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International Nurse Recruitment

Company Background

NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership (NWSSP) provides a range of services on behalf of all Health Boards in NHS Wales, so they can focus on more effective local delivery of frontline services. In early January 2022, Medacs was officially appointed as a key supplier of international nurses to NWSSP, along with three other agencies. The collective target was to recruit 436 international nurses, all of whom needed to have arrived and have started working by the end of August 2022.

Medacs’ international recruitment team committed to recruiting 200 of the required 436 nurses for NWSSP (46%), with the remainder to be supplied by the other three agencies.

The Challenge

Medacs' International teams knew that this would be a complex contract to fulfil but were able to navigate challenges thanks to their experience with other volume recruitment projects (700+ nurses recruited to date for 28 London Trusts within the Capital Nurse Consortium).

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The Solution

  • Securing large volumes of OSCE-ready nurses in a short timescale
    Ensuring nurses arrived within the timescale was a challenge due to ongoing delays for visa processing in India, but still achieved within 3 months, thanks to rapidly scheduled interviews which began less than 3 weeks from the contract award. Crucial to this timescale was also the coordination of multiple weekly flights, to and from different locations, which was a significant challenge with ongoing disruption across many international airports.

  • Minimising anticipated dropouts due to fierce competition
    OSCE-ready nurses are in such high demand that they often drop out in favour of providers that can interview and onboard them quicker. Medacs' resourcers worked hard to keep nurses engaged until they could be interviewed and offered, providing constant communication and reassurance and reinforcing the benefits of their planned roles/locations.
  • Matching nurses to Health Boards to meet target volumes for each area
    Resourcers worked closely with individual health boards in Wales to understand their EVPs and the benefits of living and working in each local area. Accurate and careful matching was critical to ensure nurses were committed to each region and could be retained long-term.
  • Supporting stakeholders unfamiliar with international recruitment
    Account Directors supported stakeholders across two Health Boards who did not have any prior international recruitment experience and educated them on procedures, responsibilities and deadlines for each stage of the process. As a result, a consistent time-to-hire was achieved across all locations and delays were successfully avoided.

  • Delivering the right pastoral care to match a complex variety of needs
    Medacs' dedicated Pastoral Care Manager built a detailed picture of differing requirements and planned how they could best be met in each area. Nurses travelling to the same Health Boards were 'buddied' into groups and issued with location-specific guidance on everything from local amenities, transport facilities and maps, to registering with local GPs and dentists. Arrival packages of food and household essentials were ordered individually, accounting for factors such as which supermarkets delivered to the area and the cooking facilities in different accommodation types.

The Result

  • 455 nurses were shortlisted for interviews
  • 70% interview to hire ratio was achieved, indicating a high quality shortlist
  • 275 nurses accepted offers and commenced onboarding on schedule
  • Medacs teams recruited twice as many nurses as all other agencies combined
  • 138% of target international nurse hires achieved

The All-Wales International Recruitment programme was a ground-breaking initiative. A multi-agency collaboration of this scale would ordinarily take many months of detailed planning but, in response to workforce pressures, we were required to deliver at unprecedented pace. Medacs involvement was absolutely critical, and we relied on their expertise, guidance and professionalism throughout

NWSSP, All Wales Project Manager



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