NHS Nurses Recruitment

NHS Recruitment
Searching for superstars

We all know how much the NHS needs those brilliant people we call nurses. But in our local area of Leicester there was a particular need to bring in greater numbers with the national recruitment campaign not working. After winning a pitch with our strategic approach, Well & Truly set about the kind of task that makes work worthwhile.

The Background

We won a three-way pitch to create a new, local recruitment campaign for nurses working alongside University Hospitals Leicester NHS Trust. Nurses recruitment has been a problem across the UK for a number of years and national recruitment campaigns have been developed, but in Leicestershire they were having very little impact. The senior nursing team wanted to develop a Leicester specific campaign to help tackle the high number of nurse vacancies across their hospitals.

The insight

To develop an effective campaign we needed to understand:

Working with our partners at Brand Ignite, we conducted a series of focus groups with new and experienced nurses within Leicester Hospitals, as well as with nurses who were within a 45-minute drive time of Leicester but had never worked at Leicester hospitals.

Additionally, we spoke to members of the public. Patients or family of patients who had experienced nursing at Leicester in the past 6 months.

We uncovered crucial insights into what made Leicester unique and a great place to be a nurse as well as understanding the challenges that needed to be addressed. Four key themes stood out:





And whilst all were important, there was a clear key motivator: Recognition. A simple thank you – from patients, families and colleagues. The feeling of being appreciated. The feeling of helping and satisfaction of a job well done. 

The national campaign was focused on starting salary, career opportunities and student loan subsidies. Yes they matter, but they’re cold. What we needed was work that would resonate on an emotional level.



The Strategy

Our campaign needed to be multi-layered. Whilst the key theme of ‘Recognition’ needed to sit at the heart of the heart of the campaign, we also needed to ensure messages around teamwork, opportunity and diversity could be worked into the campaign at subsequent levels where we could tell the story in more detail. 

With budgets being tight, we needed maximum impact for the smallest level of spend. So we kept the media focus on Leicester itself and a wider area of 45-minute drive time. 

A targeted social media campaign allowed us to engage prospects with pinpoint accuracy. At the same time, some strategically placed outdoor, meant the campaign reached a broader audience helping rally the press and public to support the drive to find more nurses.

The Creative

The campaign – Leicester Loves Nurses/Nurses Love Leicester – clearly leverages the key insight of recognition. It allows us to talk about all the truly great things about working in Leicester’s hospitals, as well as what’s good about living and working in the city. 

Plus it can flex it to be about how Leicester is appreciative of nurses and the work they do; from the trust enabling career development through to real people expressing their heartfelt thanks. The duality of the campaign means we can show the positives from both sides, creating a fuller, more inspiring story. 


(Due to COVID-19 the campaign is currently on hold.)

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