The NHS celebrates its 70th anniversary on 5th July 2018. At ISV, we thought this is the perfect time to celebrate our friends, family and clients who have helped shape the NHS and make it what it is today. Our health service in the UK is the envy of the world and it’s come a long way since it was founded in Manchester back in 1948. Today the NHS is one of the world’s largest employers with well over 500,000 staff including doctors, nurses, health care support workers and scientific and research staff. These staff treat 1.4 million patients every 24 hours across the UK. Attracting, recruiting and retaining staff to the NHS is no mean feat. Yes, there are definite perceived benefits to working for this world class body, but the roles are specialist, pressurised and we, as the general public, are asking more of our NHS on a daily basis. One small part of the recruitment process is selecting the right people. Here, we look at how some of our NHS clients’ recruitment teams use recruitment testing to simplify and streamline their operations. Imperial College Health Care Trust As one of the largest NHS trusts, Imperial College manages 5 major London sites including St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington and Charing Cross Hospital. Aside from the specialist doctors and nurses, they have a small army of health care assistants, patient liaison teams and booking administrators. The patient service centre is the main point of contact for all 5 sites. This includes a switchboard function, diagnostic bookings for MRI, X-ray etc, outpatient and elective surgery bookings and general enquiries. It’s a fast-paced contact centre, pressurised and can have high attrition. Anyone applying for a role in the patient service centre through NHS jobs is invited to take an ISV literacy, numeracy and computer skills test. The latter has been designed specifically for Imperial College. These roles are typically Band 3 In and Out Patient Booking Administrators. To proceed to the next stage of application, candidates must score over 70%. Recruitment testing is a way for Imperial College to ensure that applicants have the base level skills to succeed in their role with the trust. Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) The recruitment team at Great Ormond Street had used ISV in previous roles with different trusts. They bought us in specifically to help with the recruitment of Band 2 & 3 Health Care Workers (HCW). As a well-known trust with a strong reputation, the GOSH team have to manage high volume applications. They specifically focus on core literacy and numeracy skills as a marker before progressing applications. All candidates are sent a link to relevant ISV tests. The online element of testing allows candidates to take the tests remotely. The GOSH team use recruitment testing for their permanent HCW applications as well as for bank staff (the community of temporary or pool staff who are called in for cover as required). What next? There is a concern across the NHS and with the external recruitment agencies who support them about skills shortages. In fact, recruiters of health and social care workers expressed the greatest level of concern over the shortage of candidates for permanent roles compared to other industries (Jobs Outlook Apr 2018 REC). For temporary workers, this was the 3rd highest area of concern. Many areas of the NHS have a dependency on non-UK national workers and there is declining availability of international staff and talent. As a result, the HR and recruitment leaders at the top of the NHS need to keep up the narrative about careers and the positives of working for the NHS. Thank you NHS The celebrations and success stories around the NHS70 anniversary are fantastic. These alone will help raise awareness of the NHS, what is does, what it’s like to work there, and how it impacts us all. In fact, even around the ISV office we all have stories to tell about how wonderful the NHS is. Whether it’s a mother or sister dedicating their career to nursing and caring for others, the specialists who look after a rare heart condition in our team or the midwives who delivered our first ISV baby last month, we are in awe of you and thank you, for everything you do. For more about the NHS at 70, its history and the celebrations visit https://www.nhs70.nhs.uk/ ***** ISV.Online is the leading supplier of skills testing software and services to the UK Recruitment Industry. Used by 9 of the top 10 UK agencies, by number of offices, and 7 of the top 10, by revenue, ISV.Online offers candidate skills assessment and evaluation software and online training tools, allowing agencies and in-house HR/recruitment teams to validate the skills of potential candidates and existing employees across a wide range of areas.