Commercial expertise becoming most highly prized asset for IT NHS contractors
Commercial expertise becoming most highly prized asset for IT NHS contractors – 2012 marks a radical shift in recruiting practices
Veteran IM&T NHS recruiter Don Tomlinson is claiming that at least half of his contractor positions now require business and commercial acumen rather than health sector experience.
This marks a radical change of direction according to Tomlinson, who heads up a recruitment agency dedicated solely to supplying the NHS.
He comments: “In the past if you didn’t have NHS experience you would find it exceedingly difficult to get your foot in the door, now commercial expertise is highly sought after as the NHS restructures.”
Tomlinson gives a recent example illustrating the shift: “We recently put forward two very evenly matched candidates, one with NHS experience and the other with a purely commercial background. The commercially grounded candidate won, initially much to our surprise. It is something that would not have happened, even a year ago.
max20 is now seeing especially strong demand for business analysts, change specialists and business development managers.
Some roles, trainers and analysts particularly, still require an NHS background.
The re-structuring of the NHS is driving the change in demand. The establishment of Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) and the growth of Health Informatics Services (HIS) are transforming the NHS into an IM&T led body. The Government’s aim being to reduce costs by increasing the NHS’ effectiveness and efficiency.
Tomlinson, who has headed up max20 for over a decade comments: “Our issue is getting the message out that the NHS is an attractive proposition for IM&T professionals. Many contractors are still deterred because they think they lack NHS experience or believe that the NHS offers poorer remuneration and less exciting projects.”
“It is not an easy obstacle to overcome and recruiters are fighting hard over talented professionals that fit the bill. It is a candidate’s market.”
max20 ranks of 13th out of over 400 agencies in the sector based on billable business by the Government Procurement Service’s own figures, which comfortably places it among the ranks of Adecco, Hays and Badenoch & Clark. It is on course to place nearly 400 staff into new roles for 2012, and notch up over 1,000 contract extensions, doubling the good figures it recorded in 2011.
It works with nearly 150 HISs, CCGs, hospital trusts and other NHS organisations.