Scope of Human Resource (HR) in healthcare

HR Manager, CIHSR

The scope of Human Resource Management is extremely wide and all the more vital in the healthcare industry whether in big hospitals or clinics in order to sustain in the healthcare sector.

When I started working in CIHSR, Dimapur as an Administrative Assistant, I was armed only with an MA in English Literature. But all my learnings in HR was on-the-job learning which helped me gain practical experience with an HR consultant from Bengaluru as my mentor. Nevertheless, that did not stop me from learning, and took up an MBA in Human Resources which helped me put my perspectives in place. I consider myself blessed because my learnings were an integration of practical hands-on experience with mentorship and certificate programs. This approach helped me bridge the gap between theory and practice to be well-equipped. It certainly did enhance my understanding of the healthcare industry and provided practical insights into the specific challenges and dynamics of working in a healthcare setting.

As an HR professional, the main goal is to support the organizational goal in providing the required human resources by recruiting the right candidate for the right job at the right time, developing the right values, building competencies, building attractive compensation, promoting organizational culture, resolve employee relations and continuously strive for improving the Clinical, Non-Clinica l& functional service effectiveness. We can have Training and Development Managers, Employee relations specialists, Organization Development Managers, Labor Relations Managers, and the like in a hospital establishment. So it’s vital to have a strong HR team to help streamline the challenges. Let us not think of HR as limited only to appointments and offering benefit packages to employees but it is much more beyond that. Hence if one has completed an MBA in HR with a focus on healthcare it can open up various career opportunities who will handle the following areas-

1) Hiring and Onboarding -First of all, it’s important to attract the right healthcare professionals to help balance the capricious nature of the field with high turnover and competition from other hospitals. The HR must be ready to face the challenges and also understand how and where to find the right talent and be able to forecast future needs.

Onboarding the newly hired employees is also equally important as finding the right talent. Hence the onboarding should be a structured process that will increase the chance for them to stay on.

2) Emissary to the Management and employees -  they also act as a credible emissary/liaison between the management and the employees as an advocate for employee needs and as an advisor to the leadership management in terms of best practices that can be implemented. The professionals in HR should be proactive about creating an accepting and congenial work environment making it an inclusive workplace environment.

3) The statutory compliance role of HR also extends to statutory compliances like Provident Fund, Employee State Insurance, medical registrations are current, and governing policies and procedures are in place. HR will also ensure legal compliances are being followed with all relevant labor laws like workplace safety/occupational safety by creating compliant safety measures and facilitating training for employees.

4) Employee learning and development - Keeping the healthcare staff abreast of the latest learning and development is extremely crucial for them to perform their work, hence training of employees must be the top priority. Training programs will include responsibilities and expectations, effective communication with co-workers, skills, and knowledge so as to keep up-to-date on the relevant trends,and also other formal courses. Learning and development is never a one-time process but a recurring task that will continue through the employee life cycle in order to develop a competitive edge over competitors. Activities that are enlisted to provide continuous learning are:

Regular meetings

Seminars, workshops, conferences


Simulations, demonstrations

Online learnings

It's also important for organizations to realize that investing time and money in learning opportunities and planning the career development of employees will help the organization retain staff.Hence HR ensures that one assesses the development needs of an organization, plans training courses, implements training programs, and measures the results. 

Employees feel more appreciated when the organization invests in their career development and training programs. If they get a lot of learning opportunities in the workplace, they’re more likely to feel more engaged and happier at their jobs. As a result, such actions encourage employees to stay in the organization for longer. Hence HR professionals play a vital role in employee relations, aid in workplace grievances and concerns, and also aim to provide a congenial workplace environment.

5) Compensation and Benefits - The HR professionals are responsible for managing the employee’s compensation which includes salaries, perks, and benefits (non-monetary and monetary privileges) is a crucial HR function. When the compensation and benefits plan ensures that effective employees are rewarded fairly, this motivates them to perform better. Hence when plans are aimed at making the compensation fair and benefits competitive, it helps not just in retaining employees but also attract the right talents.

Healthcare benefits like health insurance, retirement plans, and wellness programs is also another important function.

6) Discipline and conflict management - Healthcare may have its unique challenges and HR professionals play an important role in managing disciplinary actions for employees which has to be according to the legal guidelines. Accountability at the workplace determines that employees are responsible for their actions, behaviors, performance, and decisions. When disputes and conflicts arise amongst employees, HR may need to work with them to find alternate solutionsand transition from conflict management to resolution to transformation of relations.

7) Performance Management - When a robust performance management system is implemented, the HR professional contributes to the overall success of the organization and also promotes employee engagement. 

Hospitals will have to be alert and responsive to the changing times and demands and will have to be multi-disciplinary and keep abreast with the rapidly new knowledge, skills and capabilities. The future of HR is that they will have to understand issues related to -

i)    Increasing size of the workforce

ii)     Medical and technological advances

iii)    To take advantage of software-aided information system- To design and structure the HRMS which will play a revolutionary development role in managing reports and important data on employees across key HR functions.

iv)    Management of human relations

v)    Adjusting to the changing laws of the land.

Networking with other hospitals, companies, or organizations, gaining practical experience through internships or working as a freshman, and staying informed about trends in both HR and healthcare can contribute to a successful career in HR within the healthcare sector.May this article encourageone to consider having a career as an HR in the healthcare set up which will have a diverse HR team to serve the needs of a diverse healthcare workforce.