Our new Manchester Health Service (MHS) can learn lessons in Responsible Recruitment from a Merseyside NHS Initiative


Last week, max20’s managing director Don Tomlinson made a rallying call to the newly devolved Greater Manchester Health Service, imploring key decision makers to take a more responsible approach to recruitment. Reflecting on the fact that, sometimes, recruitment in our NHS can be too ‘knee-jerk’ he adds that if recruitment partners are brought in at the start of a project or programme, staffing needs can be properly anticipated and managed. This in turn leads to greater economies of scale and cost efficiencies.

This week, we caught up with John Llewellyn, Head of Corporate Services at NHS Informatics, Merseyside, to find out what ‘responsible recruitment’ really means in practice:

“We’ve been working with max20 for a decade now. Through a system of solid account management we have regular meetings with their team that enable us to give them a thorough overview of upcoming development projects. By giving them an insight into our work pipeline and broader strategy, they can be ahead of the game in terms of predicting and assessing our recruitment needs. In this way we can, in the main, avoid knee-jerk recruitment.

This system has been implemented across a large Clinical Information Systems project we are rolling out for one of our biggest partner organisations whereby we’re tasked with delivering their clinical information systems. Set to run over a two-year period, we have an ongoing need for a workforce with a very broad range of skills. max20 has been involved from the outset and so far it’s working incredibly well with us managing to fill all of our recruitment needs in a very timely and cost-effective fashion.

We also have to consider that our colleagues and peers in the region are chasing the same staff – supply and demand can be a huge issue. So by anticipating pressures downstream we can also ask max20 to give us an idea of what current market rates might look like so that we can meet our budgets accordingly. The quality market intelligence that max20 provides can be invaluable.

Another positive aspect of our relationship with the team lies in the fact that they understand our dynamics, our culture and our people. As a shared service, we deliver into six partner organisations each with their own different agendas and strategies. The closer max20 are to understanding these, the more intuitive they can be in their recruitment solutions. It’s not just about a job spec or job description – it’s about having a solid appreciation of our business, our challengers and our partner organisations.

You can only build these types of trusted relationships over time but our ten-year long affiliation tells me that a responsible approach to recruitment is the right one.”

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