The Challenge

Although “over 15,000 more nurses, midwives and nursing associates are now registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) compared to March 2020”, complacency around this increase should be avoided.¹ As noted by Danny Mortimer, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, it should be “set against a backdrop of more than 36,000 nurse vacancies.”²  And, with an ageing workforce and the long term impact of covid-19 on workforce numbers still to come, nursing shortages remain a significant concern and planning ahead to ensure your Trust has a pipeline of quality nurses has never been more important. 

This is where our innovative attraction strategies can help. Specifically designed to help Trusts to target hard to fill areas using value-led attraction, Just R. can help you attract quality candidates whose values are aligned with your organisation. And, our latest campaign for Wrightington, Wigan Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has been helping to do just that.

Recognising “a shortage of Registered General Nurses” and identifying in their People Strategy that “based on current training numbers and the aging NHS workforce, they have to be creative to address these gaps”, WWL turned to Just R. for help.³ 


WWL Virtual Recruitment Event Nurse

The Solution

Not only did the Trust need to attract a number of qualified nurses to join the WWL family, but they needed to create an exceptional candidate experience whilst strict covid restrictions impacted their typical recruitment processes. Aligning with the NHS Employers view that “open days are a fantastic way to attract and inspire,”⁴ the two month values-led attraction campaign focused on driving enquiries for a virtual recruitment event and virtual interview panels. And, with 72% of candidates who had a bad recruitment experience likely to tell others about it, strong emphasis was placed on ensuring candidate experience was at the forefront of the activity.⁵

The first step was to establish a strong employee brand by adapting an existing brand identity to create a visual look for the campaign which stood out on digital platforms.

WWL Virtual Recruitment Event Qualified Nurse

With a focus on “growing our own” in the WWL People Strategy, the expert Just R. team created content that communicated a range of unique selling points including training and development through the Band 5 to 6 fastrack and preceptorship programme, along with telling the stories of current nurses who had first hand experience of these programmes.³

Targeting passive candidates using highly detailed targeting enabled the campaign to reach a previously untapped audience outside of the Trusts core areas,  helping to maximise the pool of potential candidates and raise the awareness of both the Trust and nursing positions available. 

WWL Virtual Recruitment Event Doctor And Nurse

Working collaboratively with the Trust was key to the success of the campaign. Identifying a need to simplify the recruitment process, the Just R. candidate consultant team worked closely with the Recruitment Manager to remove the formal application process. Instead utilising a bespoke enquiry form to capture key information from interested applicants. 

Putting people into the people processes, the candidate consultant team then carried out call backs to pre-screen enquiries using values-based screening questions to ensure their values aligned with the organisation and obtained further required information including NMC pins.  Working together with the Trust, and using the bespoke Just R. recruitment pipeline management system, enquiries were reviewed during a weekly catch up session with the Trust.

Using insight gained during these sessions, the Just R. candidate consultant team then matched individual candidates to the most appropriate interview panel and facilitated booking the interviews.

WWL Virtual Recruitment Event Student Nurse

The Results:


People Reached with the campaign


Online enquiries received


Interviews held


Offers made

Focusing on attracting quality enquiries whose values aligned with the Trust, the campaign generated an impressive 71 enquiries; these included 17 qualified nurses, 14 student nurses, 1 nurse associate, 1 enrolled nurse, and 23 HCAs.

On the day 14 candidates were interviewed with 10 appointable candidates identified. Individuals were from a mixture of specialisms including community and paediatrics. By simplifying the application process this resulted in a smoother candidate journey and saved the Trust significant time when it came to shortlisting and facilitating interviews.

Engagement from the virtual event attendees was fantastic, with 80% attendance and engagement in the form of questions both during and following the event. 

As part of the campaign, the Just R. candidate consultant team acted as the point of contact, keeping in regular contact with the candidates. Not only did this provide candidates with a positive experience of engaging with the Trust but it also resulted in interview attendance exceeding 80%.

Due to the success of the attraction campaign, demand for an additional interview date was evident and 8 potential candidates are awaiting interview as they were unable to attend the specific date and are booked in for a ‘mop-up’ date, 7 of which are qualified nurses, including a Band 7 nurse.






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