Staffing Policies

In order to maintain a competitive edge and consistently reduce staffing issues, many companies have turned to alternative methods of staffing. As companies continue to ‘change with the times', so do their staffing needs. Therefore, the traditional hiring of a full time employee is not the only option. Companies have turned to more effective ways of getting the job done.

They are using outside sources to recruit employees. United Healthcares hiring practices will be utilized in this report to identify the ways in which a company fills its open positions. First there is the process of finding external candidates for a position. The company uses a variety of sources to recruit these candidates: ·Newspaper advertisements

·Employment Agencies ·Search firms ·Staffing agencies ·Internet ·Employee referrals ·Networking ·America's Job Bank On occasion Untied may have the need for a contracted or temporary employee. It is important that It is understood that, " contract services personnel, independent contractors, or vendors, are employees of companies under contract to United Health Group, not employees of United Health Group.

The needs of the business may require that we use contract services personnel for either a short-term or on an on-going basis to provide various services or highly specialized skills." In order to locate available candidates United Healthcare utilizes a source named Chimes. "Chimes is a web-enabled vendor management program that makes the ordering of temporary agency workers a one-stop shop for all of United Health Group's business segments. Chimes services include: ·Contractor procurement

·On-line reporting ·Invoicing consolidation ·Electronic timesheets and expenses ·Program measurements and reports Other ways in which United Health staffs are more the traditional form of college recruiting and employee referrals. These old fashioned ways of hiring are effective and continue be successful. However, the use of these more sophisticated outlets mentioned above have proven to be just as successful. RESEARCH AND CURRENT THINKING

The staffing policies, which United Healthcare uses, are like that of many other organizations. Lots of companies today are using the same or similar sources to fill their positions. There staffing policies are often reviewed to ensure that they are similar to that of their competitors. Unfortunately, like many other companies, United has had to go through the process of downsizing with in the last two years.

Downsizing is basically defined as cutting staff and eliminating positions. Many companies go through this process as a result of needing to cut expenses. This process is not as uncommon nowadays. The downsize in United Healthcare's case occurred because they realized that it would be to there best interest to centralize it's billing processes.

Although, positions were cut in other states, there was much opportunity in the new site. United is one of the many organizations that have found it more cost effective to downsize and centralize a particular function to an isolated area. It seems that the end result is a more cost effective, revenue generating process.

Many companies are also using temporary or contracted employees to be help with short-term projects and eliminate the need for creating new positions. Some companies are going as far as contracting executives. "Using contract executives helps business managers get around the staffing policies that often constrain tem." (Online, 1997).

The reason for such an important position to be categorized as a temporary position is because there is not always a need to have a permanent job created for short-term projects.

This worked for companies like United Healthcare. Especially when they were in the process of downsizing and centralizing. In an article entitled The Flexible Organization and the Portable Executive the San Diego business Journal estimated that by the year 2000, one in every three workers would be a contracted, short-term employee. Furthermore, they would not be limited to clerical and technical positions. This is becoming more of a reality each and every day. RECOMMENDATIONS

It is my opinion that companies today continue to staff according to their ever-changing needs. An organization needs to address its staffing needs in a cost effective manner. If it doesn't make sense to hire fifty employees to perform a job that twenty-five can handle then why do it. One of the errors that companies continue to make is that they mass hire to "clean up" a mess and then they lay off half the staff six months later. How can this be productive, or motivating? Furthermore, how can this be cost effective?

Staffing policies need to be reviewed and revamped on a consistent basis to ensure that they agree with the companies present needs. Additionally, a company needs to compare its policies to that of their competitor to increase their probability of obtaining a good staff. In order to do this they should continue to use the present policies in place but actively seek to add new ones. Reference

Hagerthy, M., The Flexible Organization and The Portable Executive, San Diego Business Journal, August 25, 1997. Online source available: http://ohostvgw6.epnet.com/get_xml.asp