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NHS Jobs vs A Medical Recruitment Agency

  • January 25, 2019

Hello IMGs! We have seen a lot of questions online recently, asking what the advantages are of using a Recruitment Agency against applying directly via NHS Jobs. So, in today’s post we wanted to share an honest comparison of the two – so you don’t have to!

Applying directly via NHS Jobs


1. Easy to find vacancies hosted under one website.

2. Straightforward application – simply set up an NHS Job account, upload your CV and apply to various posts.

3. You can receive job alerts directly to your email address.

4. Job descriptions and departmental information will be provided in detail.


1. Not all NHS job adverts are open to IMGs outside of the EU for at least 28 days – as the Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT) needs to be satisfied first.

2. NHS Jobs receive a huge volume of applications for each job – sometimes in excess of 50 per position in certain regions.

3. Time – The process can be lengthy, taking several weeks to receive any feedback.

4. Lack of Constructive feedback on unsuccessful applications.

5. You will have to negotiate the salary and relocation allowance on your own.

6. You will have to deal directly with the hospital regarding all queries (Tier 2 visa, relocation). Some HR departments are overwhelmed, so may not respond in a timely manner.

Applying via a Medical Recruitment Agency


1. All agency jobs should be applicable for IMGs outside of the EU – as the RLMT will have been satisfied.

2. An agency will give you free advice on how to improve your CV.

3. Some agencies will help you with interview preparation, supporting you with Skype set-up, possible interview questions and a practice interview.

4. A recruitment agency may have access to vacancies that are not on NHS jobs.

5. Some agencies will provide you with 24/7 support from application through to your first day of working within the NHS.


1. Not all agencies provide equal support – Like anything in life there are good and bad companies – Do your research on the company if deciding to work through one.

2. Lack of impartiality with some agencies – they will put pressure on doctors to accept jobs that are not suitable for the doctor’s individual situation.

3. Some agencies only work with a limited number of NHS Trusts – which offers a lack of choice doctors.

If you decide to work with a recruitment agency to find your first job – here are some useful tips to finding the perfect NHS post.

1. Don’t be afraid to say no if you feel that the job is not for you. It is good to be honest with the Recruitment Consultant you are working with and so they can help you find the perfect position.

2. Have a look at the agency’s website and their social media presence, their reviews and the support they offer, prior to sending your CV! If they look unprofessional and have bad reviews, it is probably best to avoid them at all costs!

3. Ask the Recruitment Consultant lots of questions. Do they sound professional? Are they knowledgeable about the relocation process? Do they have a sound understanding of the specialism you work in? If not, do not work with them.

4. Make sure that the agency is UK based and a member of the REC (Recruitment and Employment Confederation). This is the professional body which governs the standards and ethics of recruitment professionals in the UK.

5. Remember that it is illegal for any UK based recruitment company to charge a fee to any job seeker.

6. And remember – have they tried to find out exactly what you are looking for?

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