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Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO)

Company Background

East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust is one of the largest organisations in the county, employing over 6,000 and providing acute hospital and community health services to over half a million people living in East Sussex and surrounding areas. 

In September 2018, Medacs Healthcare implemented a hybrid Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) solution to support staffing challenges at the Trust, aimed at attracting high-quality medical clinicians into hard-to-fill vacancies and reducing the overall demand for agency staff.

The Challenge

The Trust was in financial special measures and had a very high spend on both bank and agency doctors. There were over 30 vacancies in hard-to-fill specialties, with some posts being vacant for over six months.

The Trust was finding it particularly difficult to fill vacancies in specialties with industry-wide shortages such as Radiology, Stroke Medicine and Haematology and attract experienced Consultants with the skills to lead their departments and improve continuity of care.

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The Solution

Medacs Healthcare recruited a dedicated on-site RPO Business Partner to work closely with our on-site Implementation team with further off-site support provided by our Finance, Analyst and Marketing teams.

Our teams worked with the Trust to implement a new set of Standard Operating Procedures, covering the improved management of vacancies, the recruitment, interview and offer process and the on-boarding and retention of successful candidates.

Enhanced reports were also produced, tracking and tracing each stage of the recruitment process and providing valuable data on cost savings and time-to-hire.

The Journey

Medacs Healthcare worked closely with the HR Director to manage organisational change and introduce the new processes. The Trust issued 34 vacancies in total including 25 hard-to-fill Consultant grade posts. It was agreed that all vacancies had to be posted on NHS jobs for 28 days before being issued to Medacs Healthcare's on-site RPO Business Partner. Activities included:

  • Introduction of new Standard Operating Procedures
  • Training with Trust team during the mobilisation process
  • Provision of detailed management information to demonstrate progress against contract KPIs - including CVs sent, turnaround time, new starters and retention rates
  • Development of an enhanced relocation, on-boarding and after-care service, helping new staff to settle into their new roles and environment. This included an airport 'meet and greet' service and a comprehensive induction to ensure new staff are familiarised with their departments and teams
  • Monthly meetings to review the performance of the contract
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The Result

  • Eleven new substantive doctors in post including: Middle Grade Paediatrics, Middle Grade Obstetrics and Gynaecology, a Consultant Radiologist, and a Stroke Consultant.
  • Ten further doctors in the pipeline (five under offer) including Acute and Emergency Medicine Consultants, Radiology, Histopathology and Geriatrics Consultants and three Middle Grade Emergency Medicine doctors.
  • Enhanced relocation, on-boarding and after-care service for all new starters at the Trust.
  • Improved management information and regular reporting on time-to-hire and retention rates.
  • Total savings of £566,000 in the first year.

“RPO has certainly played a part in the Trust coming out of financial spend measures by helping us to reduce our locum spend”

Director of Human Resources

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