Win the ‘war for talent’ by shifting your recruitment approach to a candidate first model – By Robert Peasnell, Deputy Managing Director

We’re all aware of the recruitment challenges facing Trusts across the UK with 40,000 registered nursing vacancies across the NHS in England alone.

This is compounded by a sharp rise in people leaving the profession – according to Nursing & Midwifery Council 14,000 people left the register last year – up 27% on previous year. 

And whilst sharper marketing and investment in building a more distinctive employer brand will certainly help increase the pipeline of quality candidates, Trusts can look closer to home for some quick wins.

Talking to HR Leaders in Trusts across the UK, it’s clear that for many recruitment is still a linear,  administrative model, designed to move applicants through a process.

Compare that to a more commercial model where Recruitment Business Partners work closely with stakeholders to understand current and future needs and Recruiters who provide an agile, high-touch approach, which keeps candidates engaged throughout the process.

And we know there’s no more money.

At TMP we are working with one Trust to understand where high impact interventions can be made which improve candidate experience and ensure a higher number of permanent hires. This has been carefully balanced against a reduction in bank and agency spend  to ensure zero additional cost.

My final piece of advice? ‘Mystery shop’ your own recruitment process through the eyes of a candidate by applying for a job. I guarantee it’ll be an illuminating experience.

For a copy of TMP’s Candidate Experience Audit report on your Trust, drop me a line at robert.peasnell@tmpw.co.uk{


Nursing vacancy rates continue to rise. Social care vacancy rates are continuing to rise and remain above pre-Covid levels, data has revealed. Rates increased from 6.1% in April 2021 to 10.3% in April this year, with the South West (12.7%) and London (12.5%) having the highest percentages. In terms of job roles, the vacancy rate among registered nurses grew the most to 18.5% in April from 10.6% in March 2021, while for care workers it reached 12.7% (March 2021: 7%). For registered managers, the growth rate in vacancies was 2.7%, from 10.4% in March 2021 to 13.1% in April 2022. During the pandemic overall vacancy rates fell from a pre-Covid level of 7.7% as fewer jobs were available in other sectors. Following the peak of the pandemic, and as the wider economy opened back up, rates have since been rising.