Enabling HUC to manage their employer brand


The Challenge:

As a rapidly growing community benefit organisation, HUC delivers high quality integrated healthcare services to over 3.5 million people across Hertfordshire, West Essex, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, as well as Luton and Bedfordshire.


Previously known as Herts Urgent Care, HUC as an NHS provider organisation faced some tough challenges in a highly competitive recruitment market:

  • Low brand/employer brand recognition that sets it apart from the NHS main brand
  • Skills shortages in key roles (e.g. call handlers, qualified nurses and paramedics) shared across the healthcare economy
  • The impact of Brexit and COVID-19 on their services and workforce

The HR, Recruitment and Marketing teams at HUC worked closely together – both seeing the benefits of identifying and articulating the Employee Value Proposition (EVP).

The Solution:

We facilitated a workshop with key stakeholders to set objectives, agree the scope of the project and to set up joined up ways of working.

We established a project team and by sharing responsibilities we were able to agree an affordable budget whilst developing a rigorous approach.

Jointly conducted research focused on a cross section of employees and competitors.

The insights informed an EVP Generation workshop where we developed some principles to underpin the EVP framework and an over-riding statement: DEDICATED TO WHAT WE DO. PASSIONATE ABOUT HOW WE DO IT.

There are five detailed pillars that support the EVP.

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The Result:

The EVP framework became the creative brief that led to the development of brand guidelines, a message framework, assets and templates, personas and a new careers site. The pillars are brought to life through a library of straplines and a ribbon-effect graphic device along with icon clusters help to make this brand unique. The project has also helped to build capabilities in the HUC team and included a training workshop to hone copy writing, channel selection and employer brand management skills.

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Deirdre Saliba, Head of HR and Insourcing

We could never have embarked on such a project without the support and patience of DW who helped us navigate through the project whilst our organisation was at the forefront of the COVID-19 response with very stretched resources. Whilst it is still early days, the results are beginning to come through in what is a very competitive marketplace. There are some roles which are attracting more candidates than others but interest has increased through our careers site, more direct enquiries and our LinkedIn community is growing.

We have more work to do to get our brand out there to the local communities we serve but we are confident that this will come with time.

Daniela Crouch, Head of Marketing and Communications

Dawson Walker were essential in helping our three teams work together to identify how to stand out as an NHS provider organisation in a very competitive market. Through workshops, research and weekly meetings, they have listened to us and developed powerful visuals and an impactful employer brand. Dawson Walker helping us pool our joint experience, has really boosted our external presence as well as our internal campaigns.

We will continue to evaluate our brand’s efficacy to ensure we attract the right candidates into our organisation, who will support our dedication to providing high-quality care to the communities we serve.

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