Healthcare Recruiters across the UK have undergone a vast transformation in the past decade. With changes in the way of working due to various legislations in the healthcare recruitment, stringent compliance rules, vendor management systems, candidate banks, etc. healthcare recruitment agencies have had to experiment and design innovative solutions.
The changes have impacted the pay rates of healthcare workers, directly causing a significant reduction in margins for healthcare recruitment agencies. Given this scenario, several UK healthcare recruitment companies adapted the outsourcing aka offshore recruitment model to sustain and grow their empire.
Guess where they arrived? Ahmedabad, India.
Ahmedabad – The World Heritage City
Ahmedabad, in western India, with a population of circa 8M is the largest city in the state of Gujarat, India. It is an hour flight from Mumbai. Once known as Manchester of India, Ahmedabad is home to Gandhi Ashram situated on the banks of Sabarmati river. The place where father of India, great Mahatma Gandhi lived and also launched the famous Salt Satyagraha, Dandi March; as a direct action campaign of tax resistance and nonviolent protest against the British salt monopoly. The state Gujarat is known for its entrepreneurial spirit and food culture.
The city is home to some of the best educational institutes such as Indian Institute of Management (IIM), National Institute of Design (NID), Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT), Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad (MICA), to name a few.
Healthcare Recruitment in Ahmedabad
Five of the top thirty and circa fifty small-to-mid-sized UK healthcare recruitment agencies have their offshore teams based in Ahmedabad, India. With over a thousand members working for these UK healthcare recruitment companies; Ahmedabad can be called Milton Keynes of India from a Healthcare recruiting industry perspective.
Just in the last twelve to eighteen months, at least ten mid-sized healthcare recruitment agencies have set up centres in the city.
You could operate the healthcare recruitment agency with the skeletal front office in the UK, and the entire front (shift bookings) and back-office (compliance, payroll, accounting, etc.) processes are delivered from the offshore recruitment centre in Ahmedabad.
Cultural Affinity to The UK
One of the most critical factors for every business, Ahmedabad boasts great connect with the UK, mainly due to the India-UK history. Due to this connection, the UK has influenced India in too many ways. Coordinating and connecting with the offshore recruitment team is crucial for the success of the offshore recruitment model.
With the history of more than a decade of leading UK healthcare recruitment companies operating from Ahmedabad clubbed with multiple factors such as frequent visits of the UK citizens for exploring the outsourcing option, training, attending annual events, etc. have positively impacted the UK healthcare recruiting professionals in Ahmedabad, India.
Institutions like the UK India Business Council (UKIBC) play a vital role in developing the connect. The UK India Business Council supports UK businesses with the insights, networks, policy advocacy, services, and facilities needed to succeed in India.
From following the etiquettes such as “Thank you’s” and “Pleases” to small talk about weather, curry, understanding the dry sarcasm and British humour, and voicing the opinions about the process, Ahmedabad based Healthcare Recruiters demonstrate high affinity towards the UK.
Apart from brushing up their listening and English language skills watching the BBC, many of them will have also viewed Coronation Street, In Betweeners and Monty Python as a part of their training.
Local Affinity and Language – The UK Healthcare Workforce Connection
Although Gujarati is a local language of the state, most speak at least three languages, i.e. Gujarati, Hindi (National language) and English. As per statistics from Wikipedia, there are circa 600,000 Gujarati’s in the UK.
As per details mentioned by BAPIO, there are circa 50,000 Doctors of Indian subcontinental origin in the UK. Working with the UK healthcare industry becomes more convenient due to the affinity of local language and culture of healthcare workers. When you talk to the locals in their language, you understand their needs. A statement that stands right in this case and scenario.
Especially when the Doctor is of Indian subcontinent origin, many Healthcare Recruiters I know from the past have been hosted by their Doctors when the Recruiter visited the UK. Some also been sent gifts on essential life occasions like wedding and birthdays. Of course, the Ahmedabad based Healthcare Recruiters helped Locum Doctors and Nurses help them grow from the time they merely worked as an SHO or a trainee, respectively.
RELATED: 5 REASONS HEALTHCARE RECRUITMENT COMPANIES SETUP OFFSHORE RECRUITMENT TEAMS
So, What Tasks And Functions Do The UK Healthcare Recruitment Agencies Have Their Offshore Recruitment Teams Work On?
To put it simply, any task that does not require a warm handshake.
- Sales/Booking Shifts
- Reference chasing / Pre-Employment Screening
- Candidate Generation
- Database Generation
- Making service calls
- Checking candidate availability
- Booking training and interviews for Nurses
- Out of Hours Cover
- Job inputting on the applicant tracking system
- CV Formatting
- Social Media Management
- IT Services
- International recruitment
Depending on the requirement, the UK healthcare recruitment agency offshores relevant task, function. Many take the safest route of starting with the most simple task such as database regeneration, that adds direct value to their active workforce to improve fill rate.
Time Difference and Work Hours
There is a 4.5- and 5.5-hours’ time difference between the UK and India considering the daylight-saving time, respectively. India is 4.5-hours ahead of the UK.
Ahmedabad has been home to the outsourcing industry for over twenty years. Ahmedabad professionals are flexible with working different shifts depending on the client requirement, i.e. healthcare recruitment agency. Most healthcare recruiters work 9.5 hours shift, i.e. 8 am UK time (12.30 pm Indian time) to 5.30 pm UK time (10 pm Indian time). There are healthcare recruiters that also cover the out of hours, generally covering from 4 pm UK time (8.30 pm Indian time) onwards depending on the cover required by the healthcare recruiting agency.
Given the nature of the healthcare recruitment industry, Ahmedabad Healthcare Recruiters also work weekends to due to increased candidate contact ratio. Covering weekends results into improvement in the generating availability, number of compliant candidates and booking more shifts. The offshore recruitment model can deliver a 24 x 7 x 365 days cover.
With solid work ethics, access to experienced healthcare recruiters and thousands of well-spoken graduates with impeccable English communication skills, Ahmedabad serves as one of the best places for the UK healthcare recruitment companies to expand their teams.
From partnering with offshore recruitment companies to setting own centres, Ahmedabad has a state of art infrastructure that is as good as any other global city.
There are direct flights from London to Ahmedabad and multiple options to fly via other Indian cities like Mumbai, Delhi, and global connections from Dubai, Qatar, etc.
The offshore recruitment model is not just about capitalising on the cost arbitrage. Still, factors such as understanding about the industry sector, availability of skilled talent, process, staff retention, etc. matter to make this a successful part of growth strategy. Ahmedabad has this all. Yet to explore the offshore recruitment model, why not trial it?.
I will end the blog with a quote from a famous advertising campaign about our state, Gujarat. “Kuch Din To Gujaro Gujarat Me” – meaning, “Spend a Few Days in Gujarat.”