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Competition for nurse jobs peaks in the summer

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January is the best month for nurses to apply for a new job because there is less competition at the start of the year, according to new figures.

Analysis of 2012-13 data by a specialist recruitment agency found fewer nurses were competing for the same jobs in January compared to all other months.

In January an average of 1.8 nurses applied for new vacancies but in most other months there were at least more than two rival applicants.

“If you want to tap the top nursing talent the summer’s the time to do it”

Victoria Short

This is despite the traditional view that many people seek new jobs as part of New Year’s resolutions.

Randstad Care, which based the snapshot research on more than 2,000 nurses seeking jobs and nearly 900 vacancies, said it showed January was a good time to apply.

Meanwhile, also contrary to expectations, the summer was a good time for trusts to go recruiting. In August there was an average of 3.1 applications for every vacancy.

“These figures show far more nurses than you might think are willing to change jobs in the summer, said Victoria Short, managing director of Randstad Care.

“With a larger available pool of nurses, employers are able to select the best talent, something which is particularly in demand in hospitals at the moment.”

The agency said the figures reflected the national shortage of nurses, with fewer applications per post than in other professions.

Over the past three years there have been an average of just 2.5 applications for each fresh nursing role advertised, compared to an average of 2.7 candidates for jobs across the UK workforce.

“Attracting and retaining highly skilled and experienced nurses is a challenge,” said Ms Short. “But by timing hiring strategically trusts can make a difference. If you want to tap the top nursing talent the summer’s the time to do it.”

The analysis revealed a remarkably similar picture in the social care workforce with just 2.5 social workers for every new role advertised.

Number of new job seekers for every new nursing job

Number of new job seekers for every new nursing job (Source: Randstad)

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Readers' comments (1)

  • I am not sure which country this research was carried out in and the results would be dependant on the different countries. I know an Australian nurse who graduated with a masters and was already a medical scientist with honours, who found the application process for Canada so difficult that she is going to work in retail.

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