Maria Balones Nov 9, 2020 10:08:14 PM 16 min read

How to reduce your hiring time of overseas nurses to 4 weeks


To most care providers, the idea of international recruitment of nurses is not only a long complex process involving visa applications and other extra processes but also an expensive endeavour to embark on, and therefore many are put off doing it despite the strong probability of success and savings it promises to bring . I can't blame such notion because the general knowledge is that it takes between 3-6 months to successfully have overseas nurses join employers from the date they were offered roles. And yet again it take another 3 months to help these overseas nurses get their NMC pin number once in the UK.

Johns journey to UK nursingBut does it really take that long? The answer is NO! With a solid timeline and unique recruitment processes, it is actually possible to reduce your time to hire to 4 weeks from start to finish.  What is more interesting is you could also make it a goal for your international nurse to achieve full registration with the NMC within 3-4 weeks from joining your team. Imagine adapting this recruitment model into your care organisation and see how much savings you could make over a very quick turn around time, especially if you are relying heavily on the use of agency nurses. Some of our clients benefitted from this efficient timeline by being able to increase their bed capacity or from being able to form a new nursing team in line with opening a newly built care home. 

If it's taking you over 3 months to get your international nurses in the country and another 3 months to help them get their NMC pin, then you are burning a lot of money to agency nurses or productivity costs. If you want to know the true cost of international recruitment, read our interesting blog here on the subject. 

The restrictions and disruptions to a lot of services including travels brought about by the pandemic just makes matters worst for many care providers. 

But it shouldn't be. Note that John's journey to the UK and achieving his NMC pin took place during this challenging time. 

The challenges of recruiting international nurses

If you decide to use a recruitment agency, you will find that more often than not, your nurses do not arrive within the expected timeframe of delivery that was promised you. It is accepted that there are situations when this goes outside the control of your chosen provider but when it happens more than once then you should be reviewing whether it's worth considering an alternative. A week's delay can be very costly to others. Suppose you are spending on agency nurses an average of £2,400 per week to cover 80 hours, this means that you will continue to incur this cost on a weekly basis until your nurses actually have arrived.

What many is failing to consider is that even if your international nurses have already joined your team, they are not able to replace your agency nurses until they pass their OSCEs. So if it takes your nurses another 3 months, all NHS candidates do, this means that you continue wasting money on agency nurses and if this is your case, I suggest reviewing your numbers and processes.

Others avoid the use of recruitment agencies and invest a lot of money in posting jobs in various job boards like LinkedIn and the use of Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to manage job applications. This might seem to be a better approach because it is cheaper compared to paying percentages for introduction fees but the question is, do these advertisements really work? Do you actually get applications from qualified nurses?  Does your job really get in front of your targeted applicants? 

At this writing, I looked at one company with 22 care homes in their group at their job page on LinkedIn and they have 31 nursing vacancies posted between a day and a month ago and to date there were "0" applicants in all the adverts. This is of course only half the picture as the option to apply takes applicants to their ATS or website but even then, the waste of time and resources are massive when advertising efforts do not work. The thing is, I have been following this company and they have been advertising the same vacancies in the last 6 months. This means that they are relying on agency nurses to cover around 1,240 hours per week, which must be costing this company in the region of £31,000 to £35,000 per week. That's a spent of £744,000 on agency nurses in the last 6 months.

So how do you reduce your hiring time to 4 weeks? The reality is outside IANS, you can't because of 3 simple reasons. First, your job posts, no matter how many job boards they are posted, do not get in front of international nurses and so this approach is a complete waste of time and money. Just look at the type of applicants you have been getting in all the campaigns you have done in the past. Second, 90% of care providers in the UK are posting the same advertisements on LinkedIn, Indeed, Totaljobs, Reed, Glassdoor and other major job boards in the UK.  And thirdly, the recruitment agencies you will be using are either too cheap if you outsource this overseas or too expensive if based in the UK and in all cases you have no guarantee that you can get your nurses within 4 weeks.  

So how do we at IANS reduce your hiring time to 4 weeks?

1. You interview our candidates within 48 hours of giving us your recruitment requirements.

We follow a very strict timeline and we have established ourselves over the years to be very effective in fast deployment. This has become our reputation and because we have a proven track record of fast international recruitment, our pool of candidates who all have passed IELTS/OET and CBT, have grown so much which in turn has given us the ability to give any care provider access to wide range of high quality candidates in an instant.

See what Amy Wolverson, Head of Recruitment of Select Healthcare, had to say about their experience in working with IANS:

“IANS promised us a 4-6 weeks recruitment guarantee and they have completely delivered on that promise. For me personally, I have to slow them down at times because it takes us longer than for them to progress our agreed work. Having all the service under one roof is perfect for me. I can just pick up the phone and know that one of them will answer my call and provide me the help whether it's to do with sponsor licence, visa application, recruitment or OSCE training.”


Read full story here.

2. If you do not have Certificate of allocations we get this for you within 5 days.

You will be working with a team at IANS. A dedicated Tier 2 talent specialist will source suitable candidates for you according to your recruitment needs whilst a dedicated immigration solicitor will support you with everything you will require to get your nurses permission to work for your organisation. There are no gaps in our processes and everything happens at the same with with precision. Whether you need a sponsor licence or simply need increase in allocations, this is all undertaken with expertise and speed right from the very beginning of the process.

3. We submit the visa applications of your successful candidates within 48 hours of offers.

Submitting the visa applications online is one thing but securing an appointment at the visa centre to provide biometric information and supporting documents is another. 

Welcome Melissa Silva-2

4. We use the priority service to get a visa decision within 5 days of submission.

The standard visa processing time for Tier 2 visa applications is up to 3 weeks and could take longer sometimes depending which country is the visa application has been submitted. Therefore, advising our clients to use the priority service has true financial benefits as the Home Office makes decisions within 5 days, allowing you to plan their arrival and joining dates easier.

5. We arrange flights to the UK within 48 hours of your candidates receiving their visas.

Our candidates are briefed that they should be ready to travel within 2-3 days of receiving their visas unless they are coming from the Philippines where there is an extra process to secure exit clearance certificates before they are allowed to travel and work in the UK.

If your job posts have ran for 30 days already and are not attracting the right candidates, talk to us and will give you access to hundreds of eligible candidates in an instant.

If you have tried international recruitment before and it did not work out for you, talk to us and see whether we can change your experience.

If you are spending on agency nurses to cover your vacancies on a weekly basis and would like to see an effective solution, talk to us and see how we can quickly eliminate your agency spend.

If you do not have a sponsor licence and think you can't do into international recruitment, talk to us to know how we can make this easy for you. 


Maria Balones

Operations Director