There is a real sense of achievement when someone is appointed to a hard to fill post, or when you see your vacancy rate reduce! Knowing that the work my team and I do really does make a difference to the quality of patient care is our main motivator."

Keeley Cooper, Head of Resourcing within the NHS

How did you get into a career in resourcing?

I started in HR many years ago as an admin assistant but found I really loved recruitment and resourcing. When a role for a Recruitment Assistant came up in my local NHS Trust, I applied and was successful and I have never looked back! Over the years in HR I have taken more generalist roles but resourcing has always been my passion and when an opportunity came up recently as Head of Resourcing, I was lucky enough to get it.

What are the key responsibilities in your role?

My team and I are responsible for not just getting “bums on seats” but getting “good bums on seats”. We have many staffing shortages in the NHS so we need to stay ahead of our game in making people want to come and work for us – and then making them want to stay. We are responsible for making sure our vacancies are advertised in the most effective way and that we portray an image of an organisation where people want to come to work. We work with the whole organisation to understand their recruitment needs and do our best to help them achieve them. As an NHS Trust we have a robust employment checking process to ensure our staff are safe to work with children and vulnerable adults and a lot of our time is spent making sure that the necessary clearances are carried out to ensure we have a quality, safe workforce.

Describe a typical day.

I don’t think there is a typical day! It is a cliché but every day really is different. Today, so far, I have reviewed 3 policies, worked on our resourcing strategy for the coming year, had a meeting with a company to help me update our careers site, prepared for a jobs fair that we are attending tomorrow, reviewed our vacancy and turnover rates against our targets, arranged a very senior level appointment assessment day, worked with my generalist HR colleagues to address a wider HR problem, held a team meeting to discuss how we can further streamline our processes, discussed our vacancy approval process with our Director, and dealt with some staffing issues in the team – and it’s only 3pm.

What skills are needed for this role?

A CIPD qualification gives you the foundations of a really good rounded knowledge of resourcing and wider HR. There is still a lot of processing in resourcing, so good IT skills is also a good start. Most of all it’s an understanding of the business and what’s needed - being credible and realistic and build really good relationships.

What challenges do you face in this role?

National shortages of skills mean that we compete with lots of other organisations – sometimes, despite having all the will in the world the skills and experience we need are simply not out there.

What keeps you motivated to go into work every day?

There is a real sense of achievement when someone is appointed to a hard to fill post, or when you see your vacancy rate reduce! Knowing that the work my team and I do really does make a difference to the quality of patient care is our main motivator.

What advice would you give someone considering a career in resourcing?

Don’t be afraid to start at the bottom, ask questions, and don’t be afraid to shout about it when you have a resourcing success!

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