Medicine for Growing Pains
Humana Quickly and Flexibly Expands Workforce with Help from The Adkins Group.

Humana, one of the nation’s largest health benefit companies, had  to quickly find skilled professionals to fill thousands of jobs across the country. With an important  business opportunity to respond  to, the organization needed a quick and flexible way to attract  and hire quality associates to handle an upswing in customer  enrollment as demand increased.

The Adkins Group applied their human resource and staffing knowledge as well as network connections to provide Humana with contract recruiters. The recruiters’ high-level expertise is available on an as-needed basis to match Humana’s fluctuating hiring requirements.

With The Adkins Group’s help, the Humana human resources department did not have to waste valuable time sourcing and screening recruiters. In one year, Humana trained and placed more than 7,000 qualified associates in a wide range of positions and multiple locations.

Humana Inc., headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, is one of the nation’s largest publicly traded health benefi ts companies, with approximately 9 million medical members. Humana has proven over their 45-year history that they embrace change and seize opportunities that help to transform their business. Their vision is to become the most trusted name in health solutions.

Humana is committed to helping employers moderate their health care costs and is turning passive users into savvy health care consumers. Humana is known for its many innovative programs designed to give members and employers reliable access to healthcare. Plus, Humana’s online resources are making the most of today’s technology to bring added convenience and capabilities to members.

While cutting-edge business models and the latest technology are important to a business’ success, having the right people in the right positions is even more crucial. As a company that helps employers care for their most valuable asset, human capital, Humana understands how critical a stellar staff can be to every part of a company’s operations.

Due to legislative changes with Medicare governance, millions of Senior Citizens would soon become eligible to participate in a drug prescription program. Humana, one of the nation’s largest health benefit companies, had to anticipate what these changes would do to their existing associate base population. They had to quickly find skilled professionals to fill thousands of jobs across the country. The organization needed a flexible way to hire enough quality associates to handle an upswing in customer
enrollment as demand increased.

“We knew that the Medicare changes would result in more members. This, in turn, meant that our company had to grow quickly in all areas to support the increased demand” Kathi Connors-Hardy, process manager for talent resources at Humana explains. “But we had no way to predict the pace and size of that growth which was dependant upon untested consumer behavior.”

In order to meet the unique needs of its Medicare members Humana implemented the Medicare Expansion Project, which focused on taking Medicare members through various stages of the selection process. New positions were being created to establish specialized Medicare units between Sales and Operations. Sales representatives were hired to staff enrollment kiosks located in Wal-Mart stores across the country. Operations members were hired in Louisville, Kentucky and Tampa, Florida to respond to calls and to process enrollment applications for Humana’s newest members.

“When you are growing and changing this fast, you have to develop processes and policies as you go along,” says Kathi. “We needed associates with a high degree of education who can deal with a great deal of ambiguity.” The success of the Medicare Expansion Project depends upon finding connected recruiters who can locate thousands of qualified candidates and quickly determine whether or not they are the right fit for Humana.

Humana turned to The Adkins Group. Steve Weigl, senior account manager for the executive search and recruitment services firm, answered with six carefully-selected recruiters located remotely throughout the country. The recruiters work for Humana on a contract basis which offers the flexibility to expand and reduce hiring capability as market demand fl uctuates.

With tight deadlines to meet aggressive staffing requirements, part of the recruiters’ role is to put together a strategy that targets large numbers of appropriate applicants. “We need a certain number of people to fill our new associate orientation and training classes by specified dates,” Kathi explains. “If we don’t have enough people for a class, positions remain unfilled, the customer is not supported, and revenues are not being generated. This directly impacts our business.”

The Adkins Group’s recruiters play a strategic role that goes far beyond filling jobs. They partner closely with Humana’s staffing and internal managers to assess department needs and define role descriptions in each location. Managers also receive guidance in determining whether or not current employees are suited to fill particular positions. Then the recruiters apply their staffing expertise and experience to finding the ideal candidates for available positions.

The Adkins Group was able to connect Humana with highly-talented, qualified recruiters to meet the intense demands of the Medicare Expansion Project. “I have been able to rely on The Adkins Group to provide top-tier recruiters,” Kathi shares.  “I don’t waste time screening the people they recommend. I know that if Steve is sending someone to me, they are qualified, and I’ll want them on-board the same day.”

With the help of The Adkins Group’s contract recruiters, Humana has hired more than 7,000 people in one year. The new employees are located in all areas of the organization, from sales to operations to administrative and management functions, and they are located in Humana offi ces throughout the country.

More important than the numbers is the fact that the new associates are the right fit for the company. The recruiters work closely with department managers to determine the skills and talents that will help their teams succeed. This has far-reaching impacts such as smoother associate training and orientation as well as better customer service for Humana members. And ultimately, quality hires reduce costs for the company in terms of excellent job performance and lower workforce turnover.

Additionally, The Adkins Group delivers results within tight deadlines often finding and placing candidates weeks sooner than typical hiring timelines. “The Adkins Group certainly understands our business,” says Kathi. “And they are connected. They don’t just mine databases for candidates. They rely on personal relationships that have been built over time.”