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Transforming recruitment for the NHS

Person writing on a post-it note on a wall

Client: NHS Business Services Authority

Helping people find meaningful careers within the NHS through the design of a new jobs platform.


The NHS is the world’s fifth largest employer, with a jobs service that handles 4 million applications a year for more than 380,000 vacancies. However, their system was complex and difficult to navigate, meaning that job applicants and hiring managers often had a negative recruitment experience.

The NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) wanted a new jobs service to provide an accessible recruitment process, ensuring the right people are placed in the right roles as cost efficiently as possible.


We worked in partnership with NHSBSA to design, build and deliver their new jobs service through discovery, alpha and private beta.

First, we ran workshops to define the NHSBSA’s vision and goals for the new service. We mapped out the different types of people using the platform and then carried out user research to understand their needs, running interviews to hear first hand experiences. 

We finished this phase of the project with:

  • a findings report to inform prototypes
  • user personas of job applicants, hiring managers, HR and recruitment administrators
  • user journey maps
  • service blueprints for the existing service
  • a technical review of the existing service
  • a costed platform options appraisal
  • potential technical solutions

We then prototyped potential solutions, and enrolled thousands of GPs and NHS Trusts to use the platform for all their future hires. After the service was launched we collected user feedback and used web analytics to iterate the solution in line with emerging needs.

During this project there was also a need to create new features for the service in response to Covid-19. We created a way of categorising Covid-related jobs, helping the NHS to recruit people into front line roles quickly, and fight the pandemic.


Throughout our partnership, we both improved the quality of applications and reduced the amount of time it takes to hire for new roles in the NHS. Hiring managers now have a more streamlined way of inviting people for interviews, candidates looking for jobs can choose times and dates for their interviews, and everyone in the hiring process is better able to track progress. 

We designed and built the new platform from scratch, using open source technologies that are more cost effective than off the shelf licensing models. This in house solution replaced a third party API which not only works much better for the service, but also maximises the NHSBSA’s return on investment and reduces total cost.

We also built the service using accessible code to support job seekers with access needs, including those using screen reading software. It also works for mobile and has an assisted digital solution for those who have difficulty using digital services. This new service is now in public beta, and is being used by more than 6,500 GPs and Trusts across the UK.

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