UnitedHealth Group : Needing a full check-up

Worldwide coverage is not consistently coordinated and maintained.

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The feature

UnitedHealth Group, US-based healthcare services provider, has been afflicted by a partial breakdown in a key area of its global website.

UnitedHealth Group has a quick links panel, ‘Find’, on its home page in which the leading option is Employment. In addition, the primary navigation bar includes Careers as its final section heading. For the past week (from 30 January), both links – Employment and Careers – have consistently launched a Server Error page where a technical Runtime Error is highlighted (the Employment link has sometimes worked correctly initially before reverting to the error). The URL shows the page to be on a separate careers site (careers.unitedhealthgroup.com).

The problem may manifest itself only outside the US: while it was affecting UK-based users in testing on a US-located computer both links have loaded the careers section without hitch (though on a US VPN from Europe the problem recurred). Access from links on the group’s careers Facebook page were unimpeded in both locations.

The takeaway

Jobseekers remain the single biggest visitor group to most corporate websites, a fact on which UnitedHealth Group has clearly acted in giving Employment pride of place in its home page’s quick links panel. It follows that careers content should also be a priority for maintenance and upkeep, something that the group seems to have taken less to heart, at least as far as its global audience is concerned. Given a sizeable recruitment need outside of North America (124 jobs are currently advertised for the rest of the world excluding the US and Canada), how can it be that the company is unable to recognise and move quickly to correct a fundamental linking problem that prevents a significant part of its jobseeker audience seeing its careers information?

Its quality assurance processes must ultimately bear the blame for the problem to have persisted so long without any intervention. (And that includes not just a permanent fix but also a friendlier holding message and even re-routing via the Facebook page pro tem.) Other culprits could be the underlying server network – if local servers are not ‘flushed’ (refreshed) frequently enough users in some countries could be seeing different cached content. It is also possible that the group contracts out maintenance and servicing to an agency, which is common practice among US corporates, and so is not directly aware of the problem. Or is paying the price for allowing its careers site to sit on a standalone location rather than being an integral part of the group site. Whichever, it needs a quick diagnosis and cure.

First published 06 February, 2014
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