The Role of Human Resources in Healthcare (2022)

The human resources department plays a critical role in companies in every industry. No company or industry is better off without a great HR leader. The role of human resources in healthcare is particularly critical. Because of the complexities faced by the healthcare industry, it’s vital to have a strong HR team in place to help navigate the various challenges. It’s also incredibly important to have organization and simplicity in your workflow as well. That’s why Eddy was created: to help HR professionals succeed no matter what industry they are in and to make everyday tasks as simple as humanly possible. Request a demo of Eddy today to see how we can help you succeed as an HR Professional in the Healthcare industry.

Why Human Resources is Critical in Healthcare

HR in healthcare extends far beyond the hiring, onboarding, payroll, and firing processes that are often top of mind when thinking about human resources. In healthcare, HR leaders and departments are forced to be more strategic, forward-thinking, and legally adept. On top of all that, HR healthcare leaders must recognize that the group of humans who fall within their stewardship extends beyond the employees receiving a paycheck; it also encompasses patients who are receiving care.

To run a successful healthcare practice, human resources must be top of mind. We’ll dive into the role of human resources in healthcare and better understand what HR leaders must do to play an effective role in this industry.

"To run a successful healthcare practice, human resources must be top of mind."

The Roles of Human Resources in Healthcare

As we stated in the introduction, HR leaders in healthcare have a lot on their plate. Their role expands to various aspects of the practice and familiarity with both the human resources side of the job and with the healthcare industry are a must. Below are the common roles and responsibilities assigned to HR leaders in healthcare:

  • Hiring
  • Training
  • Logistics Management
  • Relevant Trends
  • Diversity, Inclusion, and Equitable Treatment
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Employee Management
  • Dispute and Discipline Management
  • Compliance and Legality


Like any HR job, the goal is to get the best humans you can find in positions where they can succeed. This begins with the hiring process.

Hiring is a key responsibility for any human resources department, and there is no exception to this in the healthcare industry. In fact, because healthcare workers are often very specialized it can make this job even more difficult.

When hiring for healthcare, the number of candidates is often limited, both by geography and by ability. Many healthcare workers need to either have specialized, advanced degrees, or they need to be trained and certified for various positions. Human resources leaders in healthcare must prepare for both of these challenges and understand how to screen for them in the hiring process.

Finally, the needs of your medical practice may change quickly and you’ll need to be prepared to act. For example, hiring a new doctor may also mean needing to hire a new nurse and a new physician’s assistant. Because some positions will require staffing in other areas, the human resources department must do a good job of forecasting future needs and keeping a list of “warm candidates” who they can call upon in a pinch.

(Video) Human Resources for Health


When you’re working at a healthcare facility, the difference between a poorly trained and well-trained employee can sometimes be the difference between life and death. While that might sound a touch dramatic, it’s also very true. Training new employees is a must for any company, but it’s absolutely essential in the healthcare business.

"Training new employees is a must for any company, but it’s absolutely essential in the healthcare business."

Developing a well-designed training program will often fall on the shoulders of the HR team. Human resources leaders need to devise onboarding plans so that new employees can learn their responsibilities, schedules, and expectations. New employees also need to become very familiar with their day-to-day tasks, learn vocabulary that may be unique to the company, and develop relationships with co-workers.

Another part of training new employees is making sure everyone has their proper licenses and certifications. It’ll be up to the HR team to make sure that those who need certifications have them, and that those licenses and certifications are renewed before they expire. Using software to help track all of these renewal dates and training requirements is a must.

Remember, training doesn’t stop when onboarding is completed. Training employees is a recurring task that will need to be continued throughout the employee lifecycle. One of the human resources’ primary roles in healthcare is to make sure that all employees receive the training, certifications, and licenses they need to do their job and remain legally compliant.

Eddy makes it easy to hire, onboard, and train your employees!

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Logistics Management

(Video) A Human Resource Professional’s Perspective on Healthcare with Alison Proffit

When it comes to human resources and healthcare, logistics are an integral part of the job. While healthcare may generally have a reputation for moving slow, there are definitely times when you’ll need to be ready to act fast.

First, you need to consider scheduling and job rotations. Depending on the facility or clinic you’re working at, this may be rather simple or very complex. Large healthcare facilities like hospitals may manage hundreds of different rotations for doctors, nurses, visiting physicians, and others. Making sure shifts and schedules are easily communicated, readily accessible, and flexible to changes is a must.

Next, you’ll need to have a system for managing the logistics of payroll. Again depending on the facility and the pay structures in place, this can become complicated very quickly. Some healthcare workers (like therapists or surgeons) may only get paid when they perform work on a patient or with a client. Other workers are paid a salary and may have bonus incentives structured into their employment agreement. Establishing pay structures and then managing both fixed and variable pay for employees can be a challenge without the proper expertise. HR professionals in healthcare need to be prepared for such challenges.

Relevant Trends

While keeping up with relevant trends may be a prerequisite for any HR role, there are some unique things to consider when running an HR department for a healthcare company.

When most HR professionals think about relevant trends, their minds might immediately focus on things like working from home, company culture, performance management, and other hot topics in the HR world. These are all important and understanding their impact can provide great value to the company.

However, for this discussion, we’re not referring to these types of trends; rather, human resources professionals in healthcare need to think about local trends that are relevant to their healthcare practice.

For example, if your practice is in an area that is increasing (or decreasing) in population very quickly, then you might need to adjust your forecast for future staff positions. You’ll also want to be familiar with the size of the geographic area that is typically served by your facility and whether or not there is new competition in that area.

Additionally, keeping track of things like the average age of the population you serve, the frequent needs and treatments of that population, and the socioeconomic status of your potential customers will all factor into the decisions you make from an HR standpoint.

Diversity, Inclusion, and Equitable Treatment

A primary tenant of a good HR department is to ensure that the company is fair and equitable to employees. There is no room for discrimination of any kind, especially discrimination based on things like racial prejudice or gender.

A great way to ensure that employees are treated equitably is to have clear guidelines and directions around things like pay raises, career advancement, and leadership responsibilities. Being transparent and clear about these guidelines and sticking to them will reduce the chances that an employee is discriminated against (even unconsciously) because of their age, race, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or sexual preference.

Of course, you can do much more than simply ensuring that employees with the same experience are getting paid equivalent salaries. There is much more you can do to facilitate an inclusive workplace environment.

HR professionals working in healthcare should be proactive about creating an accepting, welcoming place to work and attend. This will not only be important for employees, but also for the patients or clients who visit your facility.

We encourage you to hold regular training on diversity, inclusion, harassment, and similar subjects. Take complaints about harassment or prejudice seriously and investigate them to the best of your abilities. Seek out diverse job candidates when looking for new hires. Create opportunities for colleagues to get to know one another and form relationships.

A workplace can only be great when everyone feels comfortable and accepted. The human resources department should share in the responsibility to see that this happens.

"A workplace can only be great when everyone feels comfortable and accepted."

(Video) Welcome to HSCI 436 Human Resources Management in Healthcare

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Patient Satisfaction

It may come as a surprise to see this as a responsibility for the human resources department in healthcare. After all, isn’t patient satisfaction left up to the practitioners?

While the majority of the responsibility may fall on their shoulders, the HR professionals in healthcare should not shy away from being involved in making every patient visit a success.

So in practical terms, what can HR actually do to make a difference in this area?

First, HR can make sure schedules and shifts are properly coordinated so that practitioners are not late for appointments. If there’s one thing any patient hates it’s being asked to wait for a long time when they had an appointment on the books. Getting scheduling and staffing problems ironed out so that patients are seen when they’re scheduled to be seen can lead to higher satisfaction scores.

Second, HR leaders can address issues of poor behavior that practitioners may occasionally express. If someone in your facility who regularly has face-to-face interaction with patients is acting out, using vulgar language, or treating patients disrespectfully, it’s up to the HR leader to stop such behavior.

Finally, part of the human resources role in healthcare is to ensure that everyone working in the facility has the tools and resources to do their job properly. Check-in with the heads of various departments regularly to ensure that they not only have the staff needed to operate effectively, but that they have the software, hardware, and other tools to ensure patients have a great experience each time they walk in and out of your office.

Employee Management

Employee management is an inescapable part of HR’s job, and that doesn’t change when working in the healthcare industry. As we mentioned at the top of this article, any business in any industry is only as successful as the people who work there. Because of this, managing the employees at your healthcare facility should always be top of mind.

What do we mean by employee management? Well, this takes on many different flavors of responsibility. First and foremost, employee management means properly and securely tracking and managing the employee data you gather from each of your hires. Much of this data is highly sensitive and must be treated with extreme care. You also need to have it available to access whenever a question arises or an audit is pending.

Employee management also encompasses the performance of the employees in your organization. A yearly performance review just doesn’t cut it in today’s world. Employees want to be met with regularly so that they have a chance to discuss the challenge they face as well as receive feedback from superiors. Having a program in place to regularly check in on employee performance will contribute to a healthy workplace culture and help employees feel heard.

"A yearly performance review just doesn’t cut it in today’s world."

Finally, employee management also means making decisions about organizational structure, staffing needs, and in unfortunate situations, conducting layoffs. HR leaders working in healthcare must stay on top of the needs of their organization so that it’s properly staffed and operating efficiently. When downturns happen, restructuring and reorganizing the facility is an unfortunate but critical responsibility that the human resources department needs to be involved in.

(Video) Daniel Foglia VP, Healthcare Human Resources talks about careers at OHI.

Discipline and Dispute Management

When people outside of the world of human resources think of HR, they often think first of disciplinary action. There is no shortage of jokes made about HR being code for “company police” or about how they ruin all the fun. After all, Toby’s entire character in The Office is based on this stigma.

While we know that HR is so much more than disciplinary action, it doesn’t change the fact that discipline and dispute management are an important part of the job. When things go awry, HR needs to be there.

Healthcare may have its unique set of challenges, but ultimately many of the disciplinary actions you’ll have to take are consistent with what you’ll find in other industries. Employees who are lazy, who regularly miss shifts, who do not perform their responsibilities, or who do not follow the rules and guidelines laid out in the company’s handbook need to be held accountable. Based on their offense and prior history of behavior, disciplinary action should be taken swiftly and appropriately.

Additionally, disputing employees may need a mediator if they cannot resolve the issues themselves. When it comes to unresolved disputes, HR leaders must not be afraid to step in and work with employees to find solutions.

Compliance and Legality

Healthcare is among the most regulated industries in the world, and for good reason. There are rules and regulations in place to ensure that patients are treated fairly and that no harm is done. Of course, HR is another highly regulated industry with its own set of rules, guidelines, and restrictions in place. The intersection of these two industries is what regulatory dreams are made of.

The role of human resources in healthcare calls for compliance and legal savvy. HR leaders in this role cannot afford to be ignorant of the legal issues they most certainly will face. While we are not in a position to offer legal advice or counsel, we do encourage human resources professionals in healthcare to seek expert guidance throughout their careers.


HR leaders in healthcare carry a heavy burden. The stakes are high, as are the expectations. Taking on these roles and responsibilities by oneself, or with a team, can be daunting.

Do not forget that there are software tools that have been developed to help ease these burdens. Companies like Eddy work closely with healthcare facilities of all kinds to streamline the management of people, payroll, HR processes, and more.

If you’re in an HR role and working in healthcare, Eddy may be exactly what you need to turn your HR department into a well-oiled machine.Request a demo of Eddy today to see how we can help you love your job even more.

Learn why Eddy works with countless healthcare companies to manage their people, payroll, and processes!

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(Video) Welcome to HSCI 436 Human Resources Management in Healthcare


What is the role of human resources in healthcare? ›

HR managers are mainly responsible for ensuring services are efficient for administrative staff, clinicians, and patients. They also address the many areas of concern in the health care industry, including managing financials, promoting employee retention, and ensuring that health care regulations are being met.

What is the importance of human resources short answer? ›

HR plays a key role in developing, reinforcing and changing the culture of an organisation. Pay, performance management, training and development, recruitment and onboarding and reinforcing the values of the business are all essential elements of business culture covered by HR.

What are the 5 main roles of HR? ›

Human Resources manages 5 main duties: talent management, compensation and employee benefits, training and development, compliance, and workplace safety.

What are the 3 main responsibilities of human resources? ›

What are the three major roles of human resources management?
  • Administrator. Running payroll, writing job descriptions, creating workplace policies and procuring benefits packages are typical of HR administration.
  • Change manager. ...
  • Personnel manager.

Why are resources important in health and social care? ›

Effective use of resources is fundamental to enable health and social care providers to deliver and sustain high quality services for people. As the quality regulator, it is important that CQC should refiect this when we inspect and rate them.

What is the role of health and education in human resources? ›

Education also plays an important role in the development of human resource. When a person receives good education it improves his or her level of understanding increases their capacity and mental efficiency to produce more and changes the attitude and behaviour of people as they gain more confidence in themselves.

What is the most important role of HR? ›

A human resource manager's primary objective is to oversee a company's administrative function, including: Talent recruitment. This involves scouting prospective candidates, coordinating interviews with qualified applicants, and establishing an onboarding process for new hires. Payroll and benefits.

Why human resource is the most important resource? ›

The human resource plays a significant role in the economy of a country by contributing to productivity. The other resource becomes useful because of the input by the human resource. Investment in human capital yields a return and it is done through education, training, and healthcare.

Do you think human resources are the most important resources give reason for your answer? ›

Answer. Human resources are important because nation's development is mostly depended upon human resources which include human skill, technology, thinking and knowledge, that leads to a nation's power. Only human skill and technology change the natural substances into a valuable resource.

What are the 10 examples of human resources? ›

What are the functional areas of human resources?
  • Recruiting and staffing employees.
  • Employee benefits.
  • Employee compensation.
  • Employee and labor relations.
  • Human resources compliance.
  • Organizational structure.
  • Human resources information and payroll.
  • Employee training and development.

What are the 7 roles of HR? ›

What Does an HR Manager Do? 7 Functions of the Human Resources Department
  • Recruitment and Hiring.
  • Training and Development.
  • Employer-Employee Relations.
  • Maintain Company Culture.
  • Manage Employee Benefits.
  • Create a Safe Work Environment.
  • Handle Disciplinary Actions.

What is the example of human resources? ›

An example of human resources is the department you would speak with to get more information about employee benefits. A department, in a company or institution, responsible for personnel records, company benefits, hiring and training of employees, etc.; personnel department.

What are types of human resources? ›

Here are 12 of the most common types of human resources jobs for you to consider:
  • Employment specialist.
  • Human resources assistant.
  • Human resources coordinator.
  • Human resources specialist.
  • Recruiter.
  • Human resources generalist.
  • Recruitment manager.
  • Human resources manager.

What are the four importance of human resource management? ›

(i) Providing maximum opportunities for personal development of each employee. (ii) Maintaining the dignity of personnel at the work place. (iii) Providing environment and incentives for developing and utilising creativity. (iv) Maintaining healthy relationships between individuals and work groups.

How do you manage human resources? ›

7 Best Practices to Manage Your Human Resources
  1. Anticipate future HR needs. ...
  2. Manage employee competency and development. ...
  3. Take availability and competency into account when assigning employees to projects. ...
  4. Ensure your employees' workload is right.
30 Jan 2017

What are examples of resources in healthcare? ›

EXAMPLES healthcare professional on duty, operation theatre, instruments ready to use, consultation rooms, bed in a ward, prepared medicinal products, Electrocardiography-device, blood sample, donated kidney, etc.

What are some current human resources issues in healthcare? ›

The 5 Biggest Current HR Issues in Healthcare
  • Recruitment in Healthcare. As with other industries, healthcare is challenged by today's talent shortages. ...
  • Wage Competition. ...
  • Turnover and Retention. ...
  • Burnout. ...
  • Training and Development. ...
  • Safety. ...
  • Digitization. ...
  • Privacy.
28 May 2019

What is resource planning in healthcare? ›

In addition to that, resources planning in the health and social care had been described as “process of appraising the needs of health care in the geographic region and population along with determining how the needs could be met through the allocation of the anticipated and existing resources abiding by the ...

What is the role of health in human development? ›

Health is also an inalienable human right according to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as good health allows people to reach their full potential, children to be better able to learn, workers to be more productive and parents to care for their children better.

What are the objectives of human resource management in hospitals? ›

Objectives of HRM include ensuring availability of resources, easy access to data, on-time payroll, ensuring compliances, etc. HRM objectives are basically influenced by organizational goals and vertical. The objective of HRM is to ensure a stable work environment with data in one place and efficient operations.

How does health help in human development? ›

Health plays an important role in human capital formation for the following reasons (i) Only a healthy person can perform to his full potential. (ii) A healthy person can do the work in a more effective manner. (iii) A healthy person can contribute to the growth and development of the economy by doing productive work.

What is the most important part of human resources? ›

The most important aspect of HR is still people. The main function of any HR department is to find, attract and retain the best people for the available positions in your business.

What do you mean by human resources? ›

Human resources (HR) is the department within a business that is responsible for all things worker-related. That includes recruiting, vetting, selecting, hiring, onboarding, training, promoting, paying, and firing employees and independent contractors.

How does HR bring value to an organization? ›

Some of the ways in which HR adds value to them include administrative services, professional advice, meeting recruitment needs in a timely manner, working with issues of motivation and engagement, providing learning solutions and helping employees develop as individuals. In return, HR has legitimate expectations.

How do you consider human being a resource support your answer with example? ›

Human resource refers to human capital which can make use of land & capital. Population becomes a human resource when there's investment made in form of education,health & training. On other hand,land is natural resource. & physical capital includes tools,machines,buildings,raw materials,etc.

Why human resource is the most important asset of an organization? ›

The role of human resource development is provide the individual with the learning experience necessary to fill the gap in an employee's knowledge and skill, to ensure his continued ability to perform efficiently and effectively in his job, and thereby contribute to the productivity of the organization.

Why are human beings the most important part of the human environment? ›

Answer: Human beings, the most important part of the human environment as there are certain traits that set humans apart from other creatures. Humans have the capacity to adapt themselves. We also have the capability to change our surroundings as per our needs.

Why is it called HR? ›

When you hear the term “human resources,” often the first thing that comes to mind is the department that handles the people stuff. But if you think about it, the name is about the “humans” who happen to be employees.

What is the role of HR in the workplace? ›

Human resource professionals are responsible for staffing a company. They make sure a company has the amount of employees it needs to operate, and they choose employees with the proper industry experience, qualifications and skills to complete work tasks and generate revenue.

What are the 4 components of human resources? ›

In short, human resource activities fall under the following five core functions: staffing, development, compensation, safety and health, and employee and labor relations. In this article we will discuss the elements of Human Resource Management.

Who is responsible for Human Resource Management? ›

The HR function will not be directly managing employees of different business areas, such as the sales or marketing department. It is down to the supervisors, managers and directors of those departments that have those day to day relationships to manage their workforce.

Can you give me 5 examples of human resources? ›

Examples of human resources:
  • Recruitement,
  • HR Letters,
  • Compensation & Benefits Training Process,
  • Induction & Joining Formalities,
  • Employees Provident Fund.
12 May 2018

What's another term for human resources? ›

Human Resources departments are variously called (with help from Charles Coy at Cornerstone's Rework): Human Capital Management. People Operations (Popular title among tech firms such as Google and Uber) People Resource Centre.

What is HR called now? ›

A new title has gained popularity: People Operations Leaders. More than rebranding the HR function, People Operations Leadership demonstrates a shift in how to manage the department, where focus should lie, and what the mission of the team has become.

What are some current human resources issues in healthcare? ›

The 5 Biggest Current HR Issues in Healthcare
  • Recruitment in Healthcare. As with other industries, healthcare is challenged by today's talent shortages. ...
  • Wage Competition. ...
  • Turnover and Retention. ...
  • Burnout. ...
  • Training and Development. ...
  • Safety. ...
  • Digitization. ...
  • Privacy.
28 May 2019

What is Human Resource Management in hospital? ›

In any health care background, the Human Resource department is responsible for an assortment of personnel wants that both employers and employees come across. The function of this department is to handle all aspects of operations that are personnel-related. Specific Human Resources Management Functions Include: Hiring.

What are the objectives of Human Resource Management in hospitals? ›

Objectives of HRM include ensuring availability of resources, easy access to data, on-time payroll, ensuring compliances, etc. HRM objectives are basically influenced by organizational goals and vertical. The objective of HRM is to ensure a stable work environment with data in one place and efficient operations.

What is HRM in medical terms? ›

High-resolution manometry (HRM) is a gastrointestinal motility diagnostic system that measures intraluminal pressure activity in the gastrointestinal tract using a series of closely spaced pressure sensors.

What are resources in healthcare? ›

Health care resources are defined as all materials, personnel, facilities, funds, and anything else that can be used for providing health care services.

Why is resource management important in nursing? ›

Implementing resource management strategies can improve the utilization of nursing resources, leading to better nurse job satisfaction, reduced turnover and lower labor costs.

What do you see as the biggest challenges to workforce planning in healthcare organizations? ›

Top 10 Challenges Facing Healthcare Workers
  • Worker Burnout. ...
  • School Loan Debt. ...
  • Low Salaries. ...
  • High Turnover Rate. ...
  • Organization Problems. ...
  • Stress. ...
  • Workforce Shortages. ...
  • Too Little Patient/Doctor Time.
10 Feb 2022

How do I get into healthcare human resources? ›

At a minimum, you should have a bachelor of healthcare administration, preferably with a concentration in human resources management, before you try to apply for this type of position. This degree equips you with the knowledge you need to work as a specialist or administrator in HR.

How is health useful for human resource development? ›

Role of health in human capital formation are as follow: Only a healthy person can work efficiently and with full potential. A healthy person can work in a more effective manner. A healthy person can work in a productive way and in this way it can contribute better in the development of the economy of the country.

What are the four importance of Human Resource Management? ›

(i) Providing maximum opportunities for personal development of each employee. (ii) Maintaining the dignity of personnel at the work place. (iii) Providing environment and incentives for developing and utilising creativity. (iv) Maintaining healthy relationships between individuals and work groups.


1. Healthcare + Human Resources = Riley Wynn HR
2. CQE Series (HRM) : Technology and Human Resources Management in Healthcare
(Consortium of Accredited Healthcare Organizations)
3. The Role of HR in Addressing the Challenges in Aged and Healthcare webinar
(Skillsoft YouTube)
4. Human Resources In Healthcare Managing for Success, Third Edition
(William Ferrell)
5. Monarch Healthcare Human Resources Video
(Josh Kaufman)
6. Northside Hospital - VP of Human Resources
(HCA Healthcare Careers)

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