Talking Point

‘Someone like me’ – supporting a Mental Health Trust to recruit staff

Hear from Cheryl Campsie, Associate Director, reflect on work with Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust to develop a brand repositioning campaign to support their recruitment and retention priorities.

It is well known that the NHS is struggling to recruit and retain staff to meet the unprecedented demand for its services. This is particularly true in mental health where pressure on the service has grown significantly since the pandemic.

So, it’s a privilege to be working with Barnet Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust (BEH) to develop a brand repositioning campaign to support their recruitment and retention priorities.

Audience research identified the organisation’s diversity as a key strength and point of difference that would appeal to candidates. This diversity was distilled into a vibrant brand called, ‘Someone like me’.

We know the power of looking into an organisation you want to work in, and being able to say, “I’ve seen ‘Someone like me’”.

We ensured service users and staff (#teamBEH) were at the heart of the campaign from planning through to implementation. This included research, campaign development and testing and feature on posters, leaflets and in case studies and videos.

We rebranded the “work for us” section of the Trust website. So, when potential candidates look for roles, they see engaging stories and vibrant imagery. 

The campaign launched on World Mental Health Day on 10 October 2022 via social media. Specialist media also covered the campaign, including Nursing Times, Nursing Standard and the Health Service Journal.  We also created a powerful new animation telling a positive story about a career at BEH.

Since the launch in May 2022 there has been a significant reduction in staff vacancies, far exceeding BEH expectations given the recruitment challenges facing the whole of the NHS and BEH.

In addition, it has been a great joy to hear people at all levels in the Trust talk about feeling proud to be involved in the campaign, wanting to support it and indeed asking for more assistance in their areas.

So recently, it was fantastic to be asked to extend the campaign and shine a light on the BEH Specialist Services division. The division cares for people in secure hospitals and prisons and has, historically, struggled to recruit in this area of mental health care. Our aim was to challenge preconceptions. 

The Specialist Services campaign was led by engaging stories of staff working in the inpatient and prison mental health team, leading to interest from more than 240 potential candidates. We shared more than 170 posts on social media, achieving 1.2k reactions with an average engagement of over 5.34%.

Over the course of the campaign, we have attracted more than 400 potential candidates to recruitment events, delivered comprehensive social media campaigns and gained advocacy and amplification from a wide range of stakeholders – from professional bodies to local councils, mental health charities and universities

To find out more, follow BEH on LinkedIn and Twitter, read case studies on the website and watch the animation that tells the story of BEH.  

Can PPC help address your brand, communication or recruitment and retention challenges? Please contact as we would love to help you attract more staff and lower your vacancy rates.

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