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Recruitment and Selection in the NHS

The laws and NHS regulatory framework governing recruitment and selection processes and avoiding unfair discrimination play an important role at every stage of the recruitment and selection process. Employers should judge job applicants against a range of objective criteria, eg skills, knowledge and experience and not on personal factors.

Employers also need to be aware of other legal requirements, such as legislation on criminal records, the need to check that the selected candidate has the right to work in the UK, and case law on references for those selected for appointment. In addition, data protection legislation (which was revised as from 25 May 2018 as a result of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) imposed in the UK through the Data Protection Act 2018) applies to the gathering, retention and disclosure of information obtained during the recruitment process.

This topic covers the NHS regulatory framework governing recruitment and selection processes.

Recruitment and Selection in the NHS: Quick Facts
  • NHS employers are subject to the same statutory and regulatory framework as other employers in other sectors when recruiting staff.

  • Additionally, there are six NHS Employment Check Standards that set out the type and level of checks that employers must carry out before recruiting.

  • International recruitment still has an important place in the recruitment strategy for many NHS employers.

  • Recruitment and retention premia can be applied to individual jobs or groups of jobs, where labour market pressures make it difficult for employers to recruit and retain staff in sufficient numbers at the normal salary rate.