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Business Challenges
National Landscape

Operational Alignment

In order to maximise the benefits to your organisation, it's essential you align your operational processes with recommended best practice, and with your overall expectations from the ESR solution. The information below provides you with a high level overview of the ESR functionality which is relevant to providing an effective recruitment service using ESR.

+ Recruitment Administration and eRecruitment Interface

ESR enables a streamlined recruitment process – from the identification of the initial vacancy through to the selection of suitable applicants to an offer being made to the successful candidate. The data that is captured during this process creates and builds the Employee Record.

The recruitment module integrates with the online NHS Jobs service already in use in 95% of NHS organisations, and with other e-Recruitment systems. Vacancies can be transferred from ESR to the e-Recruitment system, where applicants can be short-listed and their details then transferred back to ESR, thereby removing the need for the duplication of data entry including matches to existing staff/internal applications. The module also integrates with Deanery systems via the Junior Doctor Interface to facilitate the junior doctors in training rotation programmes, thus ensuring a more streamlined approach to recruitment and quicker timescales from start-date to practice.

To support the employment checking process the Standard Reference Request feature in ESR enables the IAT initiator to opt for the inclusion of a reference request as a part of the Inter Authority Transfer (IAT) process.

+ ESR HR Best Practice

Back office improvements in productivity and efficiency can be realised by using ESR best practice processes. Underpinning ESR best practice is the timely population of high quality and validated data at the point of entry. This enables accurate management information to be available across NHS organisations to support business planning and decision making. Fundamental to this principle is the embedding of Self Service for managers and employers, ensuring information is entered in as efficient manner as possible and helping reduce paper based process within organisations.

Furthermore, in light of the publication of the Carter Recommendations (2016), organisations will be required to focus on all aspects of the use of data in their daily management of staff. It is our belief that ESR can support information provision to give timely information in key areas, allow analysis and identify trends, and deliver training and identify gaps in workforce training needs. It is crucial therefore that ESR functionality is utilised and that accurate data is entered into ESR using the recommended HR Best Practice.

HR best practice use of ESR can be found in the document ESR-NHS0078 - HR Best Practice Guide, located on Kbase. The guide details the best practice approach to managing the recruitment and HR processes using the ESR system, including:

  • Establishment Control
  • Recruitment processes including use of third party e-recruitment systems
  • Inter Authority Transfer (IAT) process and data transfer
  • New starter process
  • Changes to records
  • Internal leaver processes
  • Terminations
  • Re-Hires
  • Business Intelligence reports
  • Data standards
  • Interfaces

+ Junior Doctors Interface

ESR's Junior Doctors interface has a direct link with the new Trainee Information System (TIS), used to facilitate the Junior Doctors in training rotation programmes. The Junior Doctors Interface supports the Doctors in Training (DiT) Streamlining programme and its principles for a perfect process.

Benefits include:

  • Reduced administrative burden on the NHS organisation and the junior doctor in entering and transferring recruitment and updated employee data
  • Facilitates the sharing of information for Medical Trainees with both ‘lead’ and ‘host’ employers
  • NHS organisations are made aware of the incoming and outgoing junior doctor much quicker (both for rotations and for recruitment)
  • Enables preparatory employment checks to be undertaken in a more efficient manner, such as the early running of the pre-employment Inter Authority Transfer (IAT) process
  • Improved data consistency and potential improvements on data quality within both ESR and the HEE local office/Deanery systems
  • Consistent local and national reporting via ESR Business Intelligence (BI) reporting tool, the ESR Data Warehouse, and also HEE Local Office/Deanery System reports
  • Improved morale in junior doctors as they do not have to complete the same degree of new starter information each time they move to a new employing organisation
  • Improved working relations between the NHS organisations and the HEE local office/Deanery organisations, as the two organisations will be able to share the workload of updating relevant employee data

+ Inter Authority Transfer (IAT)

Inter Authority Transfer (IAT) is a unique and automated ESR process that removes the manual procedures associated with NHS Staff Transfer Forms and reduces the data entry needed following the appointment of staff from other NHS organisations.  It is also a fundamental enabler for the National Streamlining Programme, including Doctors in Training (DiT) and the Mandatory and Statutory Training Project (MaST).

Running the IAT at the pre-hire recruitment stage should form part of your standard recruitment process for both general and medical recruitment. As part of this process a specific set of data is provided as followed:

  • Recruitment Team will receive vital information required for the production and issue of contracts, which would otherwise be required from the employee directly. This includes a full NHS service history where ESR has been used fully by previous NHS employers.  A factual reference can also be requested at this stage.
  • Learning & Development will receive current training competences, enabling only the required training to be completed prior to or on induction.
  • The Occupation Health Team will receive the applicants Vaccinations and Immunisations record prior to starting, removing the need to repeat checks unnecessarily. They can also directly inform the Recruitment Team through the system, once OH checks have been completed and clearance given.

+ Occupational Health Data Flow

The Occupational Health module records immunisations, checks and health clearance for applicants and employees. The immunisations and checks can then transfer from one NHS organisation to another via the pre-employment Inter Authority Transfer (IAT) process. This portable data negates the need for NHS organisations to carry out duplicate checks or inoculations for employees transferring within the NHS.

As many organisations use third party Occupational Health (OH) systems to manage OH processes - with functionality beyond the scope of ESR's OH capability, there is an interface that enables ESR and OH systems to share employee and OH information, which enables the flow of pre-employment OH data.

+ Establishment Control

Effective Establishment Control, along with good workstructures management ensures your organisation’ position hierarchy in ESR is reconciled with the general ledger and critically, the Full Time Equivalent (FTE) values are routinely maintained in synchronicity. This in turn ensures appointments are only made to an established post with funding and an authorisation to recruit. Good workstructures management is not only essential for managing your workforce establishment, but is also an important part of ensuring data quality to enable you to provide effective workforce reporting at local and national levels.

FTE costing data held against the workforce positions as set-up in ESR can provide valuable information for organisations that are proactively managing their workforce requirements and associated staffing costs. Full utilisation of Establishment Control mechanism in ESR, as recommended by the Carter review, can significantly reduce the time that organisations spend reconciling their financial ledger with ESR whilst providing greater integrity of the recruitment process.

Benefits:

  • Ability to monitor and report on vacancies accurately through the use of Establishment Control through ESR BI, providing quick and easy identification of the true vacancy rate.
  • Can prevent over recruiting
  • The accurate maintenance of ESR workstructures allows other areas of ESR to be correctly reported and processed, such as sickness reporting and competency requirements
  • Employees will always report into the right cost centres with correct procedures in place

+ ESR Notifications

ESR notifications are part of the internal messaging/workflow system within ESR, which can be accessed via the ESR portal. There are a wide range of notifications for employees and managers via Self Service that aim to provide key useful information direct to the user to help them manage their record, or to assist the manager in managing their team.

As well as notifications to employee and managers, the system has a plethora of role-based notifications available to line managers and back office teams to support internal processes and to help maintain the ESR system and its data.

There are 4 ways a notification is generated:

  • System generated notification for information or action to employee or manager
  • System generated notification for information or action to a role holder
  • Notification generated by an action performed by employee or manager
  • Notification generated by an action performed by an ESR professional user i.e. HR, payroll etc.

Some ESR notifications have the ability to be delivered directly to a user’s email account. The notifications that can be sent by email are covered in the document ESR-NHS0252 ESR Email Notifications. There is the ability within some emails to approve, reject or request more information as long as your organisation is using NHS.net or has an NHS Digital accredited email server. There are two levels of email capability dependent on email domain security:

  • Approval and summary emails – available to NHS.net and other approved secure domains
  • Summary email - other email domains outside an approved list

For further information on workflow notifications, please refer to the ESR-NHS0060 Workflow Notifications Guide available in Kbase.

+ Self Service for Applicants

The deployment of Self Service at a pre-hire stage for applicants enables you to empower your applicants to manage their own e-Learning prior to their start date. ESR can generate an ESR user account automatically at ‘Offer Accepted’ stage in the recruitment process. Once generated the applicant can access ESR to view planned classroom training and to enrol or undertake required training at their convenience as an applicant, thus enabling the applicants to work towards training compliance prior to their start date, thereby streamlining the on-boarding process.

+ Oracle Learning Management (OLM) and Competencies

The Oracle Learning Management (OLM) functionality in ESR provides comprehensive control of all the activities associated with the learning and development of your NHS staff. This includes the administration of available learning e.g. classroom based and e-Learning courses, and the recording and monitoring of learning achieved or in progress for individuals. It includes a full suite of dashboards and reports using ESR Business Intelligence (BI).

Utilising OLM together with the competences functionality; Career Management, affords you with the ability to link learning to national competence frameworks or locally set competencies, together with the facility to apply the requirement for these competences to your employees based on the needs of their role, thus providing you with an invaluable workforce learning compliance tool.  Compliance information is generated and available to your employees and managers through the portal, and at organisational level through the Business Intelligence (BI) tool. The use of national mandatory competencies in ESR can help to facilitate a reduction in training and the duplication of training, that staff are required to complete when moving from one NHS organisation to another. This information is transferred using the Inter Authority Transfer (IAT) process, which aids the streamlined transfer of staff information across the NHS. 

The use of Competency Requirements at your organisation would enable Learning & Development, Recruitment and an applicant accessing via Employee Self Service, to instantly know what training has been completed and when it expires, and importantly what training is outstanding.

Benefits include:

  • E-Learning can be completed anywhere and at any time through the ESR Self Service functionality
  • OLM supports a blended approach to learning with organisations able to offer in one place, e-Learning and classroom based learning
  • Over 800 freely nationally approved, quality assured and centrally maintained e-Learning content as well as access to locally procured or created e-Learning available to play on PCs and mobile devices
  • Associate competencies with learning to automatically enrol employees onto learning and update their employee records on successful completion
  • Automatic notifications and emails to remind staff and managers when learning needs to be renewed
  • Certifications enable staff to view the status of their compliance based learning and see if and when it needs to be renewed
  • National competence frameworks including the Core Skills Training Framework (CSTF), Care Certificate Framework (CCF) and an agreed set of Statutory and Mandatory competence labels (MAND) to support monitoring of compliance levels against statutory and mandatory training
  • Reduction in staff undertaking unnecessary duplicate learning when transferred using the Inter Authority Transfer (IAT) process
  • Reports enable the demonstration of achievement and compliance for all staff within the organisation
  • Creation of tests to assess learner understanding, and to provide valuable feedback on whether business goals and workforce objectives are being served

+ Business Intelligence (BI) Dashboards and Reports

ESR Business Intelligence (ESR BI) transforms your ESR data into visually relevant and appealing dashboards, accessible on desktops or mobile devices.  It contains a full suite of standard reports across the full range of functionality that ESR provides; enabling processes to be monitored and provides an opportunity to empower management with valuable workforce intelligence in a variety of forms to suit the user. It offers detailed business insight for managers to monitor their teams while directors, and senior managers and leadership teams get an effective overview of the entire organisation, allowing them to plan for future business development.

ESR BI can also be used to produce integrated reports with specific data from other systems, and bespoke reports can be uploaded to the ESR Portal, to ensure that the target audience has quick access to information. Benchmarking and alerting are also key parts of ESR BI enabling the ability to target users and encourage prompt action where required.

Benefits include:

  • A suite of standard dashboards easily accessible thus reducing the reliance on centralised reporting
  • Interactive dashboards allowing users to delve deeper behind the graphs to see the data that sits behind them, thus saving time from producing data in more than one level
  • Easy to use standard dashboards resulting in less time spent educating users
  • Greater understanding of data and workforce requirements at source
  • Improved timeliness of reports resulting in less time spent waiting for reports to complete
  • Reports can be exported into many different formats including PDF & Excel
  • Improved data quality and accuracy
  • Ownership of data at source

+ ESR Portal Dashboards

Workforce information is available through the ESR Portal and its associated Dashboards to your managers and your back office functions, providing an opportunity to empower management with valuable workforce intelligence in a variety of forms to suit the user. It offers detailed business insight for managers to monitor their teams while directors, and senior managers and leadership teams get an effective overview of the entire organisation, allowing them to plan for future business development.

ESR BI can also be used to produce integrated reports with specific data from other systems, and bespoke reports can be uploaded to the ESR Portal, to ensure that the target audience has quick access to information. Benchmarking and alerting are also key parts of ESR BI enabling the ability to target users and encourage prompt action where required.

Benefits include:

  • Manager dashboard with direct links to these areas and the ESR BI reports directly from the Portlets, thus reducing the reliance on centralised reporting
  • Interactive dashboards allowing users to delve deeper behind the graphs to see the data that sits behind them, thus saving time from producing data in more than one level
  • Greater understanding of data and workforce requirements at source
  • Empower your managers to have greater control of their workforce data and targets
  • Improved timeliness of reports resulting in less time spent waiting for reports to complete
  • Reports can be exported into many different formats including PDF & Excel
  • Ownership of data at source
  • View key performance indicators for absence, compliance, and appraisals and the ability to access key career information about their employees through the Talent Profile with the ability to produce PDF reports

+ Core and Non-Core Interfaces

There are a number of core and non-core data interfaces available that maximise ESR recruitment capability. Core interfaces are used to communicate with other national systems and bodies including the General Medical Council (GMC), Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS).

ESR has a number of interfaces that are considered 'Non Core' and are available on a subscription basis to employing organisations. They are typically used to provide interface functionality with systems such as:

  • Rostering
  • Time and Attendance
  • Bank Administration
  • Occupational Health
  • Active Directory
  • Local Data Warehouse
  • Absence
  • Expenses
  • Shared Service Providers

Organisations considering implementing an interface with a third party system should, in the first instance, raise a Service Request for the attention of ESRNHSINT. Upon receipt of a service request, we will contact you to discuss your requirements, advise on appropriate interfaces and provide specifications.

For detailed functional information, case studies and implementation guides please click on the 'Resources' icon located at the bottom of the page under 'Latest Resources'.

To access key information and resources to support Operational Alignment click on the icons below

Business Challenges

  1. Are your recruitment activities putting you in a strong position to attract the workforce you need?

  2. Do you know where you recruit/attract applicants from?

  3. Do you have an understanding of your current organisation’s establishment, vacant positions, and approved vacancies?

  4. Has your organisation reconciled ESR to your financial ledger as per Carter’s Recommendation 12?

  5. Is your organisation actively involved with the regional/national streamlining programmes?

  6. How does your organisation record and monitor mandatory employment checks such as Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), Professional Registration, and Right to Work?

  7. How do you monitor mandatory employment checks once the applicant is an employee? Do you use the automation and interfaces in ESR to help you?

  8. Do you have sufficient information to enable you to proactively recruit in response to workforce trends and changes in service needs?

  9. Are you able to respond to Sustainability and Transformation Plans in your area, in relation to workforce needs to meet service demands for now and the future?

  10. Is your on-boarding process quick and efficient, getting your new recruits into the workplace as soon as possible?

  11. How do you ensure your new starters do not repeat mandatory training when moving to your organisation, if their training is still valid?

Latest Resources

To discuss the functionality available in ESR, to undertake an ESR Assessment on your current and potential usage, or for further information, advice and support please contact your local NHS ESR Functional Account Manager.