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Health and social care

Rise in online recruitment looks set to continue

More and more medical and healthcare professionals are turning to the worldwide web to find their next job, and jobs boards are upping their game to help them get it.

Shifting digital landscape

There has undoubtedly been a shift in the way employees find and recruit staff in the last 15 years. Where once print advertising and recruitment agencies held the market share, the growth of the digital media has resulted in more candidates taking it upon themselves to hunt for their perfect job online.

A 2013 study from the iCIMS Recruitment Institute (1) found that whilst internal candidates filled 71% of vacancies, 24% were filled via job boards. This figure is likely to be even larger for professions such as health and medical care where there is a well-publicised skills shortage.

A recent report from consultants Christie a & Co.(2) found that Britain’s healthcare industry is suffering a nursing shortage of 24,000 staff this year, driven by a decline in student places, tougher immigration rules and spending cuts. Similar shortages exist in the care sector as reported in a recent UK Commission for Employment and Skills report (3). With an ageing population, the report identified care work as the area likely to require the largest increase in staff by 2022 with a forecasted need of half a million more care workers.

To fill these gaps, many healthcare providers are turning to agency staff, an expensive and short-term solution, which really only acts as a sticking plaster to a much bigger recruitment issue. According to Royal College of Nursing figures cited in the Christie & Co. report, the average health service expenditure on agency nursing is estimated to have increased by 231 per cent in the past three years.

Adding value

Andrei Shelton, Managing Director of British Medical Jobs, believes that niche jobs boards could be a cost effective way to solve some of the recruitment issues faced by medical and healthcare professions. “We do more than simply post jobs. We help recruiters to write copy, to target potential employees and to develop advertising in a way we know will attract and appeal to candidates.”

The site currently has around 70 to 80 recruiters and at any one time there are more than 5,000 jobs listed. At present the site has more than 50,000 CVs available for recruiters to browse and more than 80,000 potential candidates signed up to receive notification e-mails.

To ensure their site really can help to support recruiters, British Medical Jobs have appointed a panel of UK and foreign-based locum and permanent medical professionals to assist in its development.

“We understand the technicalities of the market,” adds Andrei. “This has enabled us to develop a real niche specialism tailored to the needs of our clients.”

Where job boards can also assist recruiters is by tapping effectively into social media. A study by University of Warwick based (4) found that 62% of employers considered LinkedIn to be a key source for new staff, 54% Twitter and 48% Facebook. Unlike traditional print media, social media is relatively cheap, but it’s also very time intensive and finding the right candidate can be like looking for a needle in a haystack. This is where niche job boards, like British Medical Jobs, can add real value. The site integrates social media into every thing they do, so they can target specific candidates with relevant job information on a timely basis.

Innovation and analysis

The benefits of job boards certainly extend to candidates as well. The sites give candidates the greatest flexibility to search the widest range of jobs in one place, whenever and wherever they want. In addition, they can provide more detailed information about the current state of the sector. “We see ourselves as providers of information for the industry as a whole,” continues Andrei. “With so many candidates and clients we can give real, valuable information on the state of the industry from the geographical distribution of jobs to average salaries, so everyone is better informed.”

There is no doubt that the Internet will play an increasingly important role in the recruitment market. As the skills-shortage in the medical and healthcare sectors adds pressure on recruiters looking for cost effective ways to target the right candidates, niche job boards could help to offer one solution.

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