that. We just hope it helps do the trick.
Dan Charlton is director of communications, Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
The #SPFTnurses campaign launches on Monday 27 March 2017
Image via The National Library of Medicine