Founded in 2012, the NHS Leadership Academy’s purpose is to develop outstanding leadership in health, to improve people’s health and their experience of the NHS. The Academy has four main areas of work:
- Developing the approach to leadership
- Providing and commissioning a range of cutting edge national programmes
- Supporting the development of local leadership capability
- Supporting changing and developing parts of the NHS system
Aspiring Chief Executive program
The Aspiring Chief Executive program is a collaboration between the NHS Leadership Academy, NHS Improvement and NHS Providers. Together, these four organizations design and deliver a program to prepare current NHS directors with the potential to become chief executives within 12-18 months.
Recruitment Context & Process
The campaign involved the recruitment of fourteen senior executives within the NHS for a leadership development program to prepare them to be Chief Executives. However, smaller numbers do not necessarily translate into fewer challenges given the geographic disparity and hectic schedules of such senior candidates.
Automated video interviewing was used for two main reasons. Firstly, to accommodate a geographically disparate and incredibly busy candidate pool and secondly, to accommodate the many senior stakeholders who are also based in a variety of locations involved in the selection process.
Applications were received from staff currently working in the NHS at director level from locations throughout the UK, mainly England from the North East to the South West.
Stages of the Selection Process:
- Stage 1: Online Application – from applicants throughout the UK.
- Stage 2: Video Interview
- Stage 3: Assessment Center
To date, there have been two intakes – November 2015 and May 2016 – in which 30 candidates were video interviewed for each intake.
Overview of Benefits of Video Interviewing for the NHS Leadership Academy
Video interviewing at the NHS Leadership Academy has made a positive impact:
- Accommodated disparate candidates in terms of location and schedules
- Accommodated multiple assessors in terms of location and schedules
- Screening and filtering out unsuitable candidates during the early stages
- Enabled NHS to select excellent candidates (100% hit rate)
- Enabled NHS to meet project requirements – all candidates needed were recruited, on time and within budget
- Eliminated the ‘nightmare’ of scheduling and conducting face-to-face interviews
- Cost effective solution for a national and niche recruitment drive
- Team and candidate buy-in
Flexibility for Applicants and Assessors
The flexibility offered to candidates to complete a video interview in their own time was crucial given both their location and the demands of their current roles. Candidates of this level are not clustered in one geographic region, the candidates we’re looking for are not all in one place – they are in similar situations and roles right across the country.
Furthermore, given that these applicants work in exceptionally busy director posts, the automated video interview enabled them to fit this initial stage of the recruitment process in with their diaries and time commitments.
According to Rob Farace, National Resourcing Manager at NHS Leadership Academy,: ”It can be so difficult to schedule interviews with candidates that don’t typically work 9-5 hours. For example, an applicant will be running an essential hospital service and would find it difficult to just take a day off to attend a short screening interview.”
In terms of the stakeholders, lots of people wanted to see the candidates and the limitations of physically fitting up to 10 “interviewers” from throughout the UK in a room along with the adverse candidate experience effects made automated video interviewing a very attractive solution.
“If we didn’t use video interviewing, we would have interviewed candidates face-to-face, which would be nightmarish to coordinate so many candidates’ and interviewers’ schedules not to mention the time constraints of recruiting that amount of candidates within two months.” – Rob Farace National Resourcing Manager, NHS Leadership Academy
“The cost of using the video interviewing was nominal compared to coordinating and conducting preliminary face-to-face interviews with thirty candidates and over ten interviewers. The subscription cost came directly from the recruitment budget. ”- Rob Farace
100% Success Rate
“The first cohort that were recruited in November 2015 are currently progressing through the programme and the overwhelming feedback internally is that we made 14 excellent appointments and that 100% success rate is unheard of. ” – Rob Farace
Feedback from Candidates
Automated video interviewing has had positive impact on the employer brand and helps to position NHS as an employer of choice. According to Farace: “They [candidates] liked the challenge. It was something different, it was something new. None of them had ever done anything like this before, so we found that quite interesting.”
“An intriguing system; can see how it makes for a very efficient interview service, cutting out vast amounts of travel time and so on.” – Candidate, NHS Leadership Academy
Farace maintains that automated video interviewing is definitely “an interesting way to go. We went from one to two people using it to now at the NHS, we use video interviewing for everything from high volume junior administrative roles right up to the very top of the organization.”
“We would envisage any organization like us with a disparate recruitment need having a use for automated video interviewing. This disparity is not just in terms of having other buildings, but organizations that are scattered across the country and whose roles are so specialized or niche that by their very nature involve quite small groups of candidates who are never located centrally.” – Rob Farace