Innovations in Primary Care


Innovations In Primary Care is a not-for-profit collaboration of GP practices across West Sussex. Recruiter On Demand stepped in at a time of intense growth for the organisation, providing additional capacity and expertise across a range of clinical and administrative hires. Whilst managing specific vacancies, our experienced consultants also advised on the client’s recruitment processes. By introducing a best practice talent acquisition approach, recruitment at Innovations In Primary Care was transformed, encouraging the organisation to embrace an in-house recruitment model for good.


  • Non-centralised recruitment activity
  • Shortage of GP and clinical talent
  • Limited prior talent acquisition processes or knowledge


  • A new approach to creating candidate shortlists
  • Strong and collaborative client partnership
  • Proving a business case for in-house talent acquisition

Introducing our client, Innovations in Primary Care.

Innovations In Primary Care is a not-for-profit collaboration of GP practices offering training, patient services and practice support in West Sussex. The organisation has grown rapidly in recent years, scaling from 10 to 400 people. We spoke with CEO, Nick Houston to reflect on his experience working with Recruiter On Demand during a busy recruitment period. He explains how this experience brought to light the many benefits of a well-managed in-house talent acquisition team.

Easing the load of increasing recruitment demands.

Previous to Recruiter On Demand coming on board, The Innovations in Primary Care team had been managing recruitment within separate functional areas. As is often the case, a rising recruitment workload was increasingly pulling people’s time and attention away from their core roles. Facing a further ramp-up in recruitment levels, the time was right to seek some external support:

“We had a big rush of recruitment coming and Recruiter On Demand seemed like a good thing to try as a way of adding the extra time and skill that we needed.  We were also taking on a new type of recruitment. We were finding it difficult to fill those new specific roles, so we were hoping they’d be able to help us with them as well.”

~Nick Houston, CEO, Innovations In Primary Care

A straightforward approach to increasing recruitment capabilities.

Recruiter On Demand’s straightforward pricing model compared favourably with a local staffing agency who would have charged a percentage of the post-holders salary for the full year. The client was also keen to take a progressive leap forward in the way the organisation approached recruitment. After an initial conversation with Recruiter On Demand, Nik and his team were confident they’d benefit from our collaborative approach:

“Recruiter On Demand were engaging and listened well from the start. They appeared to have some expertise that we didn’t and were genuinely interested in our company”

~ Nick Houston, CEO, Innovations in Primary Care

Initially, Recruiter On Demand stepped in to manage 7 vacancies including administrative roles and specialist clinical positions.

Benefitting from talent acquisition expertise from day one.

As with all new client relationships, a kick-off meeting helped Recruiter On Demand’s consultants to really understand the business and the industry we would be hiring within. The client appreciated our flexibility and the value of our team’s expertise from day one:

“It was more collaborative than any of our personal prior experience working with an agency. There was a process that we agreed together as opposed to this is what we offer.”

~ Nick Houston, CEO, Innovations in Primary Care

Without having a well-established talent acquisition function at the time, this was Innovation In Primary Care’s opportunity to learn about the best sourcing, shortlisting and onboarding approaches. The client was entirely open to leaning on our experienced consultants to enable them to bring on board the best hires

“We wanted to be involved in the process and the decision-making around the successful candidates, but we wanted Recruiter On Demand to use their experience to go about that in the best way” ~Nick Houston, CEO, Innovations in Primary Care.

A successful trial grew into a trusted supplier partnership.

Prior to bringing an external partner on board, Innovations in Primary Care had reviewed a year’s worth of recruitment activity to understand their performance against key metrics. Our objectives were clear.

For the recruitment of clinician pharmacists across a number of recruitment runs, we doubled the number of applicants per post. Across non-clinical roles, we increased the average number of applications fourfold. We then supported the business with effective shortlisting activities to enable them to bring on board the best hires.

“The single biggest difference and improvement that we still continue doing ourselves now is the screening phone calls. We saw that being done very well and that’s what made a difference to the successful campaigns, getting the right people to interview and having more candidates accepting the offers. The pre-screening phone calls were the biggest improvement that they brought us”

~Nick Houston, CEO, Innovations in Primary Care. 


Having then satisfied the organisation that Recruiter On Demand’s approach was delivering good results, we continued working with Innovations in Primary Care on a host of new vacancies. As we continued working together, the client continued to appreciate the collaborative partnership with the Recruiter On Demand team.

“What I like most is their collaborative approach. They were always willing to bring their expertise and listen to what our needs were and how our needs changed.” ~ Nick Houston, CEO, Innovations in Primary Care

Won over by the benefits of in-house talent acquisition.

Reflecting on the experience working with Recruiter On Demand, Nick explains the value the organisation gained from the introduction of an excellent pre-screening process and knowledge of how and where to advertise vacancies. Working closely with our experienced consultants throughout helped our client to upskill their own team and build their confidence to manage a similar function themselves. 

Thanks to a successful and enlightening experience working with our team, Innovations in Primary Care made the decision to hire a full-time in-house recruitment manager. They’ve retained some of the working practices learnt from our team and we’re delighted to see that our client has been won over by the enormous benefits of running a talent acquisition function in-house.

We’re also thrilled to have received referrals from Nick for businesses that he thinks may be on a similar trajectory.

“I have recommended Recruiter On Demand 3 times to smaller companies around us and I will continue to do so. Because when we were smaller they made the difference and I know they’re cost-effective.”

~ Nick Houston, CEO, Innovations in Primary Care.

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