One of the most challenging tasks for any human resource manager is the identification of qualified staff. This is surprisingly even more difficult when it comes to selecting and recruiting entry level staff, as in most cases they are either lacking in knowledge or sufficient expertise. Due to such hindrances, most entry level staff usually require some form of orientation training to best prepare them for the demands of their jobs. It is because of such problems that innovative programs aimed at preparing prospective entry level employees for their future duties are increasingly on the rise. Two such programs include: Partners in Career and Workforce Development program, and the Midwest Community College HIT Consortium. Both programs aim at equipping prospective employees with the requisite skills to help them settle into their new work places seamlessly. The programs aim at equipping the employees with skills they do not have but require in order to effectively fulfill their duties. At the same time, these programs also ease the work of human resource managers, as they ensure a steady supply of qualified personnel in need of no further training. This is a huge advantage considering that in most cases entry level jobs require some degree of on job training and apprenticeship.
The Partners in Career and Workforce Development program, helps individuals with an interest in entry level employment. The program trains potential employees at no cost, with the potential of placement at one of the partner hospitals. The training program entails a 4 week period of classroom instruction, followed by a four week period of internship. In order to prepare potential medical records clerks, office assistants, patient service coordinators and laboratory aides amongst others, the program exposes trainees to medical terminology, the healthcare environment, computer skills, and interviewing skills, as well as other important skills. Once completed, the trainees are equipped with certain skills fundamental to operating within a hospital environment. The program basically covers all areas an entry level employee is likely to encounter in their day to day activities, as well as prepares them to tackle problems commonly encountered in the hospital. The fact that eligible graduates of the program are actually enrolled into short term paid internship is no doubt an added advantage of the program (Partners Healthcare, n.d).
The Midwest Community College HIT Consortium program on the other hand, attempts to create health workers sufficiently conversant in health information technology in order to improve technology utilization in hospitals as well as the use of EHRs (Electronic Health Records). Though not a form of training specifically targeting entry level employees, the program aims at imparting a skill that may have previously been missing in health workers, essentially fast tracking the adoption of information technology. Initially, the program entailed full funding for students training either in a health related or IT related field on health information technology. This training is usually focused and is aimed at achieving a particular goal, by equipping future health information technology users, trainers and even consultants with the requisite knowledge (“Community College Consortia,” n.d).
While the first program is more focused on preparing the trainee for their tasks while in employment, the second one takes the right approach by collaborating with already existing educational institutions. This strategy no doubt makes the second program more successful, and highlights a need for institutions of higher learning to collaborate with employers in developing programs that are efficient at preparing employees for their future roles. While the first program may develop better prepared candidates, the second one is likely to record higher enrollment, due to its partnering with institutions of learning. The first one is likely to have more qualified graduates, because it has ensured the trainee gains the exact skills required to fulfill their duties by exposing them to, and essentially orientating them to the work environment, through internship.
Partners Healthcare (n.d). Partners in Career and Workforce Development. Retrieved from http://www.partners.org/For-Employees/PCWD/Exploration/Health-Care-Training-And-Employment/Default.aspx
“Community College Consortia.” Retrieved from http://www.healthit.gov/policy-researchers-implementers/community-college-consortia