Blogs > NHS Recruitment Process

Applying directly or using an agency | Your guide to NHS Jobs.

  • November 12, 2021

There are a handful of ways that you can apply for NHS positions. The two most popular and successful ways are to apply through an agency or via the NHS jobs website. Here we share an honest comparison of the two so you can determine which route is best for you.

Applying directly via NHS Jobs


  1. Clear and efficient way of viewing all vacancies available to the public on one website.
  2. Straightforward application process. It is relatively easy to set up an NHS Job account and upload your CV.
  3. You can opt in to receive job alerts direct to your email.
  4. Job descriptions and department information will be provided in detail so you can do your homework on the hospital and regional area to determine if it is a good fit for you.


  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.
  3. The process can take time and in some cases, you may not receive feedback.
  4. If successful you will be expected to negotiate salary expectations yourself.
  5. You may be offered a relocation package, again you will need to negotiate this yourself.
  6. You will need to deal with visa applications and relocation strategies yourself and directly liaise with HR departments who can be overwhelmed so may not respond as quickly as you need.

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. Here at BDI Resourcing we have multiple resources to help guide you through Teams/Skype interviews. We also have an abundance of NHS questions and scenarios that can come up in an NHS interview that we can give to you in order to prepare.
  4. Agencies often have access to jobs that aren’t on NHS Jobs.
  5. Some agencies will provide you with 24/7 support from applications, visa support, relocation and beyond.


  1. Not all agencies provide equal support. Make sure you do your research and look at reviews before deciding to work with a company.
  2. Some agencies only work with a limited number of NHS Trust. Make sure you select a company that works with a range of Trusts so that your needs and requirements can be met.

How to select an agency

Here are our tips we think you should consider before committing to an agency.

  1. Don’t be afraid to say no if you feel that the job offered to you is not for you. It is honest to be honest with your recruiter so that they can find you the perfect post.
  2. Be sure to check out the agency’s website and social media pages. You can look at their reviews and the type of support they offer.
  3. Ask your recruiter lots of questions! Are they professional? Are they knowledgeable? Do they have dedicated individuals to help with your relocation?
  4. Make sure that the agency is based in the UK and are a member of the REC (Recruitment Employment Confederation). This is the professional body that 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.

If you are an international Doctor that requires assistance in relocating to the UK email your CV to [email protected] and we can support you in securing an NHS post and on your relocation journey to the UK.

Are you a member of our Facebook group? When you join IMG Advisor, you join a community of doctors all looking to relocate to the UK and join the NHS. We post a series of blogs and vlogs to the group each day. We will also be on hand to answer all of your relocation queries.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel! We have over 60 videos covering everything you need to know about relocating to the UK and joining the NHS.

Listen to BDI Resourcing on the go with IMG Advisor the Podcast! You can listen to us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and Buzzsprout. We have a number of episodes with tips and advice on relocating to the UK and the routes you can take to achieve this.

Finally, we have just launched our new Instagram, so if you are a member, feel free to follow us to view our posts and IGTV: @bdiresourcing



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