University Health Network test-drives Web-based HR

Health care organizations are renowned for bemoaning the dearth of doctors and nurses available for hire, but help could be on the way for one of them.

The University Health Network (UHN) will soon be turning to the Web

to fill vacancies. Jennifer Willis, manager, business systems strategy for UHN, said it hopes to have Workstream Inc.‘s Web-based human resources application running in a few weeks. She said it looked at a number of candidates before going with the Ottawa-based company.

“”We were looking for a number of different things in terms of functionality: the automated job posting process, the ability to link to external job boards, the ability for the system to automatically rank applicants, but also the ability to capture the metrics that we need for decision support to look at the effectiveness of our recruiting strategies,”” she said.

The UHN, which is made up of Toronto General Hospital, Toronto Western Hospital and Princess Margaret Hospital, needed to find more than doctors and nurses, according to Willis. She said it has to fill IT, finance and administration positions as well. E-Cruiter, she said, will ease the burden on the HR department, while also serving as a retention tool.

“”If we can get to the right applicant faster then we have a better chance of filling our vacancies, but also proving to the applicants there’s a commitment from UHN on the staffing and retention side,”” Willis said.

Michael Mullarkey, chairman and CEO of Workstream, said it costs, on average, $9,000 to $11,000 to hire someone. “”Our system — and we’ve done white papers on this with the Toronto Stock Exchange and other people — saves them about 40 per cent on their costs by automating the system,”” he said.

Mullarkey said up until two years ago high-tech companies were the most frequent customers, but that’s no longer the case. Anyone with an employee count in the hundreds or in growth spurt is a likely customer, he said.

While Willis couldn’t recall the price tag for the ASP project off the top of her head, she did say it was quite reasonable compared to what it would cost to host and support the application

Mullarkey said all the data is in a data centre in Kanata, Ont., is kept on separate from other companies and is access over a virtual private network.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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