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Afya Hospital’s Recruitment of Volunteers Case Study


One of the processes that need improvement in Afya Hospital is the management of the recruitment of volunteers. This paper presents a process management plan that can help the hospital to improve the process.

Process Description

The process of recruiting volunteers is more complicated than it appears. The complications arise because of the unique working conditions of volunteers (Epicor 2011). The hospital usually handles three types of volunteers. The first category of volunteers is qualified and experienced professionals. Some volunteers are fully qualified professionals who want to give some of their time and expertise to the hospital. These volunteers usually have limited time and restricted timetables. Some of them are retired professionals who still want to offer their expertise. Usually, they do not accept full-time responsibilities. Other volunteers are young professionals who are on holiday or other assignments in the region. In this case, they volunteer in the hospital to make the best use of their spare time. The second category of volunteers is the newly qualified professionals who are looking for opportunities to build their experience. They usually offer themselves full time to the hospital. The third category of volunteers is those seconded from organizations that coordinate voluntary work. Their terms of service usually depend on the conditions given by the sponsoring organization.

Afya hospital does not have a robust system for recruiting and managing volunteers. The feeling that most managers in the hospital have towards volunteers is that they are not reliable, because they do not have a performance contract with the hospital. This feeling is justified based on some of the experiences of the managers who have worked with volunteers. However, general apathy towards volunteers demoralizes the enthusiastic ones (Arnold 2007). There is a need to develop a process that can ensure that the hospital fully utilizes the energies of the volunteers.

Definition of Goals

The goals of this improvement exercise in the administration of the recruitment of volunteers in Afya Hospital are as follows. The first objective is to clarify the classification of voluntary staff. It is important to develop a formal classification of the categories of volunteers in the hospital. This will aid in the evaluation of the volunteer service program at the hospital (Boyle 2011). The managers will have data to help them determine the categories of volunteers that bring the most value to the hospital and to determine the most efficient ratio of volunteers at any time.

The second objective is to develop a model that can support effective recruitment of volunteers. Currently, the hospital is a passive recruiter (Kottolli, 2006). This means that there is no structured process for the recruitment of volunteers. The managers handle each application for voluntary work on a case-by-case basis. By improving the process, the hospital can tap into the voluntary workforce to increase the capacity of the hospital to handle medical needs.

The third objective is to streamline the process of empowering volunteers to perform well in the hospital. The hospital has an orientation program meant for permanent staff that includes a meeting with the management board. On the other hand, volunteers only meet a departmental manager during the recruitment process. This makes volunteers feel excluded. Partly, the blame lies in the haphazard nature of volunteer recruitment. If the volunteers receive a better welcome, they are likely to perform better (Hudson 2001).

Elegant Design

The model for the current recruitment process is as follows.

Stage Activity Responsibility Comments
1 Application to offer volunteer services Volunteer or Parent Organization No control by the hospital regarding when and who applies to become a volunteer in the organization
2 Review of applications and issuance of recommendation for action A Departmental Manager Reviews are subjective and are based on departmental needs rather than the overall organizational needs
3 Approval of application Management Board Approvals dependent on the date of the next scheduled meeting of the board
4 Response to the volunteer A Departmental Manager
5 Induction Meeting A Departmental Manager, Volunteer Volunteer only interacts with a Departmental Manager

Figure 1: Existing Process Model.

The elegant design for the process of volunteer recruitment has the following aspects. First, the hospital needs to become proactive in looking for volunteers (Arnold, 2007). This can help the hospital to close key human resource gaps. Also, the volunteers will feel needed, and therefore they will be motivated to perform well. Secondly, the hospital can handle recruitment just once a year. This will enable it to optimize recruitment resources rather than dealing with perennial volunteer recruitment. The second change proposed to the current model is that the departmental managers should recruit volunteers collectively (Arson & Gray 2011). This can be done by constituting a volunteer recruitment committee annually to handle all applications at once. This will increase the value the hospital derives from volunteer workers. The third change needed is the development of a volunteer induction program that should include a meeting with the hospital’s management board (Robert 2005). This will show the volunteers that the hospital takes its recruitment seriously. Subsequently, the volunteers will be motivated to perform well.

The elegant model for the volunteer recruitment process is as follows.

Stage Activity Responsibility Comments
1 Advertisement of volunteer positions Volunteer recruitment committee (Composed of the departmental managers) This will ensure volunteer recruitment is in line with the needs of the hospital
2 Application to fill volunteer services Volunteer or Parent Organization Candidates will need to show that they can fill the positions
3 Review of applications, and issuance of recommendation for action Volunteer recruitment committee Reviews will be based on the overall needs of the hospital
4 Approval of application Hospital’s Management Board Special meeting to be held to give approvals
5 Response to the volunteer Volunteer recruitment committee
6 Volunteer Induction Program Volunteer recruitment committee Volunteer interacts with departmental staff, all the departmental managers, and management board

Figure 2: Elegant model of volunteer recruitment.

Improvement of Personal Productivity

The elegant model will increase the productivity of the institution in three ways. First, the departmental managers stop handling perennial volunteer applications. They will handle all applications at a predetermined interval. This will free them to handle other responsibilities. The new model will also help the line managers to think for the organization, and not just for their own departments (Bauer & Nay 2008). This is very good for the strategic positioning of the facility (Robert, 2005).

The second level of efficiencies that the hospital will experience will be related to management board meetings. The management board will not be handling requests for approvals for volunteer positions in all their meetings. Rather, the board will meet once a year to handle all applications. Even in the event of follow up applications, the demand on the board’s time will be minimal.

The third enhancement in productivity will be performance improvement of the hospital-based on the extra capacity acquired through volunteer recruitment (Sullivan 2012). The elegant model will make it possible for the hospital to recruit volunteers according to the human resource gaps in the facility. This will lead to the provision of better services to the patients. The involvement of the entire management of the hospital in the program will also ensure that the volunteers engage with their duties with a higher degree of motivation, compared to the current levels (Zell 2003).

Empowerment of Participants and Managers

The management of the elegant recruitment model will require a higher level of collaboration between departmental managers. At the same time, it is clear that the process will have to take into special account circumstances such as the recruitment of professional volunteers, who may need special terms and working conditions depending on the demand for their services and their availability.

The departmental managers usually meet to deal with other organizational issues. These meetings can help them to handle preliminary and emergent issues related to the volunteer recruitment program. One of the main issues that they will need to handle every year will be the review of the volunteer recruitment process to determine the areas that need improvement (Arson & Gray 2011). A review of the process will enable the managers to determine better ways of handling recruitment tasks.

Performance appraisals can also help the managers to evaluate the effectiveness of the volunteers. Just as the managers carry out performance appraisals for the existing staff, volunteers also need to be appraised to determine their effectiveness in the organization. Information collected from these performance appraisals will help the hospital to find ways of strengthening the voluntary service program in the hospital.

Keeping the Process in Tune

The elegant model for the management of volunteer recruitment can become obsolete based on the following grounds. First, if there is any legislation passed that restricts foreigners from working locally, or restricts the use of volunteers in certain aspects of healthcare, then the process will require an upgrade (Kottolli 2006). Secondly, the process may become obsolete if the hospital determines that it does not have human resource shortfalls that can be filled by voluntary service.

To keep the process in tune, the hospital will need to do the following. First, an annual review of the process by the management board will be necessary to determine whether any value arises from the voluntary service program. Secondly, there will need to develop a method of measuring the effectiveness of the three categories of volunteers. This will help the hospital to determine the ratios of the volunteers needed for the program to remain effective. The process goals can then be changed to reflect the new needs.

Creation of Transparency

The best method for creating process transparency is by using performance appraisals. The three players in the volunteer recruitment process are the volunteers, the departmental managers (who make up the volunteer recruitment committee), and the hospital’s management board. These parties need to know whether the program is beneficial to them and the organization. During recruitment, the managers must rely on the objectives set for the annual recruitment drive. This includes the number of volunteers needed, and the specific qualifications required for those positions. After the process, the best way to ensure process transparency is by conducting performance reviews. The performance appraisals for the volunteers should have sections that capture their experiences in the hospital. These sections should aim at identifying the benefits they have derived from the process (Epicor 2011). The volunteers are also a good source of information regarding how well each of the recruitment stages worked. For instance, did their meeting with the hospital’s management board increase their level of motivation? This will enable all the players to have metrics that they can use for decision-making.

Managing Customer Experience

The customers of a hospital are the patients that come for medical services. Customer satisfaction in the provision of health services depends on patient waiting time, the accuracy of diagnosis, and the delivery of interventions (Boyle 2011).

The impact of the volunteer’s service on patient waiting time will depend on the specific jobs the volunteers can do. If the hospital has a shortage of nurses, volunteer nurses can help to speed up the process of accessing services in the hospital. This includes services such as dressing of wounds, triage, and any other clinical assistance physicians might need. The presence of a volunteer physician can also help to increase the number of patients that the facility can treat in a unit time (Sullivan 2012).

Volunteer specialists in the hospital can help to increase the accuracy of diagnosis. For instance, a volunteer nutritionist can help the hospital to handle nutritional disorders quickly and accurately. If the hospital does not have a resident nutritionist, the extra capacity will increase the ability of the hospital to handle the related issues.

Reference List

Arnold, JT 2007, ‘Moving to a New HRIS: Time for a New Human Resource Information System? Plan Ahead for a Painless Conversion’, HR Magazine, June 2007, pp. 125-132.

Arson, EW & Gray, CF 2011, Project Management: The Managerial Process, , McGraw Hill International, New York, NY.

Bauer, M & Nay, R 2008, ‘Factors Associated with Constructive Nursing Staff-Family Relationships in Care of Older Adults in the Institutional Setting. A Systematic Review’, International Journal of Evidence-Based Healthcare, pp. 23-45.

Boyle, S 2011, ‘Health Systems in Transition’, United Kingdom (England) Health System in ReviewV, pp. 1-467.

Epicor 2011, ‘Talent Management in the Coming Decade: How HRIS can Help’, Workforce Management, 2011, p. 42.

Hudson, P 2001, ‘Safety Management and Safety Culture: The Long, Hard and Winding Road’, Proceedings of the National Conference on Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems, Crown Content, Melbourne.

Kottolli, A 2006, . Web.

Robert, MG 2005, Contemporary Strategy Analysis, Wiley-Blackwell, Malden, MA.

Sullivan, S 2012, ‘A Strategy to Reduce Wait Times in Newfoundland and Labrador’, Department of Health and Community Services, Newfoundland.

Zell, D 2003, ‘Organizational Change as a Process of Death, Dying, and Rebirth’, Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, vol 39, no. 1, pp. 73-99.

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