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Why are nursing professionals nowhere to be found?

Posted by: Lynn Sedgwick
Qualified nurses with the right level of experience and skills make a huge difference to the quality of patient care. Yet finding those professionals can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. And it's not just nurses in hospitals and GP surgeries that are in short supply either: carers with experience of working in care homes and on home visits are in high demand. Recruiting high-quality care professionals isn't impossible but it does take a long time; a little specialist help makes the process more effective, and a lot less painful. 

Demand for care outstrips supply

It's no secret that we're an ageing population: the Office for National Statistics' findings suggest that life expectancy for an adult at age 65 has increased dramatically since the early 1990s. A population that's living longer requires people to look after them, whether that's as care visitors in their own home or in nursing homes, or nurses for those admitted to hospital.

As a result, hospitals, healthcare trusts and care providers are under constant pressure to meet these demands. So when it comes to recruiting new members of staff it can be very challenging because the numbers are stacked against the care provider. Factor in patients that require extra help or those who need to be treated by a professional with specialist skills and the field of recruitment narrows even more.  

Nurses face near-impossible pressure 

Demand on time and resources puts those at the sharp end under extreme pressure. A survey by Nursing Standard and Marie Curie found that 67% of nurses don't feel they have the time to provide quality care to dying patients. Under these kinds of pressures and demands it's understandable that nurses and care providers feel reluctant to change jobs, where the move to the unknown may feel like jumping out of the frying pan and into the flame. It's extremely difficult for employers to recruit in these circumstances, and it continues the trend of being unable to hire the right staff for your organisation. 

Is your reputation up to scratch? 

The unknown plays a significant part in anybody's decision to move job, especially nurses - and so too does the 'known' factor. Nurses and care home professionals will no doubt look up your organisation before they apply to a post or interview with you. They might ask colleagues, friends or family about their experiences. If what they find out doesn't inspire confidence it's unlikely that they'll consider joining the organisation. 

Everything from patient and staff satisfaction surveys to news stories both good and not so good are available online. If a healthcare trust or organisation is associated with a significant proportion of negative attention, it will make attracting skilled, experienced nurses and care professionals all the more difficult. 

Competition from local and international employers

Nurses are in demand everywhere: all countries and communities around the world require professionals who can care for the sick. So not only are hospital trusts and care homes competing with each other for nursing professionals, the demand for nurses is global. With more nurses leaving the profession than joining it in 2017 and an increasingly globalised world, nurses considering a move abroad may just find that a nursing qualification is a ticket to a new life overseas. This puts even more pressure on employers not only to recruit nurses, but to do all they can to retain their valuable skills and experience. 

Professional help to attract professional people

When you're looking for just the right team member, it's easy to get disheartened if they don't appear straight away. The recruitment market for healthcare is tough, and even finding the number of people required to fill vacant posts, never mind their specialist skills or experience, can feel like an uphill battle. A recruitment agency is an invaluable addition to your recruitment efforts in this case. Not only does an agency take the legwork away from those who are busy managing our care professionals, they bring a wealth of knowledge on how to recruit effectively. 

This is especially true of agencies with experience in healthcare recruitment. They'll have relevant sector knowledge, contacts and an extensive database of candidates to call upon that match the vacancy in question. Furthermore, an agency with experience of recruiting nurses will be able to advise on how best to retain staff, providing a service that fulfils the short-term objective and saves on further recruitment costs at a later date. If you're serious about recruiting the best professionals to your organisation maybe some professional recruitment help could be just the answer you're looking for.  

If you found this blog interesting, check out more of our blogs: Top tips for attracting and retaining Nursing staff in the talent shortage and How organisations can take care of the carers. Furthermore, contact our team to speak about your recruiting needs, call 01772 259 121.

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