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Human Resources Role

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In the article How to Build a Strong Human Resources Partner author Derek Carissimi (2006) talks about how human resources are managers of the people function and they deserve recognition as a business and strategic partner and not less than, but must step up and prove its understanding and connection to the business. The building blocks of a strong human resources function are (1) aggressive recruitment, (2) education; (3) communication and (4) recognition.

Aggressive recruitment today has boldly changed from the past. Recruitment strategies include an in-depth analysis of staffing needs in the future and are done by job classification. It needs to include anticipated turnover, retirement, growth of service lines, population growth, geographic shift of key competitors and future plans of the government. This tool can then be utilized to attract candidates by using on-line methodologies to recruit as well as cold-calling, direct mailings, recruitment events, employee referrals, internal career mobility programs and targeted professional journals. Recruitment must filter out to all managers who need to have an interest in keeping a low vacancy rate which can be used as an incentive to part of their performance measurements and pay adjustment. The goal is to hire valuable employees and keeping them.

Encourage employees to continuing their education by offering a reimbursement programs, salary increases for certifications and adjustment for earning a degree. Offer opportunities to participate in workshops, presenting at conferences and mentoring programs. These opportunities are proven to be invaluable to the employee as well as the company and little cost is involved.

Human resources should be the center for employee communication. It should happen early and often. Communication is essential for creating a loyal workforce. Communication needs to be open, honest, truthful, frequent and divulge as much as possible. It should be a give and take situation through newsletters, open meetings, opinion survey, open-door policies and information centers. This process will be easiest for an organization that trusts their employees as stakeholders in the business. It is the responsibility of human resources to keep the ongoing communication a solid two-way path by building a good foundation for effective communication.

Lastly, to build strong human resources function is an organized employee recognition program. Recognition programs must be long and short term as well as individual versus event-oriented and integrated into the traditions of the organization. The objectives for a recognition program are to build longevity with each employee, promote strong supervisor-employee relationships, encourage employees to add to solutions, let employees know they are important to the organization's success, and address issues before they become major problems. A proper recognition program needs to be organized, regular, in writing and measurable. It must also permit instant gratification every minute of every day and must allow for employee peer recognition.

In my opinion, organizations are starting to appreciate employees more and realize they are the best quality of the company. There are still staffing shortages, employee turn over costs are high, and the coverage of employee related lawsuits elevated. Yet not enough businesses are giving human resources the same status and importance to finance, marketing, medical affairs and patient services. Human resources now must step up to the plate and become equal business and strategic partners by being the advocate to the hub of the organization.

The organization I work for has an active aggressive and successful recruitment strategy. They maximize their budget dollars with on-line resume mining, application tracking, on-line applications and direct messaging to target applicants. They make an effort to find out why employees leave the organization with an in-depth exit program. The referral program

offers a monetary incentive for all employees to assist in recruiting.

The tuition reimbursement program offered to employees at SunHealth is invaluable. I have only been with the organization a few months and the incredible opportunity to participate in this Masters of Science in Leadership program to include tuition reimbursement, direct bill to the university and onsite classroom is unthinkable at most organizations. I believe more companies are realizing the value and importance this benefit is to applicants researching their options to join an organization that offers it to employees upon hire.

SunHealth has some excellent tools in place for communication with their employees. They establish



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