IQMS Blog for Manufacturing ERP Expertise

It's not Personal, It's just Business: Human Resource Tools from IQMS

Posted by Liz Alflen on Thu, Jun 02, 2011 @ 10:55 AM

Hiring is like a first dateEffective employee hiring, development and retention/termination are critical to the success of any business. As a high-tech software provider, IQMS moves at a fast pace and agility is key. Our people are world-class and need to have the ability to shift gears at high speeds. We are always looking for the right attitude, the right aptitude and a manageable skill set that can be developed. When hiring, we’re looking for candidates who match our needs, and in employees, we’re making sure that our relationships continue to be mutually fulfilling. It’s what we all want in our personal relationships, too, if we look at it that way. 

When you have a good Human Resource Information System (HRIS), tracking the effectiveness of this process is a lot easier for a business relationship, especially when compared to what we go through when establishing personal relationships. 

When dating or interviewing, there are many similarities. Think of the first date: Both people are “dressed up” and a little nervous. They know a little bit about one another, but it’s still pretty superficial. One of them says something to break the ice, or asks a question. Conversation starts slowly as someone shares a comment, then one asks a question. The other answers the question, shares something and asks another question. They both relax a little and get into the rhythm. If the information shared is appreciated - perhaps with encouragement, a nod of the head or a smile - the conversation moves smoothly forward. They revisit factors that brought them together in the first place: background, experience and perhaps something special - an attitude or a perspective. With confirmation of the original assessment (the one that brought them to this date), the next action is already being planned. 

If there’s a second date, both parties want to know more. They want to get beyond the initial presentation and determine if there is enough of interest to continue to learn more. If not before, by the middle or end of the third date, one of the parties is thinking about making an offer… 

After each interview at IQMS, we go back to our EnterpriseIQ WorkForce module and enter our notes for applicant maintenance.

Do they meet the specified criteria? Do they have any outstanding characteristics? Do they have any apparent gaps in their qualifications? How do their qualifications compare to the job description? Do they fit our culture? 

All members of the hiring team (granted, there’s rarely a team involved when dating) can access the interviewers' notes for comparison. Consistency is important, so the transparency of the information (with role-based security) allows us to view other interviewers’ comments and compare with our own impressions. In this area, your HRIS is key to efficiency. When dating, it may seem callous to make detailed notes of first date impressions, but this could preclude many bad second dates. If you could refer back and see they actually didn't meet the minimum specified criteria, better to end it now rather than pursue a dead-end. It’s easier in business. 

In EnterpriseIQ, we can track employee skills, training and certification in our WorkForce employee training module. This helps us track all of these criteria by effective dates, re-training and re-certification dates, and additional comments per employee, by department and by trainer. How often do we go through the exercise of evaluating our personal relationships for growth and skills renewal? Maybe we should be doing this! It’s very easy with a good software system. If only it were that easy in our personal lives. In addition, there’s a nice feeling of confidence when you know that the relationship is in alignment. 

And as we know from experience, occasionally there comes a juncture where we find it’s time to part ways. When the skills/experience no longer match the needs, it’s a critical time in the relationship. Can the skills be developed? Would a third-party (trainer, consultant or counselor) be effective in this situation? Is it behavioral or situational? 

All factors are considered. Parting ways in business does feel like breaking up sometimes. It shouldn’t. "It’s just business,” after all. We all know this is a potentially painful situation, yet sometimes there is a strange relief in the breaking of the relationship. This is an indication that the parting of ways is indeed appropriate. And sometimes events transpire beyond both parties’ control that take precedence and the parting of ways is sad, but not uncomfortable. 

In our personal lives, we may bemoan the ending and spend some time reminiscing either the good or the bad aspects or events that shaped the relationship. In business, we simply log the information into our HRIS under reason for separation. It’s not personal; it’s just business. And we look forward to the next hiring project and the next first date. 

What other employee information do you track in your HRIS?

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Tags: manufacturing ERP software, IQMS, EnterpriseIQ, ERP, Training, Human Resources