Implementing the ESR Applicant Dashboard - Improving the Applicant Experience at Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust.

With a vision to be the recognised leader in healthcare for women, babies and their families, Liverpool Women's NHS Foundation Trust delivers the highest standards of care.

Each year we deliver over 7,500 babies, carry out over 49,000 gynaecological inpatient and outpatient procedures, care for over 1,000 poorly & preterm new-borns, perform around 1,000 IVF cycles and have over 4,000 genetic appointments taking place. We believe that this, along with a strong dedication to research & innovation makes us the specialist health provider of choice in Europe for women, babies, and families.

Embarking upon our Applicant Dashboard Journey

Our Challenge

Janet Hinde, Workforce Information & Systems Manager, said:

We know that the onboarding experience is critical to the induction process.  It is about early engagement and evidence demonstrates the best experience for staff and the Trust is that this process commences before the new staff member starts their first day at work.  This is a gap for many organisations and one our Trust was committed to improve.  We were committed to provide a gateway and solid foundation to our employee journey.

We have been working in partnership with colleagues from the NHS Business Services Authority ESR Service Team to improve our use of the ESR solution and the experience of our workforce when using ESR.

 Previous projects have included:

  • Improving our Education & Training Data Quality;
  • Improving the Learning Experience for our employees;
  • Introduction of a virtual Induction via ESR;
  • Accurate Statutory & Mandatory training reporting.

The Trust has a clear ambition to drive improvements through ESR and have one centralised system for recording and reporting – one version of the truth. It was proving difficult to build momentum, and without accurate and complete records it would be difficult to raise the levels of confidence we needed to drive the engagement.

The implementation of the Applicant Dashboard was always part of our road map, but we needed to prioritise previous projects for the reason set out above.

A further challenge to implementing the Applicant Dashboard concerned the fact that our Recruitment Service is outsourced. It was important that clear collaboration was needed with our recruitment provider and internal stakeholders.

Our Approach

We set out a clear vision as to what we wanted our Applicant Dashboard to look like and mapped out all the components we believed would give the Applicant the best experience of joining our Trust.  We were aware of the flexibility within the ESR Applicant Dashboard of what could be included - so we set out clear objectives on what we wanted to achieve.

Some of these Objectives included:

  • Improve the onboarding experience for our new Applicants;
  • Ensure all the information applicants needed was in one place;
  • Speed up time to hire for all new starters.

Our Action Plan

We liaised closely with our recruitment provider as we knew some of our current processes would have to be amended, e.g., the offer letter had to be amended to ensure we were asking new applicants to reset their own password when first logging into ESR.

We had agreement, from the applicants, that we could hold their personal email address within ESR.

We gave ourselves enough time to build the Applicant Dashboard, learning from other Organisations and working closely with our NHSBSA ESR Implementation Advisors.

This was socialised within the Trust and sense checked with our ward managers at the regular meetings we have with them.


Pre onboarding process is the most crucial part of an employee's journey that shapes an employees' outlook towards their roles, responsibilities, and work culture. As a Trust, we have expectations of new recruits and the role they will hold; new employees also, in turn, will have high expectations when joining our Trust.  Our Applicant Dashboard provides a range of information including a video message from our CEO and Executive team to welcome them, access to Trust wide and local information, staff handbook, the opportunity to complete mandatory training if they wish to do so, and much more.

The ESR Applicant Dashboard helps both the employer and employee to shorten the learning curve, begins to facilitate understanding of some of the important information and goals, promotes the open communication up, down and across the organisation. This helps to reduce some of the stress when starting a new role.

Liverpool Women\'s Applicant Dashboard


During the month of December 2022, from the 43 applicants being sent their ESR log in information, 20 applicants logged onto the dashboard with 104 separate interactions.  This proves that the landing pages are useful and starting to become embedded into the recruitment onboarding experience for our new starters.

Whilst we have achieved much, there is still more to do. This includes a plan to expand on the Applicant Dashboard landing page to include information to support our international applicants; this will give them valuable information prior to coming to the UK and while settling into life in our region.

Janet Hinde added:

We remain focussed on our original challenges and in finding new and improved ways to capture, record and report accurately through ESR.  We firmly believe that having accurate data available, in a timely manner, will support the ongoing drive within the Trust to improve data that will ultimately lead to employee satisfaction and excellent patient service.

Commenting on the success of the implementation of the Applicant Dashboard, Rachel London, Deputy Director of Workforce, said:

The Applicant Dashboard has been a fantastic addition to the onboarding experiences for new starters at LWH. The recruitment process can be an uncertain time and it is a great benefit to be able to point candidates to the dashboard where they can access useful information about the Trust, their own department and familiarise themselves with key information and policies. It presents a positive and welcoming ‘face’ of LWH to candidates and will contribute to minimising drop-out rates. It is also a great benefit that candidates can complete their mandatory training before they start their role to ensure they have the right skills and experience to hit the ground running.

For more Information

For further information please contact: Janet Hinde, Workforce Information & Systems Manager  

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