• 22 April 2020
  • 6 min read

The impact of COVID-19 on healthcare recruitment

  • Nick Simpson
    CEO & Founder of MSI Group
“The lack of available PPE is also having a dramatic effect on recruitment.”

Nick Simpson, CEO & Founder of recruitment firm, MSI Group (their jobs are here), describes the impact Covid-19 has had on healthcare recruitment, and what it looks like going forward.

Topics covered in this article

What changes have you made as a result of Covid-19?

Has Coronavirus changed the types of jobs you're seeing coming through?

How are your candidates being affected by COVID-19?

What further changes do you expect to see over the next few months?

What advice would you give to healthcare staff who might be considering a career move right now?

Do you think any changes you're seeing could become permanent?

About us

What changes have you made as a result of Covid-19?

Obviously, we’re all working from home right now, but otherwise it’s really business as usual.

Our consultants are still working with our clients, talking to candidates and conducting (online) interviews.

We have regular internal meetings via Microsoft Teams to make sure everyone is kept up to date and we’re all on the same page.

In all of our communications with candidates, whether via email, phone or online, we ask them to let us know if they are feeling unwell or in anyone in their household is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.

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If they are, unfortunately we are not able to book them for shifts right now, but we remain in regular contact with them for the future.

Has Coronavirus changed the types of jobs you're seeing coming through?

Permanent recruitment onboarding has slowed and start dates are being delayed, however we are seeing increased demand as clients plan for a return to normality in the near future. (View our MSI nursing jobs here on Nurses.co.uk.)

On the temporary side, we have seen a steep rise in demand for critical care nurses to help deal with the Coronavirus pandemic in NHS Trusts, as well as increased demand for unqualified workers to assist.

While there is still a steady requirement for mental health nurses and district nurses, the suspension of home visits means that there is virtually no demand for health visitors right now.

Similarly, the cancellations of caseloads and operations has affected demand for some Allied Health Professionals and theatre staff.

How are your candidates being affected by COVID-19?

As our workers are on the front line of the pandemic, a good number of them are out of action with Coronavirus symptoms or in self-isolation, which has reduced our pool of available candidates.

The lack of widespread testing is making it difficult to get these candidates back to work as quickly as they might like.

The lack of available PPE is also having a dramatic effect on recruitment.

Candidates are extremely worried about not being sufficiently protected in their workplace, so are choosing to stop working for the time being.

We’ve also had several instances where candidates have been booked for specific wards but then are assigned to work on Coronavirus wards on their arrival.

This will obviously make them more reluctant to accept bookings in the future.

While we can’t affect the supply of PPE and the challenges healthcare workers are facing on the front line, we are helping our candidates to feel reassured and support them with whatever decisions they decide to make about working.

What further changes do you expect to see over the next few months?

We expect the demand for critical care and general nurses to remain high.

We also expect to have a larger pool of candidates in the near future, as those who have been ill recover and those who have chosen to take time off return to work.

Improvements in COVID-19 testing and the supply of PPE are expected shortly, which will help to reassure candidates.

We also expect that as services that have been reduced such as Radiology, Physio and Occupational Therapy and health visiting start to return, demand for candidates in these areas should pick up again.

In the longer term, the backlogs created by the suspension of these services should lead to increased demand.

What advice would you give to healthcare staff who might be considering a career move right now?

Obviously, it takes a long time to qualify as a healthcare professional, so anyone choosing to join the workforce right now will have a very different environment when they start working.

For healthcare professionals who are already qualified, now is a good time to take stock of their situation.

If they were considering moving from permanent to agency work, the next year or so is likely to be extremely busy, with plenty of jobs to choose from.

However, right now we are certainly encouraging all of our candidates to put their efforts into the fight against COVID-19, even if that means placing career aspirations on hold.

Do you think any changes you're seeing could become permanent?

As a result of the exceptional work the NHS are doing to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic, we are hopeful that there will be a much-needed increase in funding for Trusts.

Even prior to the pandemic, much of the NHS was experiencing staffing shortages and they need support to be able to recruit effectively.

About us

MSI Group are experts in global healthcare recruitment. Our nursing jobs are here on Nurses.co.uk.

We work with NHS Trusts, private sector organisations and other healthcare providers in the UK and overseas to recruit qualified healthcare professionals.

Our key areas of business include:

• The supply of temporary healthcare staff

• Permanent recruitment of healthcare professionals

• Recruitment of pharmaceutical and life sciences professionals to work on a contract or permanent basis

• Recruitment of overseas healthcare professionals to work in the UK

About the author

  • Nick Simpson
    CEO & Founder of MSI Group

Nick has had a long and highly successful career in recruitment. In 2002, he founded MSI Group to supply healthcare professionals on a temporary, contract and permanent basis to NHS Trusts, private sector organisations and other healthcare providers. Since then, MSI has grown rapidly into one of the UK’s leading healthcare recruiters and has won many awards; most recently an accreditation from the Sunday Times Best Companies 2020.

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  • Nick Simpson
    CEO & Founder of MSI Group

About the author

  • Nick Simpson
    CEO & Founder of MSI Group

Nick has had a long and highly successful career in recruitment. In 2002, he founded MSI Group to supply healthcare professionals on a temporary, contract and permanent basis to NHS Trusts, private sector organisations and other healthcare providers. Since then, MSI has grown rapidly into one of the UK’s leading healthcare recruiters and has won many awards; most recently an accreditation from the Sunday Times Best Companies 2020.