How the NHS Can Get Even More Value Out of Values Based Recruitment

Values Based Recruitment is a big win for the NHS in the long-term, but how can it improve existing recruitment inefficiencies in the short-term?

Values Based Recruitment is a big win for the NHS in terms of providing long-term value, but how can it improve existing recruitment inefficiencies in the short-term?

In an effort to improve long-term value in care and cost for patients and hospitals alike, an increasing number of NHS Trusts are turning to a Values Based Recruitment (VBR) model. The idea is that by identifying candidates whose own personal values align with the core NHS values, Trusts will see a noticeable uptick in employee retention and quality of care.

The Benefits of VBR - Care Quality & Cost Saving

When properly executed, VBR can bring a lot of value to any organisation, but evidence shows it can be especially impactful in the public sector where spending and efficiency savings are constantly under scrutiny. For an organisation like the NHS, poor quality of hire and high rates of attrition aren’t just issues from a financial perspective, constant churn results in an inexperienced staff and a diminished quality of care for patients.

With a VBR model, the solution is right there in the name: values. The underlying concept is that when a candidate’s values align with an organisation’s, employee dedication, productivity and retention soar; more importantly, the delivery of better patient care has also been proven to increase significantly.

This approach isn’t just a “feel-good” solution, it generates real results: in one study, for example, 72% of social care employers surveyed “agreed that staff recruited for values perform better than those recruited using traditional methods;” 62% said that value hires “have lower rates of sickness and absence” and that “3 in 4...staff recruited for values [were] better at exhibiting social care values” than their counterparts.

In a telling example of long-term success, “staff turnover for employers who recruit for values” was 6.4% lower than their respective sector averages. This data suggests that employees recruited for values feel more connected to their work, their workplace and their organisational mission than others, and accordingly their job performance is higher.

The financial impact is significant as well. The same study found that a traditional recruitment campaign for 100 employees costs roughly £98.4K, whereas switching to a values-based model cut that cost down to £76K. When you factor in the cost of upskilling, time-to-hire and turnover, the total cost of the traditional campaign was £235k — VBR was £181.5K. That’s an effective 23% of cost savings, just from changing the hiring criteria.

The Power of Technology

The values-based model is certainly a huge step in the right direction for the NHS. By improving the overall quality of hire, hospitals are able to reduce long-term recruitment costs and deliver better care.

But what if the NHS could improve on this process even further? Innovative technologies such as automated screening, situational judgement tests, recorded video interviews, machine learning data verification can be used as part of the recruitment process in order to increase efficiency and efficacy in one fell swoop.

By using technologies like these, Trusts can cast a much wider net, better inform their selection process and ultimately identify better-fit candidates using the pre-established VBR criteria. The net result would be a higher-quality applicant pool at on-site assessment days/face-to-face interviews, thereby reducing the associated logistical burden while increasing offer rates and speeding up the overall time-to-hire.

As the pressure on Trusts for cost-effective recruitment continues to mount, a focus on process optimisation should be a top priority. After all, every pound saved is a pound that can be spent on improving treatments, support and facilities for patients — and at the end of the day, isn’t that what it’s all about?

Want to learn how to improve the quality of your applicant pool and lower recruitment costs? Download a recording of our webinar on hiring efficiency.