HR process flow chart by leamalaga03

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									HR process flow chart

As the general economy shows some signs of improving, everyone is interested in what
they can do to retain qualified and dedicated staff. It is not an unwarranted interest since
some job markets are beginning to open up a little and even though your workforce may
have been relatively stable for the last several years that does not mean that employees
are now happy and immune to attractive job offers from competitors.

For the last five years we have been involved with helping front line supervisors
understand what their leadership responsibilities really are. We started doing this because
we were convinced that poor supervision was the cause of a lot of staff turnover at the
entry level. Supervisors were often promoted from the front lines and had little support
from their employers in terms of the transition to supervisory responsibilities which
usually put them in an uncomfortable new relationship with former colleagues. Indeed
our convictions have been validated through our work, as we have seen real
transformational change take place in those supervisors for whom we have served as
teacher and mentor. However, we have also been impressed with a seeming disconnect
between these front line supervisors and the organization's recruiting and hiring efforts.
Repeatedly we have heard about staff who were hired and were quickly deemed
inappropriate for their job assignment. Lazy, unmotivated, uncaring, unable to
communicate were words used to describe the staff they were given. At the same time we
heard from HR people that front line supervisors seemed unable to describe the
characteristics of staff they were looking for and had no appreciation for the hard work
that HR went through to find the admittedly sub-prime employees.

All of this led us to conceptualize a process that would address some of these problems
between HR and the front line staffing needs. In late 2009 we were named the sub-
contractor on a grant from the NJ Developmental Disabilities Council focused on entry
level turnover in residential settings. Undoubtedly the Council's interest spurred our
developmental work beyond what even we anticipated and now some six months
following the inception of this pilot project we are ready to start putting some of these
ideas to the test in a real life, real time, workplace situation.

Our project has involved working with an organization serving persons with
developmental disabilities. Our goal is to reduce entry level turnover by 20% at the end
of 90 days and another 20% at the end of the year. Most of these entry level staff work in
group homes wherein reside most of the individuals served by this organization. Here is
an overview of the project and it's highlights to date.

1. We reviewed the project's goals and objectives with a "Partnership Team" appointed
by the Executive Director. Our work with the Partnership Team involved the following:
a. Completing a flow chart of the current hiring process and identifying several
bottlenecks. We found out that to fill an entry level vacancy takes some 53 days.
b. We discussed and identified the culture of the organization so as to help us determine
the "fit" of any applicant.
c. We identified nine competency areas that were important to entry level, direct care
workers and selected a list of questions to determine an applicant's ability to fulfill that
d. We trained supervisors in "behavioral interviewing" and successfully changed their
approach from asking "what would you do if..." to "in the past, how have you handled..."
a specified situation. We developed a uniform way to rank applicant responses.
e. With the partnership team we established a turnover benchmark for the organization
and most importantly identified the hard costs, soft costs and intangible costs of staff
turnover. While not as high as some cost estimates, we determined that during the last
year, the organization had spent, hard, out-of-pocket cash exceeding $50,000.
2. We researched various vendors who provided pre-employment assessments oriented
toward identifying desirable personality and temperament features. The Partnership Team
told us that applicants seemed to know what to say in the interview in order to get a job
offer and that their true personalities began to come out only after they had started
employment, and it was usually undesirable. Pre-employment assessment is designed to
cut through to an applicant's true temperament. We have recommended a particular
vendor and expect that appointment to be made soon.
3. We developed an on-boarding process which will allow the organization to support
new employees, facilitate their adjustment to their new workplace situation and help their
learning of required skills.

What will be the end result of this project? Only time and a lot of hard work will tell. But
we believe the planning process we have implemented is a positive beginning and so we
wish to share it with our colleagues in human services. Essentially what we have done is
to take a process which has over the years been developed in the traditional business
community and adapted it to the human services industry. All of the project components
we have addressed have well established ROI's in prior implementation settings. Entry
level workers in human services often turnover at a rate exceeding 30% per year and in
some cases reach triple digit proportions. Entry level salaries being what they are
turnover will always be higher than what would be ideal. But if even a small decrease can
be achieved through this and other efforts, the effort will be worthwhile and the
difference in program efficiencies will be remarkable. The worst thing that we can do is
to throw up our hands in dismay and see turnover as just another cost of doing business.

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