Recruitment firms unite to tackle NHS jobs crisis

Apr 02, 2020

Mark Stephens, chief executive of Smart Recruit Online.

A RECRUITMENT specialist has united industry leaders in an initiative to address front-line staffing issues facing the NHS.

Mark Stephens, chief executive of Milton Keynes-based Smart Recruit Online, has developed a system that provides NHS Hospitals and Trusts with free access to an award-winning recruitment system, tools, screening and support services.

Leading Job Boards and media channels have agreed to provide free advertising for NHS jobs posted from within the SRO platform.

Mr Stephens said: “Despite the issues we are all facing at the moment we are united in our battle to fight through this crisis, along with other industry sectors that have been hit just as hard and, in some cases, even worse than us.

“On the front line, fighting the effects of this virus on a humanitarian level, are the NHS and its brave and courageous staff.  Unfortunately, they are already light on numbers as many NHS staff have contracted the virus and are now in isolation.  This is placing massive amounts of pressure on those remaining to cope with increasing casualties and a growing problem.”

The system is integrated with the latest AI, Machine Learning and Predictive Analytics to automate large parts of the recruitment process, so that it delivers a better user and applicant experience and will save NHS recruiters time during their screening and selection process.  The system also comes pre-integrated with some of the latest recruitment screening tools too, including dynamic forms, video profiling, behavioural assessments and reference and ID checking. 

The SRO platform is fully integrated with leading recruitment technology provided by Broadbean and Burning Glass that will allow NHS recruiters to rapidly create and post job advertisements, manage and screen applicants effectively and quickly for front line NHS positions.  This will all be complimented by free national recruitment advertising media provided by the UK’s leading job boards including CV Library, Reed, Totaljobs, Guardian Jobs, Monster and JobsToday. 

CV-Library alone has more than 1,5 million candidates on its database, including more than one million healthcare professionals. Founder and chief executive Lee Biggins said: “These are truly challenging times and sadly the recruitment industry is feeling the effects. However, we are also part of the solution.  

“By harnessing our expertise and working together with companies like Smart Recruit Online we can help the NHS to tackle what lies ahead and recruit the front line staff our country so desperately needs.  We are delighted to be a part of this initiative.”

Mr Stephens said: “Initially I decided to use the spare capacity I have within my own business to help address the front-line staffing issues effecting the NHS right now. Then I approached some of the major Job Boards to establish whether there was an appetite for a collaborative effort and the initiative was soon up and running.”

Six hospitals have already signed up to the initiative, including Buckinghamshire NHS Trust. Theakreh Mosley, talent acquisition lead at NHS Property Services, is tasked with recruiting hundreds of replacement staff across the UK for administrators, cleaners and kitchen staff, told Mr Stephens: “You guys are amazing. Thank you so much, we really appreciate your help through this initiative.”

“The SRO platform is designed to make the recruitment of staff simpler and more effective than any other means of recruiting staff online,” said Mr Stephens. “The video technology enables remote interviewing capability and SRO, uniquely, allows clients to onboard and complete basic training in less than an hour.  This is something that will prove critical in maximising the number of NHS functions that will be able to take advantage of this service and offer.

“With such a strong collaboration, we are confident that we will be able to positively contribute to the recruitment of key NHS staff that are essential in enabling us to fight coronavirus.”

Staff at SRO who have been furloughed as a result of the pandemic have signed up to work on the voluntary programme, he added.

“Recruiting replacements and volunteers is a major challenge and the UK recruitment industry, despite the crippling effects on our own business, our team is stepping up to do what it can to support this NHS staffing crisis

“We have to accept that we are in a privileged position where our businesses can combine our efforts to help and support the NHS without actually placing ourselves into harm’s way. The NHS and its staff are amazing. They are our front line troops in protecting the most vulnerable and those effected by this virus.  

“We are proud to be part of the UK recruitment sector that has put aside its own difficulties and challenges to collaborate on such a worthwhile initiative.”

How you can help

NHS If you work within the NHS and need to recruit front line staff, call 0800 634 1818 and speak to the Smart Recruit Online team who will get you set up quickly and your jobs live within 24 hours.

Candidates Go to either CV-Library, Reed or Guardian Jobs and search for ‘NHS Jobs’ or You can also register for volunteering positions at

General public Share this information with your entire network. Get this message in front of as many NHS recruiting staff as possible.

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