Friday, December 21, 2007

Happy Festivus to everyone

or whatever holiday you may celebrate. I'm more of a "Ill celebrate anything where I can cook and eat" kind of guy no matter what a holiday might or might not signify. The only catch is that if I have to include my inlaws, there must be enormous quantities of high proof adult beverages on hand so I can self medicate and not go all Dr House on them. (The only time I drink them)

On a lighter note.

EvilHrLady has a funny post regarding inane questions here.

Since it is near year end and a time where many people like to look at "best of" lists I would like to take this opportunity to nominate my most inane/dumb$$$ question of the year

There are many inane questions, but this wins in terms of inanity and frequency.
It has many variations, but this is one example of

Can you provide an answer based on... nothing?

Regional Branch Mgr: Umm, the branch mgr in the Tulsa office left and I want to call a guy I had work for me in my area a few years ago and see if he might want to come back

ok, what is his name?

Mgr:John something?

are you asking me?

Mgr:, I think it was John, or Jack.

Was he in the Tulsa branch?

Mgr: I don't think so, but he was around that area.

When did he leave?

Mgr: a few years ago

Ok, Ill look for a John that worked somewhere in the Tulsa area a few years ago. Ill get back to you on that, in the meantime, see if you can find a file number or a name.

Mgr: ok, let me know if he is rehireable.

Will do, oh, it may take a while so don't wait by the phone.

(I had thought of telling him to wait by the phone, but sarcastic understatement won over evil)

Well, In-laws over for Xmas so off to do some "food" shopping

A Merry Xmas and happy New Year to all!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

HRIS applicant questions

Evil HR Lady forwarded me a question put to her by an HRIS manager regarding some advice on questions for HRIS applicants. Thanks for the reference EHRL!

..I am an HRIS Manager (with a tech background) and need some advice on excellent HRIS questions for possible applicants...

Ok HRIS manager, I will try to answer your question with as little evil as possible (my coworkers gladly throw resumes at me to opine on anyone who claims to have HR technical skills, but rarely subject them to my interrogations er.. questions)

Here are 5 basic areas that I would touch on(and have been "subjected to")

1) Besides HRIS/technical experience How much functional HR experience do you have and in what areas?

The past few interviews I have had were more concerned about how much HR knowledge I had and less interested in how technical I am or am not. To quote one HRVP "I can get a dozen techies in here tomorrow, but none of them will have a clue about HR" My compensation and benefits background really helped me in this situation. "Great! someone I don't have to explain what a compa ratio means"

2) I would ask about implementation/upgrade experience--how many systems/types; what role did you have etc/how customized was the implementation

Even if you do not intend to implement a new system, you will be upgrading the one you have. A major upgrade it can be as demanding as a new implementation especially if you have complex custom processes . If the choice were between an applicant who was versed in my current system, but no implementation exp vs someone who implemented any HRIS system, I would lean towards the implementation background.

3) Give me some examples of how you provided excellent customer service.

Yep, as you know, HRIS is a service organization---and even if you are evil, you still need to be professional and make the customer think you are not evil.

4) Have you any experience with outsourcing, or dealing with a SaaS vendor?

Chances are your senior management is going to read a trade rag or buy into the groupthink that outsourcing saves money at all costs and you are going to have to deal with outsourcing. If you have, tell me about it and how you would deal with a vendor with poor support?

5) On a scale of 1-10 rate how technical you are---with 1 being "what's a computer?" to 10 being I wrote my own operating system because Vista was a memory hog.

You want a 5. This can be fun---get a partner in IT (or do it yourself if you have a tech background) and get a feel for how really technical they are. I remember one interview where the IT director came in and asked me some basic questions about SQL; database keys; effective dated tables and the issues involved in querying data tables; inner joins vs outer joins etc.

Oh, I was offered the job(s) in my examples above, but didn't take them for work/life balance reasons. (didn't want the commute, nor the travel)

Anyone other suggestions (I'm tempted to throw in "how long have you hated Payroll", but that's a given)