Evaluating and Improving Hr Practices Within an Organization

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Corporate America and government agencies continue to improve their HR practices to stay competitive in today's changing marketplace. By taking too long to find and to hire talented professionals in a tight labor market, companies and government agencies are losing out on top candidates and limiting their ability to become innovative and dynamic organizations. Traditional, deliberate, and risk-averse hiring and retention models lead to positions remaining open for long periods, opportunities lost as top prospects find other positions, and a reduction in the overall talent level of the organization. To be more competitive and effective in their recruitment and retnetion processes, organizations must foster manageable internal solutions, look to other professions for more effective techniques and models, and employ innovative concepts from modern personnel management literature, such as Six Sigma (http://muse.jhu.edu/cgi-bin/access.cgi?uri=/journals/portal_libraries_and_the_academy/v003/3.1raschke.html ).

This paper discuss various methodologies that large corporations, government agencies and even the U.S. military are using to improve their HR practices within their respective organizations. Utilizing Six Sigma in HR Practices

Six Sigma is defined as a rigorous and disciplined methodology that utilizes data and statistical analysis to measure and improve a company's operational performance, practices and systems. In many organizations, it simply means a measure of quality that strives for near perfection (www.dmreview.com/resources/glossary.cfm?keywordId=S). Six Sigma initially identified and prevented defects in manufacturing and service-related processes when it was first implemented. However, today it is also being used to streamline hiring and retention practices. Developed at Motorola in the 1980s and practiced by large corporations such as GE, Dow and Honeywell, Six Sigma is a quality initiative that uses data and statistical analysis to measure business processes and their outcomes. The cornerstone of the Six Sigma methodology is the concept of a defect. A defect is defined as a failure to deliver what the customer wants. Defects inherently present in a process can be measured, in order to improve the process creating the defects. The central principle of Six Sigma is that by measuring the defects a process produces, one can systematically identify and remove sources of error, so as to approach the ideal state of no defects at all. The standards of Six Sigma are very high: a business process has attained Six Sigma quality when only 3.4 defects occur per every one million opportunities. Six Sigma was originally applied in a manufacturing environment, but its principles are applicable to customer service and even internal services such as recruiting (http://www.taleo.com). Six Sigma "defects" in corporate staffing

The whole value proposition of a Six-Sigma HR process is to improve profitability by improving personal productivity and in turn the bottom line. For example, hiring research shows that a company with 100 managers/professionals earning an average of $80K each will lose about $3,484,000 each year from individual productivity differences (100 x $80K x 48% average productivity difference). If that kind of money were being lost in manufacturing, it would warrant immediate corrective action. But reducing Six-Sigma error in individual performance is another matter (www.erexchange.com/articles/db/F8C1093C2DCE4E2FA26F8EA7FC253580.asp). Following the Six Sigma methodology, the process to be improved must be defined and mapped out. A process map is a graphic representation of the process, showing it broken down into its detailed steps. A process map helps visualize the entire process and identify key metrics for measurement and analysis. Measuring the performance of the process is a data-driven exercise, so there must be steps in the process that perform the critical data...
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