HR Arabia

September 20, 2007


Filed under: HR,HRM,human resources,planning — Khaled @ 12:29 am

Human Resource Planning is a relatively traditional discipline. However the
world of business is changing rapidly and new tools are necessary if we in
HR are to meet these new challenges. This is a list of “New Age” HR planning
tools that you might consider adding to your HR “toolkit”.

– *Corporate Head count “Fat” Assessment Plan *
Ever wonder why the decision that we need layoffs seems to come up as
a surprise? Why not establish a set of assessment tools that will let you
know in advance where head count and overhead costs are excessive.

– *Redeployment / Agility Plans*
In this changing world it is not uncommon for new markets and products
to open (and close) rapidly. Companies need to have a strategy to remain
“agile” and to be able to move people, and resources rapidly from areas of
low return to areas of a higher return.

– *”Smoke” Detectors (Predictors) *
If HR is to be proactive it needs to be able to anticipate problems.
Developing HR systems and metrics known as “smoke detectors” that indicate
potential problems might give us sufficient time to develop plans and
strategies to either avoid the problem or minimize its impact.

– *Bench Strength (Back Fill) Plan *
In this time of high turnover, it’s increasingly essential to have a
strategy of identifying and developing individuals that can take over if an
employee leaves. A bench strength plan differs from traditional succession
planning in that it only covers replacing key jobs within a single
department. It is not a company-wide succession plan. Individual managers
are held responsible for developing at least one individual to fill every
key job.

– *Employee Challenge Plan*
One of the primary reasons employees leave their jobs is due to a lack
of challenge. HR can dramatically increase retention rates if it gets
managers to develop individual “Challenge Plans” for each worker. The plan
is reviewed each month to ensure that the individual is constantly growing
and feels challenged.

– *Retention Plan*
A retention plan is a corporate strategy to lower turnover. The first
step is to identify key performers and hard to fill positions. Individuals
that may be “at risk” are identified. Individuals or position -wide
strategies are then developed to increase their retention rates. Additional
efforts are made to identify why people stay in their jobs and why people

– *Quality of Labor Supply Forecasts*
Identifying the “quality” of the future labor supply is a medium term
strategy based on the assumption that the available labor force will not
have the competencies and skills that our company needs. Accurate
forecasting will allow a company to prepare training and development plans
to upgrade the available talent. Adequate preparation will give us a
competitive talent advantage over our rivals.

– *Horizontal Progression Plan*
Because most companies have delayered or eliminated many management
positions there are fewer opportunities for promotion to stimulate workers.
As a result, companies need to develop horizontal transfer and job rotation
plans to ensure the continued development of both technical and managerial
skills among our top employees.

– *Work/Life Balance Supply/Demand Forecasts*
New hires, as well as our current workers are demanding an increasing
array of benefits and work life balance options. HR needs to develop
strategies to accurately assess what those work life balance demands will
be. It must also be able to forecast what percentage of our work force will
choose to participate in work life balance programs like job sharing and
sabbaticals. This forecast will enable us to be prepared for the decreased
amount of hours our employees will be willing to put in.

– *Learning / Knowledge Plan*
Companies are becoming increasingly aware that a major competitive
advantage occurs when a company can rapidly acquire information/ solutions
and swiftly share them throughout the company. HR can help by assisting
managers in developing individual and corporate wide learning plans and
strategies to increase our speed of learning and the application of that
knowledge within our company.

– *Skills/ Competency Inventories*

In order to rapidly redeploy resources and fill unexpected vacancies
HR must develop computerized skill or competency inventories. Such
inventories allow us to “throw” talent at a problem because we are aware of
which individuals in our corporation have the needed skill or experience to
solve that problem. These inventories do not require people to move between
positions as they can also be used as sources for advice and benchmarking.

– *Interest Inventories*
In order to retain employees it is essential that we have a strategy
for identifying and meeting the changing needs of our workers. By asking
workers What projects they might like to work on? What skills they would
like to develop? and What individuals or teams would they like to work with?
managers can develop strategies for increasing a worker excitement and
productivity levels.

– *Candidate Expectation (offer acceptance criteria) Forecast *
The increased number of job openings and the “unique” expectations of
the current crop of generation Xer’s and college hires makes it increasingly
more difficult to get candidates to accept an offer. By using focus groups
and surveys companies can identify and forecast the unique offer acceptance
demands of it’s recruits. Accurate forecasts can give the company sufficient
time to develop the array of programs and benefits that are increasingly
essential to get a candidate to say yes.

– *HR Competitive Analysis*
As CEOs become increasingly aware of the value of strong HR programs
they’re demanding that each and every program we offer is superior to that
of our direct competitors. This requires a side by side and program by
program s assessment on how every HR program we currently have is superior
to our competitors. In addition, in order to continually improve, HR must
show an improvement each year in our “this year to last years” comparison.

– *Bad Management Identification Program*
One of the primary reasons that employees quit their jobs are the bad
management practices of their direct supervisor. Companies often thrown
managers into their jobs with little training or preparation Through the use
of surveys, 360 degree assessments and interviews companies can identify
“bad managers”. The organization can then develop strategies for fixing
these managers, transferring them back to more technical jobs or for
releasing them. Because managers are responsible for meeting many employee
needs that are cited as reasons for employee turnover (communicating with
the worker, challenging them, recognizing their efforts etc.) fixing bad
managers may be the single most important factor in increasing productivity
and decreasing turnover.

– *Talent Acquisition Through Mergers & Acquisition Plan *
There are ways to acquire talent beyond traditional recruiting.
Acquiring “intact” teams and large numbers of talented people (with similar
values) rapidly is possible by having HR “scout out” target firms and then
recommending their acquisition just for their employees.

– *Targeted Succession plans*
Targeted succession plans are narrowly focused strategies for ensuring
that individuals are available to fill vacant key positions in project
teams. Targeted areas often include major software implementations, year
2000 efforts and product development teams. Most succession plans have often
failed because they were too broad. Targeted plans allow the focus and
forecasting to be more narrowly applied with the goal of increasing the
accuracy of the planning.

– *Turnover / Exit Forecast*
A strong economy coupled with large swings in the health of world
economies makes predicting the supply of labor increasingly difficult. The
other side of this issue is identifying where our company is likely to lose
key talent through turnover and retirements. This turnover forecast is
designed to predict short term vacancies in the next six months in order to
prepare the appropriate recruitment or internal promotion strategies.

When HR Becomes CSI

Filed under: csi,HR,HRM,human resources — Khaled @ 12:15 am

by John Sullivan

[Workforce Week September 9-15, 2007 Vol. 8 Issue 37]

HR can take some lessons from a wildly popular television show – CSI: Crime Scene Investigation – to develop methodologies for uncovering what’s killing success in an organization.

With more than 25 million viewers week after week, the television series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation is a certified hit. The crime drama, which demonstrates the use of science to prove how a crime occurred, is so popular that CBS has spun it into a three-series franchise.

The shows demonstrate again and again that assumptions are often wrong and that situations can be interpreted from a number of different angles. And each episode, believe it or not, is packed with learning opportunities for the HR profession. Unfortunately, analyzing untoward events – even ones short of murder – is something that rarely occurs in the HR function.

The effort to understand the underlying reason that an initiative or product fails is called root-cause analysis. In management circles, the efforts are also referred to as post-mortems, but some organizations refer to them as forensic HR or HR failure analysis. Companies like Intel, Microsoft, Valero, GE, Charles Schwab and MGM Grand are well known for digging deep into failures to understand how and why they occurred.

Even if HR had no responsibility for a failure in question, it must become accountable for identifying the causes of the failure and the steps that can be taken to prevent future occurrences.

You need a failure analysis process:
The premise of CSI is that careful examination and application of scientific methods can solve crimes. Prior to the introduction of crime-scene investigation protocols, investigators relied on hunches, treating each case as if it were unique. Today, the protocols insure that a methodical, repeatable process is followed, and point investigators to the answers more quickly as patterns emerge from crime to crime.

I have visited a great many HR operations and can attest that they rarely conduct themselves like a CSI team. Too many practitioners view HR as an art and not a science. They make assumptions, but rarely implement protocols to test their validity. As a result, numerous HR organizations are constantly putting out organizational fires that could have been predicted and prevented.

There are lots of reasons why HR is in this bind, but the overriding reason is that HR people traditionally are not trained in financial analysis – the very tool they need to ascertain why something failed. And they find it difficult to get help from finance, because HR typically doesn’t speak finance’s language. It’s like a beat cop who doesn’t grasp the basics of forensic science trying to talk shop with Gil Grissom, CSI’s lead investigator.

Where to start:
Crime scene investigators have learned that ascertaining how – and even why – a victim was murdered must be a methodical, dispassionate process. Organizations that want to understand why things went wrong need to assemble a failure-analysis team and develop a process or a template to use when examining such breakdowns. With a process in place, HR professionals need to acknowledge a harsh truth: Nearly every failure in an organization can be tracked back to workforce issues.

For example: Post-mortems routinely reveal that organizations make a bad hires at least a third of the time. Employees who are let go and top performers who quit must also be counted as failures. Add to that list those top candidates who reject offers, poor union relations and performance management efforts that fail to produce results, and it is clear that most HR organizations are awash in failure.

Getting to the root:
Painful though it may be, you must prioritize your failures based on their frequency of occurrence and financial impact. Then apply the three-step root-cause analysis process:

1. Define the failure. (In detail, how does the outcome vary from the goal?)
2. Measure the failure. (How far off were you? Do such failures happen all the time?)
3. Uncover cause-and-effect relationships. (How do successful projects differ from unsuccessful ones?)

Over time, or through pilot projects, you can determine if a variance consistently leads to failure or to success. Advanced failure-analysis groups can then go on to identify precursors to a variance. By discovering those patterns, companies can prevent failures in the future. Follow CSI’s lead: Give your investigation team the tools it needs, report to the scene of your organization’s “crime” and get to work. What you see before you is an opportunity to learn – and improve business results.

[About the Author: John Sullivan is a professor of management at San Francisco State University, where he has taught for more than 30 years.]

September 19, 2007

Free HR Forms

Filed under: free,HR,hr forms,HRM — Khaled @ 10:49 am


Hire, manage and motivate your employees more effectively with this collection of useful forms.

All FormNet forms on this site are subject to this disclaimer. Please review prior to using any form. Forms are either in Microsoft Word or Excel format.

Daily Time Sheet
This form helps you keep track of each employee’s hours on a daily basis. This form can be used in conjunction with the Monthly Employee Attendance Record.

Download this Word document

Employee Handbook
The Employee Handbook outlines a company’s employment-related policies. When you present it to employees, you should also have them sign an Acknowledgement of Receipt of Employee Handbook.

Download this Word document

Employee Handbook Receipt
Present this form to employees when you give them an employee handbook. Make sure they return this form to you signed and file it as proof that the employee has read the handbook and agreed to its terms.

Download this Word document

Employee Self-Evaluation
Give this form to an employee before a performance review or at any time to evaluate an employee’s understanding of their job, your organization, its structure and the employee’s role in it.

Download this Word document

Employment Application – Long
Use this longer Employment Application when hiring long-term employees, managers and executives. It provides room for applicants to list several former employers, scholastic honors and future studies, and three personal references.

Download this Word document

Employment Application – Short
This Short Employment Application will be sufficient for most of your company’s hires. For longer-term and executive positions, use the Long Employment Application form.

Download this Word document

Group Payroll Record
This form allows the employer to view all employees’ hours at one time. This form can be used in conjunction with the Quarterly Payroll Record form.

Download this Word document

Independent Contractor’s Agreement
If you have employees who are independent contractors, clarify and document that relationship with this agreement.

Download this Word document

Job Analysis
This form aids you in the employee selection process. Use it with the Job Description form to create recruitment materials, such as classified ads, to determine what attributes you’re looking for.

Download this Word document

Job Applicant Dismissal
Unfortunately, not every resume you receive will be a perfect match. That’s why we’re offering an Applicant Dismissal form letter, which you should send to job seekers who don’t fit your needs.

Download this Word document

Job Description
Use this form to describe the duties of a certain job and how the job relates to other positions in the company. Use this form in conjuction with the Job Analysis form to create recruitment materials, such as classified ads.

Download this Word document

Monthly Employee Attendance Record
Use this form to record the attendance of an employee on a monthly basis. This form gives a detailed record of the reasons for the employee’s absences. To record attendance on a daily basis, use the Daily Time Sheet.

Download this Word document

Offer of Employment and Employment Contract
Found the perfect job candidate? Hire them right by formally announcing the offer of employment and documenting the terms of the employee agreement.

Download this Word document

On-the-Job Training Chart
This form provides a four-step process for employee training. Consult it throughout the training process to understand each step, its purpose and what to do next.

Download this Word document

Performance Evaluation
When evaluating employees, it helps to have a form to guide you and to record the review. Choose the form that works best for your business and use it to provide a written review of an employee’s quality of work and interaction with co-workers.

Download this Word document

Personnel Change Notice
Use this form to record changes in an employee’s status–a new hire, a terminated employee or an employee who has changed position or salary.

Download this Word document

Quarterly Payroll Record
This form allows the employer to see an employees’ hours from a quarterly viewpoint. This form can be used in conjunction with the Group Payroll form, the Daily Time Sheet, the Weekly Time Card and the Monthly Employee Attendence Record.

Download this Word document

Record of Disciplinary Action
Use this form to formally document a disciplinary action against an employee and establish the terms of the employee’s probation. The form serves as a formal written warning so that the employee can’t suggest they didn’t receive warnings or discipline.

Download this Word document

Weekly Time Card
This form is used to keep a weekly record of an employee’s time, specifically for payroll purposes. Use the form in conjuction with the Daily Time Sheet and Monthly Employee Attendence Record.

Download this Word document

Work for Hire and Proprietary Agreement
This contract is used to maintain the confidentiality of proprietary information and to specify legal ownership of any original properties conceived by a contractor for your business.

Download this Word document

Job Description

I’m preparing a Job description bank for all our employees. The way I do it is list the job titles at our company, then search as many descriptions as I can from job sites and links like below, then I meet with the employee and do a Q/A session then meet with department managers and go through the results, then have the CEO approve them and I’m done.

This of course can help me in setting the career path for each employee and also setup a succession plan as well, then I can see if who needs training and in what field.

If anyone knows or can add to this way of doing it, please do so.



  >> Sample Job Description  
  Skill Based Matrix
Assembler Descriptions Network Analyst Descriptions
Warehouse Worker Job Description Sales Representative Description
Mechanic Job Descriptions Human Resource Generalist Descriptions
Machinist Job Description Corporate Attorney Job Description
Shift Supervisor Job Descriptions Engineer Job Description
Plant Manager Description Accountant Job Description
Administrative Assistant Descriptions Supervisor Descriptions
Executive Secretary Description Manager Description
Computer Technical Descriptons Controller Descriptions
Help Desk Description VP – Sales & Marketing Descriptions
LAN Administrator Descriptions VP – Human Resources Description
Computer Programmer Description CFO Description
Application Analyst Desciptions CIO Descriptions
Systems Analys Description CEO/President Descritption

Call Center Customer Descriptions

Service Representative Job Description

Hiring and retaining quality workers is difficult. That is why a good hire starts with an excellent job description. We offer a wide range of job description forms that will help your organization by using them as-is or modifying them as a template to suit your particular job opening.

Download and use the Job Descriptions that we are offering. They come in MS Word format, as well as in PDF.

Job descriptions are crucial for hiring and retaining the best workers. Often, employees are lead to believe a job is one thing only to be disappointed to find that the employment is not as satisfying and challenging. The result is an employee who is difficult to motivate.

One root cause is the job description originally drawn up the organization itself. It is important to do yearly job surveys in order to understand exactly what the employees are doing. What some managers fail to understand is that employee roles tend to change and morph according to their skills and talents as well as evolving workplace demands.

For this reason we advocate that the HR manager or other administrator conduct an employee job survey and review their Job Descriptions to make sure they match up. Any subsequent employee search will be dependent on an accurate description so that when the employee is hired there will be no surprises, and the quality level and productivity will rise company-wide.


September 18, 2007

The 6 Employee Types: What Jobs Do They Match?

Filed under: employee,HR,HRM — Khaled @ 9:44 am


Author Richard Warner says you must know what personality types employees are before you can match them to the right jobs. He outlines 6 types in a recent book.
There’s been a lot of talk in business circles lately about “alignment,” which basically means getting all the assets of your business pointed toward the same goals.
In people terms, that means matching the right person to the right job. The first step in that process is knowing the types of personalities frequently found in business, and what kind of jobs they’re best for.

One author who’s identified these common personalities is Richard Warner, founder of Warner Design Associates in San Diego, California, and author of the book All Hands on Deck: Choosing the Right People for the Right Jobs. Warner recently wrote a white paper outlining 6 personality types for our subscription website,
Here’s a digest version of what he had to say. Because he gave his book a nautical theme, he extended that notion to the names of his 6 personality types:
–The Captain. This is your C-level person, in a business facility, just as on a ship. Captains, says Warner, know the fundamentals of all parts of the business and how to delegate tasks to make that business go, without overmanaging. Warner compares them to “ideal parents,” who “never play favorites and always take time to address problems and give encouragement and advice.” Captains, says Warner, should be given full power to enforce all regulations in their areas.
–The Explorer. Just as in the world of science, explorers constantly seek new ideas and territories to counter. They’re risk takers and yes, often rule benders. But if you give them the latitude they crave, they can take your company to whole new worlds. “If you want to develop new ideas and be innovative with old ones, find yourself an explorer,” says Warner. But, he also warns, “rein in the explorer from far-fetched or impractical ideas.”
–The Navigator. Some may know this person by another name: the administrator. He or she will likely never be celebrated on a plaque in the lobby as a captain or explorer might, but they keep things on course and sometimes can show real vision in doing so. “Navigators think linearly,” adds Warner, “so explain your company’s history and progress. They thrive when they understand how your company got to where it is today.”
–First Mates are also administrative in nature, but less visible than Navigators. “They move about almost unnoticed,” says Warner, “but they are kind, diplomatic, and above all, dependable.” And they get things get done. Give first mates lots of praise, Warner advises, and “encourage them to speak up when they observe any problems within the company.”
–The Crew Member. While all the above are making sure work gets done, somebody has to actually do it. That’s the job of the crew. These folks are usually dependable but with ambitions limited to doing a good day’s work for a fair rate of pay. Warner strongly advises making sure that crew members have their responsibilities in writing, lest some “fall by the wayside.” Also, he reminds readers, give the crew credit for what it does. No matter how good the supervision, nothing would happen without them.
–The Stowaway, says Warner, “wants a free ride.” After worming their way into your organization with a spectacular interview, stowaways aspire to doing the least work for the most pay. Because they’re usually intelligent, Warner recommends trying to work with them. What if things don’t turn around? “Throw them overboard,” Warner says.


September 14, 2007

Why do we need succession planning?

Filed under: business,HR,HRM,human resources,small business,succession,work — Khaled @ 8:37 am

Why do organizations need succession planning? Some of the more important reasons are: (a) survival, (b) nature of business, (c) cost savings, (d) aligning HR policies and function with strategic long-term business goals and functions, (e) better retention, (f) better change/transition management, (g) creating future leaders, and (h) improved corporate image.

Both family run organizations as well as professionally run companies need succession planning although they may do so for different sets of reasons. For family run businesses, survival or change management is usually the predominant factor requiring a well thought out succession plan. For professionally run corporates, the single most important reason for having a sound succession plan in place is usually cost savings on account of (a) potential loss of business due to unfilled vacancies in key positions and (b) costs of external hiring and training. All the other reasons may be applicable to both types of organizations.

Family run businesses – whether large, medium or small and irrespective of other characteristics of the business – always require a sound succession plan because it is a matter of survival for them. Instances of family run businesses failing to survive after the death of the founder are far too many. Even large corporate houses such as those created by the Birlas, Tatas, Ambanis or Bajaj have all been in the news and for the wrong reasons after the death/retirement of leading group patriarchs apparently because they did not have an effective and already in place succession plan.

On the other hand, there are examples of family run businesses which have put careful thought into the question. The rapidly growing Rs 2000 crore GMR Group is a case in point. The Group’s patriarch, 56 year old founder chairman, Mr G.M. Rao has already put in place a very detailed succession plan so that after his retirement and eventually death, the family business can continue to grow smoothly. He has, in fact, got all his family members to agree to adhere to a written down family Constitution to help guide the whole process of change management and achieving balance between family interests and business interests on a long term basis.

Heads of family run businesses and HR managers working in such organisations can find it profitable to run a quick check on how ready they are to manage change, especially when the present CEO or head of the family business retires or dies and exits the business. There is a handy practical tool for doing this developed by management Guru Dr Randel Carlock called a Family Business Succession Readyness Assessment. This simple test and accompanying procedures are handy practical tools for getting a very good insight into whether a succession plan is needed for a particular business, if so how soon is it needed and what areas to focus on while developing a succession plan for that particular business.

Apart from the separate issues related to succession in family run businesses, most other organisations too need a sound succession plan. Knowledge intensive businesses need a succession plan not only because they are almost entirely human resource or “talent” dependent and, therefore, must have institutional mechanisms for talent recruitment, training and mentoring but also because most such organizations are global operators and need to specifically develop leaders with global perspectives. While IT majors such as Wipro, Infosys and many others have specific Talent Management programmes, a survey conducted in March this year by DNL Global and Human Capital Institute among talent management executives across organizations in Singapore, India, Sri Lanka and South Korea found that while most organizations had good project management capability they had poor ranks when it came to having people with global skills and perspectives, a finding that confirms an earlier survey that in the coming days organizations are going to face an acute shortage of people with global skills and perspectives. In such organisations, succession planning is needed to keep strategic business goals and functions properly aligned with HR goals and functions since the business itself is entirely talent or HR driven.

Global operators and service providers, remote management agencies, continuous production/service organizations such as chemical plants or newspaper production houses, national security and essential service organizations, and similar agencies operating 24/7 require an institutionalized succession plan since any sudden vacancy in a key functional area can bring about a major disruption in the entire business process chain. Hence, the entire chain of command is so constructed that most vacancies can be filled in-house. Consequently success for such organizations depend a great deal on how well they recruit talent, train, mentor and keep ready in-house talent who can succeed on to the next higher rank in the chain of command in case there arises such a vacancy. For them, success comes form successful succession planning.

While there is a seven step model for developing a succession plan, some of the best practices followed by global leaders in various countries can also be consulted by those interested in developing a succession plan for their own organizations. A word of caution, however, before we end this article. Most organizations also need a lot of fresh blood at regular intervals to not only bring in new perspectives and contemporary cultures and techniques but sometimes also to put a check on unhealthy in-house power politics. So, if and when necessary, don’t let an overemphasis on succession plans and in-house talent come in the way of external hiring even in key positions and despite there being an incumbent successor already in place!


August 29, 2007

HRMS Software

Filed under: HRM,software — Khaled @ 8:01 pm


I researched HRMS software and I came to the conclusion if your organization is -100 employees, get a local customized software that deals with payroll, leaves, and vacation.

Here is a file that has the top enterprise HRMS Software for high employee count.

August 22, 2007

HR Audit Toolkit

Filed under: audit,HR,HRM,toolkit,word — Khaled @ 9:59 am


So you are starting HR and don’t know where to start?

Here is a toolkit that helps, do an audit on your existing HR department by answering these questions, from there you can build your HR system.

HR Audit Toolkit


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