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Friday 28th October 2016

The war for NHS talent

24th September 2008

Director of leadership development at the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement, Paul Allen, says the NHS faces key challenges in identifyng the most able talent.


Employers are finding it difficult to secure the graduates most capable of reaching the top positions within their organisations.

This is despite A-level results at an all-time high and the supply of graduates outstripping demand.

The NHS, as with many employers, is seeking the most able graduates but competition is fierce for what is a relatively scarce resource.

But it is a problem that is only confined to graduates. The NHS has hiring problems internally with NHS employers often struggling to draw up a shortlist of candidates for middle and senior management positions from within their organisations.

However, this is not because of a shortage of talent in the NHS, more a case of being unable to properly "identify and develop the talent that already exists in the NHS in a more systematic way."

What is required is securing the right data on the existing talent within the NHS to aid recruitment decisions.

Building leadership capacity and capability is already built in to the process of delivering clinical visions.

But in order to get "the right people in the right roles at the right time", talent must be a standing item on the agenda for all senior leadership teams and boards. Importantly, senior managers – supported by human resources personnel – must play their part in identifying, developing and highlighting it.

They need to "lead and own" the talent agenda.


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