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Supporting NHS Recruitment With Teamwork and Innovation

Deepa Somasundari

Deepa Somasundari

Director of Strategic Projects at Indeed

"We don't build ventilators, but we help people get jobs." Indeed CEO Chris Hyams explained in a meeting with representatives from the National Health Service (NHS), the UK's publicly funded healthcare system, and the biggest employer in Europe.

In early March 2020, Deepa Somasundari, Director of Strategic Projects at Indeed in London, suddenly foresaw the potential scale of the pandemic and the fact that the NHS would be in critical need of essential workers. They were determined to do something that would align the Indeed mission of helping people get jobs with the health and safety of the whole country.

Alongside other senior directors, Deepa quickly pulled together the Indeed senior leadership team, including CEO Chris Hyams, and set up a meeting with NHS executives to find out their pain points and offer Indeed's unconditional help. They found that the NHS needed support in hiring thousands of clinical and non-clinical workers for their newly built Nightingale hospitals, temporary large-scale critical care sites.

Urgently sourcing such a huge volume of hires in a short time was a mammoth task. Adding to the challenge was the requirement that candidates live within a specific distance of each hospital - in order not to spread the virus from one town to another - plus a complex application process to meet regulatory compliance and standards requirements.

Deepa reached out to Indeed's incubator team for some ideas on tackling this unique situation. They quickly developed a bespoke automated screening process that searched through the CV database at speed and sent custom invitations to potential candidates to apply. Deepa then rallied teams from across Indeed to guide applicants through the complex process - and within seven weeks had hired the thousands of qualified staff needed.

But even as the peak passed, the NHS was still under strain. "We got a call on a Thursday afternoon asking us to screen more than 1,500 candidates in just three days," Deepa recalls. She rallied teams across EMEA and the US, and the next morning was overwhelmed to see that 150 Indeedians had volunteered overnight. In just three-and-a-half hours, they completed the calls with all the candidates.

Deepa recalled, "It was so nice to not only see the impact we had made, but also to have so many people coming together to help meet the needs of thousands of patients."