Will A Bidding Process Be Applied To Jobs?

from the how-much-is-an-extra-hour-worth... dept

Roland Piquepaille writes “Two U.S. hospitals, one in Ayer, Massachusetts, and another one in Chicago, have found an innovative way to deal with nursing shortage. They post shift openings and the highest hourly rate they’re willing to pay. Then, the nurses bid online for these extra shifts. The lowest bidders get the shifts and are notified by e-mail. The software behind the process, named eShift and marketed by FlexEstaff, is raising eyebrows at nurses associations. Still, FlexEstaff is negotiating with 8 more hospitals. This bidding process is almost certainly a good thing for the hospitals, but is it good for the nurses? Will we soon other industries adopt auction systems? Imagine a company telling you, “Hey, you want to make some extra dollars by building this car or writing this piece of software? Name your price, and you’ll make some more cash.” What do you think of this bidding process? Read more before posting your comments. Techdirt carried a similar story back in Decemmber 2003, “Techdirt:Nurses Bidding On Their Work Schedule, Hourly Pay Rate. But it didn’t answer my basic question: what will happen if this process is adopted by other industries?”

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Will A Bidding Process Be Applied To Jobs?”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
RJD says:

No Subject Given

My missus works as a nurse so I have had a first had look at supply and demand. The bidding process sounds good IF you have that many nurses looking for work. Where she’s at, she’s generally paid a bonus on top of overtime for taking an extra shift because there aren’t enough nurses who want to take on the extra work. She’s supposed to be a 32 hr per week emp and hasn’t worked less than 50 since she started. She seldom turns down work because she feels guility about it unless she has a ‘real’ reason (being tired isn’t considered a real reason).

I like the idea of it being applied to other industries but I suspect a labor orginazation of some kind will step in shortly on this will be found illegal or unconstitutional or some other such nonsense.

From both a business and employee aspect, if applied correctly, this could be good for both. The employer makes out by getting the ‘low bidder’ and ASSUMING the work is something the person WANTS to do, they making out but getting paid to do something they enjoy. For example; think of your ‘junior programmer’ who bids low to work on a ‘uber cool’ project that he/she would never have the opportunity to if it wasn’t for the shortage/bidding process.

As long as the legal system doesn’t get in the way, this method could be an effective method for everyone to accomplish their end goals.

acousticiris says:

This sounds like a *bad* idea...

Imagine if they applied this philosophy to the surgeons? Do you really want someone operating on you in the Emergency room who won the job because he had the lowest bid?

I guess it comes down to this: A nurse with 8 years of experience is worth more than a nurse with 1 year of experience. Conversly, a nurse with 1 year of experience is more likely to bid lower to gain experience.

Having people bid on a job assumes that everyone who is bidding on that job is equally qualified and skilled. Having worked at a company, I can tell you that there are folks with my job title that have more and less skills than I do. I’m sure — in some way — we all get paid to reflect that.

This is not a way to address the nursing shortage. In fact, this will probably serve to make it worse if it turns out there are several people willing to work for peanuts. Assuming a good nurse will not work for peanuts…those skilled individuals won’t stay in that field.

Mark says:

bid towards the lowest common denominator

I ran into a similar setup a few years back — a website that claimed to allow freelancers to connect with employers by allowing the freelancers to bid on projects. The result? Almost every bid was for zero, because many freelancers actually wanted to work full-time and were willing to work for free in order to get their foot in the door. The long-term result: qualified freelancers went elsewhere and the website went offline.

You only want a competitive bid process in an environment where there’s a reasonable equality of skills. It *might* work in industries where the employees are licensed, based on their ability to display minimal competence. In every other situation, it will simply allow those with lower skills and less experience to take work away from the more experienced, since they’re willing to work for next to nothing in exchange for the experience. It’s not a system that’s sustainable over the long term (particularly in hospitals, where patients would not like the idea that they’re being cared for by the low bidders).

eskayp says:

Job Bidding

Talk to people who sweated out the Great Depression of the 30’s and many will tell you ‘Been there, done that’.
In those lean, labor-surplus, job-short days work was ‘sold’ to the lowest bidder.
Sometimes the bid was a low wage proposal.
Sometimes it was a bribe to the job-boss’ wallet.
Funny how today is looking more like yesterday.
Blue collar and white collar are being replaced by dog collar.
I didn’t desert Windows,
Windows deserted me: BSOD.

Factory says:

No Subject Given

Sorta similar practices were what started the union movement in the docklands. In the docklands case though it was the practice of only hiring the employees for the day.
The problem here is that the workers cannot spread their risk like the company can, so they end up getting the bad part of the deal. This would also set the workers against each other, which would not be conducive to a good working enviroment.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...