Recruiting an international workforce is just the start of a successful programme of workforce planning. In fact, the most underestimated area of an international recruitment campaign is the aftercare, onboarding and staff retention phase. By engaging our services, you will have instant access to our consultancy on what you should be doing to ensure that your international doctors and nurses don’t just join you but stay with you for the long term.
From our side, we will make sure that your doctors and nurses know exactly where they need to go and have their travel arrangements made when transferring from an airport or other city. We’ll give them a call when they arrive to make sure that they have arrived and are settling in ok as well as meeting with them in their first week or two. As a standard, we also help them to set up a new bank account, send them a new sim card so that they can use their mobile phone straight away and let them know where they need to go to collect their biometric resident permit, attend their police station visit and get their national insurance number.
From your side, our first advice is to be sure that you know when your doctors and nurses are due to arrive and have a plan in place for their first few weeks with you. If they need to collect keys for their accommodation, attend occupational health appointment or meet with HR to get login details and complete final documents then make sure this is fully communicated and appointments are booked in before they arrive. The last thing anyone wants is to find their new starters with very little to do for a week or two whilst they are waiting for things that could have been booked in or sorted prior to arrival.
Equally, once you are satisfied that your doctors and nurses are ready to get started, it is imperative that they receive a good Trust induction. Ideally this will include a meet a greet with key personnel, a tour of the site, Trust HR processes, escalation policies and anything else your new recruits will need to know. Upon arrival with the department, there should be a further department induction or shadowing period to ensure that your doctors and nurses get to know everyone and are well supervised whilst they settle in. This is imperative for a good transition between healthcare systems and, of course, to ensure that patient safety is paramount.
For most of our doctors and nurses, BDI Resourcing are their first point of contact with someone in the UK so we have built relationships with them, usually over 6-9 month periods before they actually arrive in the country. Naturally, after that amount of communication it is reasonable that they want to stay in touch with us and that is why we get out to visit them as regularly as possible and keep in touch over the phone whenever we are in need. The most common queries that we get are asking for advice and local knowledge on places to visit, attractions of interest, places of worship or where to buy food or eat out. We are happy to offer our advice in whatever is required and will always help with these basic queries until the doctors or nurses are totally settled in.
It is also worth noting that cultural differences for these doctors and nurses are sometimes a quick learning process and we will always assist with this area. Our advice usually includes what to expect when they start work, how to interact with different members of the team and how to approach difficult workplace scenarios. Since these doctors and nurses have all come through PLAB or a recognised UK postgraduate qualification, it is rare that they need our assistance in this area however we want to ensure that anyone we place can use us as a confidante in case of any workplace concerns that might arise.
Once we get beyond the first few months of their employment with you, the emphasis falls increasingly on the Trust to ensure good and long-lasting staff retention. The primary driver for most doctors and nurses relocating to the UK, is to further their careers and increase their knowledge so offering opportunities for ongoing learning and having a good structure for progression is often a great way to encourage them to stay with you. Of course, this also means you are broadening the skills of your own team which can only be a good thing. It may seem obvious but ensuring that competencies are regularly signed off, arranging regular meetings with a clinical supervisor, assisting with revalidation and encouraging participation in schemes like CESR are fundamental to a doctors career and taking a pro-active interest will work wonders in keeping doctors and nurses with you in the long run.