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2011 Plan of Attack

February 15

It is hard to believe that 2010 will be over in a month and we will enjoy the Holiday Season and head into a brand new year. What will 2011 bring to all of us that live and breathe human resources? We absolutely have our work cut out for us, and as a focus for 2011, I thought perhaps it made sense to share a "to do" list for all health care HR professionals. Although there are variances, these 11 ideas should give you a great place to start in 2011.

  1. Know where you are! Before beginning a new year and thinking about strategic objectives and recruitment planning, make sure you have a good sense of where the organization is today and what nuances might occur during 2011. This means considering all new products and services that are being discussed, the possibility of rising turnover, retirements on the horizon, factors relating to competition in the local area, workforce planning data and any other focus that may relate to the overall recruitment needs for human capital.
  2. Take time to re-evaluate your overall recruitment strategy. Make sure the items are driven by data, be open to new things and only do what works! Although it might be easier to do the same old thing, it won't bring the best return on investment like a dedicated strategic plan will.
  3. Evaluate your onboarding program — or lack of. Once a new hire says, "I do", it is important to continue recruiting them and making sure their tenure at the organization is a positive one. From the days between offer acceptance to start date, there are many steps that can be streamlined for the new hire. With an appropriate onboarding website, routine paperwork can be done prior to orientation, physicals scheduled online and all directions for name badges, time cards, parking, schedules and other necessary information can be housed in one place. Easily accessible, user friendly and less time consuming — it all makes sense for the new hire. An onboarding program should continue though the first year by adding a new hire questionnaire, employee engagement survey at 6 months and then a personal meeting or survey at the end of the first year. Making sure the new hire is onboarded with personal attention adds to employee retention and, thus, a better ROI for your recruitment efforts and continuity of care for patients.
  4. Social networking continues to be a segment of every recruiter's tool kit. If you are just getting started, choose one site and do a good job. Keep it fresh, dialogue in a timely manner and share pertinent information about your jobs. Have your social policy in place and add to your network over time.
  5. Analyze your contingent staffing usage and costs as the use of these firms is definitely on the rise. Structure your policies to include limits on repeaters and other issues that might affect morale of your core staff.
  6. Recruiter training has become another important focus for HR success. As competencies change, make sure you and your staff are upgraded, educated and challenged to meet the needs of the new recruitment arena. Recruitment is a new profession compared to 10 years ago and the recruiters need to be in step with the times.
  7. Sourcing should be part of every recruiter's day. If you or your staff aren't sure where to start, reach out for assistance as there are plenty of people that can share their expertise on how to source, blog and use social and other avenues for finding good candidates.
  8. Metrics are an important function in HR and often are the main focus for "C" level reporting. Make sure you keep the metrics that make sense and drive outcomes. Forget some of the old standbys and learn from cutting edge methods such as www.leanhumancapital.com or www.staffing.org.
  9. The candidate experience, both online and offline, is an important focus for any HR department leader. If you have never applied for a job on your own site, please try it. Go in as a candidate would and search for your jobs, look for benefit info and other information that would be important to you. Do the departments and job titles make sense? How long is the application process? Are the questions legal? What kind of response did you receive? What is the process for internal transfers? In addition to the online process, the personal experiences during the interviewing and hiring process are just as important. Timelines, decisions, communication, flow for the applicant and onboarding all become a focus for a best practice HR recruitment process.
  10. Economy of scale has definitely become a focus for organizations with more than one entity. Centralizing contracts, basic HR forms, ERPs and other recruitment functions can save an organization hundreds of thousands of dollars. While each entity wants to be an individual focus, in today's world it makes sense to consolidate some functions.
  11. Internal communication is also a large part of an HR function. It is up to recruiters to make sure hiring managers and administrations are aware of successes, needs and outcomes. If you haven't had a process for ongoing communication and updates to internal stakeholders, make plans to institute such a program in 2011.

I have just started with 11 items that are important for 2011 but I know there are many more. The main purpose of this article is to make sure we all think about 2011 and get our "ducks in a row" now. When the ball drops on New Years Eve, we need to be ready for the New Year and the challenges it will bring.

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