Evaluating and Improving Hr Practices Within an Organization

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Introduction 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



Links: to descriptions of every officer position in the Navy are provided, along with all the forms needed to apply for the Navy officer programs available. The only in-person requirement is the famous trip to a Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) for an initial physical. For NROTC applicants, even that requirement is waived. To give you a prime example of the effectiveness of the Internet to recruit personnel, prior to using online applications and email recruiting efforts to attract new applicants, the Navy Recruiting District (NRD) Montgomery Officer Programs (OPO) Department was ranked dead last out of 31 districts nationwide near the end of fiscal year 2003. Within 12 months of implementing the new online recruiting system, the NRD Montgomery elevated its national standing to as high as 2nd place overall during fiscal year 2004. The same metrics were used in both 2003 and 2004; however, it is sometimes necessary to examine not only the metrics which allow employers to get a multifaceted view of recruiting practices, but also the recruiting processes already in place. Retaining skilled enlisted and officers is a top priority within the military. Currently, the Air Force and Navy are downsizing, while the Army is looking for enlisted personnel and officers to fill the gaps that resulted from increasing real world demands in the Middle East. Operation Blue to Green, a formal interservice transfer program was created for military personnel in the Air Force and Navy to tranfer into the Army while retaining the rank and previledges that military service affords. Military personnel can apply through normal interservice transfer channels that were already in place; thereby, streamlining the process to allow for expeditious processing. Conclusion No longer satisfied with basic metrics that show how many job openings are being filled or how long it takes to fill them, HR professionals are analyzing hiring data in greater depth to better determine the value of their hiring practices and to better align them with business priorities and employee retention. (The next generation of hiring metrics: new tools and approaches are helping HR achieve a deeper understanding of the value of an organization 's hiring practices, HR Magazine, April 2005). Improving HR practices will produce qualified candidates who will stay longer and contribute more to an organization, resulting in lower recruitment, hiring, and retention-related costs.

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