How to Increase Your Recruitment Event Conversion Rate to >90%

A common problem we encounter time and time again at NHS recruitment events and during the NHS recruitment process in general, is the massive challenge faced by NHS recruitment and HR teams when it comes to converting and onboarding candidates en masse.

Tameside NHS Trust Midwifery advertising an upcoming recruitment event

In the current climate of mass recruitment events, there is a huge disparity between Trusts; with some converting as few as 10% from offer to post, and others >90%.  

Just R has helped 60+ NHS and healthcare organisations utilise the power of branding, marketing and digital advertising to attract brilliant healthcare staff. Over the past 6 years, we have also supported healthcare organisations to deliver hundreds of successful recruitment events, both in-person and virtual! Here’s the methods we utilise to secure a high conversion rate.

Prepare your HR teams

Let’s say you’ve spent countless hours planning an event. You’ve invested time, energy, money and resource in running a recruitment event and it’s been a success – brilliant! However, events can fall at the last hurdle if the candidate conversion process post-event is overlooked. How can you tackle this problem head-on? 

Whilst recruitment events can be effective in terms of numbers on the day, ROI will be poor if HR teams are set up to fail by not being prepared for mass recruitment, combined with their normal workload.


Have a clear onboarding process confirmed prior to event

It is essential for Trusts to do everything they can to attract and retain as many new hires as possible. It has been shown that strong onboarding processes are key to this success and can improve new hire retention by 82%. 

NHS Employers (NHSE) currently promote new-to-care recruitment events as a way to bridge the current gap in HCSW vacancies. Following a recent evaluation by NHSE, it was concluded that whilst events attract interest, a key challenge is the ability of Trusts to onboard candidates quickly and in bulk. Many seemingly successful events are yet to translate into significant appointments. Reported reasons for this include issues around HR capacity, capability and inefficiencies in recruitment processes at Trust level. For example, in some cases,  just one individual was responsible for onboarding hundreds of successful applicants (we’ve been witness to this!). Timesavers such as the ability to ‘bulk upload’ offline applications to Trac are great in easing the onboarding process but are only available for some Trusts, adding to the disparity between organisations.

These findings reflect the need for sufficient planning and support from recruitment and education teams when it comes to events, ensuring staff are prepared for mass onboarding and induction. Senior HR buy-in from the outset is critical to the success of such events. HR leaders must empower their recruitment teams to think creatively concerning mass onboarding.

“Trusts and Senior HR colleagues need to think of new methods and alternatives.”

Traditional job board sites can hinder candidate success

A key insight from the NHSE review and from our own experience, reveals that NHS Jobs and other such traditional job board sites were a blocker to candidate success. Ideal candidates are potentially put off from applying in the first place or submit poor applications – due to a lack of understanding and awareness of how to complete an application that will be shortlisted. Those new to the NHS or with no real previous experience of applying through these methods, will not be aware of the need to painstakingly review the JD and person spec to write a high-scoring answer. This lack of ability does not always mean they’re not a suitable candidate. Trusts and senior HR colleagues need to think of new methods and alternatives. Sites like NHS jobs do not favour values-based recruitment and transferable skills can be overlooked – particularly for new-to-care recruits.

What to takeaway

  • Prepare HR teams
  • Have enough staff with enough capacity to onboard
  • Confirm your onboarding process prior to the event
  • Look to alternatives to traditional NHS job boards


We understand the candidate conversion process is a mighty task in large organisations. Before running a recruitment event, consider the potential impact mass recruitment could have on your organisation’s HR and recruitment teams and ensure they have involvement and support to build success from the onset. At Just R we believe the NHS has the ability to rise to the challenge with the right support. If your organisation is ready to take a different approach, Just R can help.

Stockport NHS recruitment event

BDCFT HCSW register to attend NHS recruitment event asset

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