The human resources of an organization require effective management to achieve organizational goals. There are six interconnected management areas, which are planning, recruiting, selecting, training and development, utilizing and rewarding (Greer, 2000; Arthur, 2001). Business organizations need to focus on all these areas by enhancing areas of strength and addressing areas of weakness. Doing so is imperative for all types of business firms, including healthcare organizations because of the implications on service delivery to patients.
Riverside Community Hospital in Riverside California is a comprehensive healthcare institution with more than a century of experience in servicing Riverside. It has clustered its medical expertise into six key services, which are cancer treatment and research, emergency/trauma services, heart care services, specialty services, transplant services, and women and pediatric care services. (Riverside Community Hospital, 2009)
Effective delivery of these key areas depends on its pool of healthcare personnel. As an employee of Riverside Community Hospital, human resource management is good but there is an area for improvement to ensure the optimization of the people management objectives.
Riverside Community Hospital implements recruitment best. The hospital applies two methods of recruitment. The hospital established partnership with nursing schools for the hospital care exposure of nursing students and absorption of graduating nursing students. The partnership agreement allows the hospital to participate in the learning experience of nursing students by providing venue for actual healthcare experience. In exchange, its nursing school partners allow the hospital to recruit nurses from new graduates satisfactorily meeting all requirements for practice.
The hospital is able to recruit nurses from nursing schools by providing student nurses with an orientation not only of actual healthcare service delivery but also of the human resource practices of the hospital. With nurses working alongside hospital staff, they experience the positive working atmosphere (Buchan, 2004) and influence their decision to work at the hospital. Recruitment from schools works through a contract requiring nurses to work at the hospital for 2 or 3 years.
Most nurses recruited continue employment after completing the mandatory period of employment in the contract. However, even this method is not sufficient to meet its recruitment needs. The hospital also recruits personnel from outside the country using direct recruitment or recruitment agencies.
The success of its recruitment rests on two strengths. One is the recruitment preparation or planning based on assessments of its current and future human resource needs (Chopra et al., 2008). Partnership with schools is a long-term recruitment investment as well as a way of ensuring that the people recruited are capable of doing the job. The other is a strong incentive system based on reward for merit and development of a good working environment for personnel (Buchan, 2004).
The weakness of Riverside Community Hospital is utilization. This issue manifests in work assignment that does not provide healthcare personnel with the optimum opportunity for knowledge and skills building (Chopra et al., 2008) to support better performance and career development. There are registered nurses and nursing assistants with distinct and standard tasks. However, in practice, registered nurses end up doing the work of nursing assistants since the nursing assistants end up babysitting psychiatric patients.
Implementing the work assignments strictly would be a solution. By doing this, both RNs and nursing assistants face the optimum opportunity to handle various tasks to ensure continuous learning and skills building (Buchan, 2004; Chopra et al., 2008) that in turn support motivation and job satisfaction (Greer, 2000; Arthur, 2001).
Effective people management that draws strength from all the six areas of management ensures the achievement of targeted efficiency and performance outcomes. If Riverside Community Hospital further enhances its area of strength and addresses its area of weakness, it would have much better HRM outcomes.
Arthur, D. (2001). The employee recruitment and retention handbook. New York: AMACOM.
Buchan, J. (2004). What difference does (“good”) HRM make?. Human Resources for Health, 2, 6.
Chopra, M., Munro, S., Lavis, J.N., Vist, G., & Bennett, S. (2008). Effects of policy options for human resources for health: Analysis of systematic reviews. Lancet, 371, 668-74.
Greer, C. R. (2000). Strategic human resource management: A general managerial approach (2nd ed.). New York: Prentice Hall.
Riverside Community Hospital. (2009). Key services. Retrieved April 30, 2009, from http://www.rchc.org/