First impressions last. The value of an awesome employee experience for your new joiners lies in welcoming a new nurse. It is an integral part of the relocation process and one that sets the tone for the ongoing employer-employee relationship. A warm welcome has the potential to create the type of engagement and loyalty that will eventually lead to many productive years of employment and is just one of the reasons why many managers put employee engagement and retention at the top of their priority list.
From the first day of the job application to the first day of work, new recruits are forming impressions of their new employer. These impressions can have an extensive impact on the international nurse’s intention to stay with the organisation long-term. Hence, there is a need to give importance to the value an awesome employee experience for your new joiners
The objective of every nurse recruiter, hiring manager or even human resource professional responsible for talent acquisition is to attract the highest quality nurse. Next to it is to develop a welcoming workplace that promotes opportunities for employee advancement and growth. Cultivating an employee experience could potentially support high performers financially, intellectually, and psychologically whilst providing a means to weed out poor performers efficiently and fairly. This could help address the cost of new hire turnover in nursing.
Indeed nurse satisfaction levels are often a direct reflection of the employee experience. It is a strong indicator of whether their work expectations and performance needs are being met.
So, how can you ensure the employee experience you are giving your international nurses is a strong one?
Below is a list we have compiled from both our own experience and the feedback of our nurses:
Establish hiring and screening policies and procedures including the interview and offer process:
- Try not to change the time of the interview too many times.
- Be on time to interview the candidate.
- Issue interview outcomes promptly.
- Be transparent with the candidate regarding their likely assignment and estimated start date.
- Issue job offer letters promptly.
- Don’t forget to include some “selling points” for your organisation in the offer letter. Remember good candidates are often choosing between more than one offer of employment.
- During the period between a nurse accepting the offer letter and relocating to the UK, consider providing the new employee with a “buddy” who is already an international nurse in the organisation.
- Ensure you (or the international agency you are using) are providing sufficient support to the new joiner through the process i.e. ensuring they have pre-visa briefings and pre-departure briefings, so they feel supported from start to finish.
- Candidates should receive regular (ideally at least once a week) updates regarding their application (so they don’t feel like they have been forgotten).
- Ensure your new nurse is collected on arrival at the airport – after a long flight, navigating UK public transport and a new currency is likely to be highly overwhelming.
- Consider a cash advance for your new arrival – the currency exchange rate may mean they are struggling to make ends meet and an advance on their salary is a very thoughtful (and practical) thing to assist with.
- Ensure they have a “friendly face” from the employer who they feel comfortable speaking to.
- Help your new nurses open a new bank account, collect their BRP card, navigate public transport and register with a GP (an international nurse agency can often assist with this).
First Days at Work:
- Create a professional and welcoming environment for all employees.
- Be clear about work start dates and time in your arrival information to avoid any confusion or last-minute stresses for the nurses. (Providing a map can be a big help)
- Start your international nurse in a cohort with other nurses so they have a peer support group from day 1.
- Provide language support to your new joiners in terms of introducing them to “local language” and “colloquialisms”. Strong accents and dialects can be very confusing for some new nurses. You may need to support them more than you might normally support a domestic nurse.
- Communicate expectations and policies clearly. For example, the importance of punctuality is often more important in UK culture, and therefore outlining these expectations upfront can avoid conflict later.
- International nurses should always have an individual they can approach privately with any concerns.
- As international nurses can often battle with OSCE anxiety and homesickness, a free Employee Counselling Hotline from employers is a big help.
- Provide opportunities for collaborative learning – both when it comes to day-to-day work and preparing for the OSCE.
- Continue to have regular check-ins with your new nurse for the first 6 months after they have started work. This is to ensure you can identify any problems early and deal with them effectively.
- Keep in mind that many of our international nurses want to progress within UK healthcare. Therefore, they may value any information you can share with them about progression opportunities and how to advance their career.
- Nurture your best new joiners and share their success stories with staff.
The benefits of such a warm welcome are that new joiners feel like valued members of the team. Eventually, the working relationship gets off to a positive start. A well-structured and well- thought-through orientation plan establishes a firm foundation for cultivating good relationships with colleagues. It generates employee engagement and promotes effective working practices. On the other hand, this will lead to a higher return on investment and a happier workforce. Thus, the value of an awesome employee experience for your new joiners is absolutely vital.
My Healthcare Recruit supports UK healthcare employers in the public, private, and care sector to find international nurses who are a great fit for their organization, by using market-leading video interviewing tools to connect them to our database of qualified candidates. Our innovative approach makes international candidates easier to find and more cost-effective to source than ever before. Find out more at https://myhealthcarerecruit.com/
Photo Credit: Cedric Fauntleroy