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Navigating recruitment to your new nursing job

Posted by: Lynn Sedgwick

Finding a new job is tricky. Knowing where to look and assessing the opportunities that are available can be baffling. Yet with the NHS announcing a recruitment campaign to celebrate its seventieth year, recruitment is a topic that’s likely to remain on everyone’s lips for the foreseeable future. 

So how can nurses navigate the choppy seas of recruitment to success? A clear plan and an experienced recruiter at your side make a lot of difference. Our two-stage guide explains how to get the most out of the process. 

Stage 1: Planning

Be strategic in your job search

The use of the internet has changed the traditional job search significantly in recent years. Job boards, the NHS job site and social media all play a part in the online job search and you’ll need to be online to give yourself the best chance of success. Just make sure your social media privacy controls are set to private, not public, and there’ll be less chance that a recruiter will see something you’d rather they didn’t. 

It’s important to be proactive when searching for a new role too. Investigate options within your department, hospital, city or region and don’t forget to tell contacts you’re looking for a new job. Word of mouth and personal referrals can be a powerful way to get in front of the right person.

Understand what opportunities are available

Be clear about what’s on offer out there. Assess which skills are in demand in your region or city. Are yours in surplus or high demand? Do you have a coveted specialism in a particular type of nursing? Or do you have broader skills such as experience working abroad or in a desirable field of healthcare that could be an asset? There are opportunities out there; having the patience to establish how they could work for you will give you the greatest advantage when you put yourself in front of a prospective employer. 

Consider your personal development and aspirations too, and what a new job means for your goals. Maybe your ideal job isn’t available right now, or you don’t have the skillset. Consider learning something new to broaden your horizons. Think about whether you would be willing to move for a job or commute. Balance your needs and expectations versus the demand and reality of what’s available. 

Stage 2: Enlisting help

Recruiting the right recruiter

 A recruiter is potentially the best friend of a nurse who’s on the hunt for a new job. Yet to put your trust in them to find the right role, you’ll need to feel sure that they understand the requirements of the job. A specialist nursing recruitment agency, or a recruiter that has experience of the health sector, can be a real help here. Agencies have contacts stretching far and wide. Couple that with a fine-tuned knowledge of the profession and you can feel sure that your recruiter will boost your chances of getting in front of the right people. 

Clarity on skills: a two-way street

Make it really clear to the recruiter just how your skills and experience fit the job description. They will then be in a strong position when putting you forward for consideration. Equally, ensure that you’re comfortable with what’s being asked of the candidate. The last thing you want is to reach the interview stage only to feel ill-informed, underprepared and lacking in confidence.  

There are so many different aspects of nursing, and such a wide variety of roles and working environments, that knowing where to begin when looking for a new job is a challenge in itself.  However, if you spend a little time doing your research and enlist the help of an experienced recruitment professional it makes the process a lot easier. And when the recruiter is familiar with the healthcare sector and the intricacies of your role the weight is lifted off your shoulders - before you know it, you’ll find yourself in an exciting new role.  


If you found this blog of interest you may like to read our other post on How nurses can remain healthy at work?
Or if you’re looking for that perfect role, then check out all the vacancies we have available, and please do register your CV with us.
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