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An investigation into the recruitment policies of the NHS and as to whether they are vertically or horizontally integrated.

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Introduction

An investigation into the recruitment policies of the NHS and as to whether they are vertically or horizontally integrated Research into the HR function has concluded that a firm with a tightly structured alignment in terms of HR management and strategy will outperform rivals who have a less vertically integrated approach (Bamberger and Meshoulam, 2000, Boxall, 1991). It is, however essential that a horizontal fit is found that is coherent in terms of its link to the firm as whole. It has been shown that the HR function is at its most effective when used in this way (Wright and Snell 1998, Bohlander and Snell 2003). The strategy of a company in terms of recruitment is described as: "All those activities affecting the behaviour of individuals in their efforts to formulate and implement the strategic needs of the business" (Schuler 1992) The NHS have set clear targets in their recruitment policies: "more staff, working differently" (doh.gov.uk). There is an acceptance that the service needs to focus on recruitment as well as retention, with an increasing amount of staff turnover a consequence of increased workload. ...read more.

Middle

It is a relatively basic model but if applied to the NHS it can be argued that their past policies have been similar to a company muddling through, with low labour market power in terms of attracting candidates, and poor focus. However, their policies to increase staff levels could be seen to be more flexible, with more recruitment channels being used, and a more thorough selection process replacing rigid criteria requirements to enter (see appendix part 1 A). It could be argued that the NHS follow a relatively soft HRM strategy, with a large amount of focus being placed upon current members rather than contracting staff from elsewhere in the market to join the organisation. This however is not true across the entire organisation, as agencies are used to source nurses, and certain hospices, such as the St. Johns Hospice in Liverpool are run in association with organisations such as Marie Curie Cancer Care. This was a result of the government's white paper on health, brought in during the late 1990's (Donaldson 2000). The pay structure has undoubtedly become more strategic if we apply policies to the Belcher model (see appendix part one B). ...read more.

Conclusion

The Chartered Institute of Personnel Development ask the question of who comes first where recruitment is concerned - is it the person or the job? Iles and Salaman (1995) concluded that a person orientated competency approach was the best practice, which is a policy the NHS is now moving towards. However there are still many organisations who believe that the job comes first, followed by the person. Concluding from the evidence retrieved it is clear that the NHS has been forced into change through external economic shifts involving the labour market and the competitive nature of the workplace in terms of benefits available. It is impossible to predict whether the policies will avoid the potential pit-falls, such as diluted quality due to increased staff levels. But it can be seen that the policies are largely vertical, with the horizontal elements being a resultant entity, formed in order to ensure the staff are happy with the changes implemented. As the policies are very new the organisation does not omit a highly focused corporate focus, there is more emphasis on results through flexibility and innovation, however this has only recently become the case, and may cease to be the state of play should the service need to adopt a harder recruitment policy, sourcing its staff externally to achieve competence. ...read more.

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