It is not enough to advertise for Six Sigma certificate holders and just hire anyone. Six sigma has become such a key word these days that companies are hiring not based on their needs but based on the name of the certificate. This is not good management practice. Management must ask itself some questions before hiring a Six Sigma Certificate Holder. These include:
- Does the certificate your candidate hold have any value?
- If not, how do you plan to verify their Six Sigma skills?
- Will these skills help meet the needs of your organisation?
Whether you choose to hire from outside or train your own Six Sigma practitioners, management must assess what role Six Sigma can play in their organisation.
The first thing to do before implementing an efficient Six Sigma program is to conduct a needs assessment of the organisation. The management should have a clear idea of what skills current employees have and what it wants from prospective candidates. To figure these out, it must ask questions like
- What tools and techniques of Six Sigma does the company already implement and use?
- Are your current employees skilled in these tools?
- Should your future employees have these skills as well?
- What is the basic level of knowledge about the Six Sigma development program, be it methodology or team building or customer voice or cost assessment of poor quality should each employee possess? This truly means each employee, be it top level management, mid management, engineers, human resources and accounting or basic workers.
- What in house resources can be used to teach any gaps in knowledge?
- Are there any specific needs unique to your industry that needs to assess before implementing Six Sigma in your organisation?
- What are the possible barriers for certification of individuals in Six Sigma? This can be something like your workforce union does not allow standardised tests.
- Is management of all levels of training in sync with the essential concepts of FMEA (failure modes and effects analysis) so a business process for FMEA may be created for implementing Six Sigma?
- If not, how is the training and management to be conducted?
Judging the Certification
Understanding your needs is the first step in figuring out exactly what you are looking for from potential Six Sigma certified candidate. Similarly, if you are considering hiring an outside organisation for training your employees and issuing certificates, you should know what kind of learning the certificate will entail.
So while checking the certification of a prospective employee, review the program you are considering to trace the body of knowledge (BOK) and study how the issuing organisation maintains this process. In all possible cases, will the certification meet your specific needs? Will the program be capable enough to create employees who can create defect free efficient products for your candidate?
In conclusion, do not take the certification lightly and carefully consider what your organisation needs. Check your candidates based on that and you will hire a fine team.