Thursday, February 12, 2015 SHRM@QU engaged in conversation with Dr. Daniel Miller, a Selection and Assessment Manager and Flowserve Corporation (a global company with over 20,000 employees). He was able to discuss his daily life as a Selection and Assessment manager, as well as career highlights and accomplishments. SHRM@QU enjoyed the opportunity to speak with an industry professional and gain further insight into the HR/IO field.
Can you tell us about your position?
- Right now, I am very focused on building an assessment and selection system from the ground up. That’s why I was hired.
- Working on interview training, doing assessments from the top down, starting with VPs and directors and trickling that down to managers, and then to front-line employees.
What training/education/degree is required for this career?
- I/O or Management (with HR) PhD typical
- Master’s degree sometimes
- Experience working in a business environment
- Project management training certification
How did you get your present job?
- Online searches, but…
- Networking is important- knowing someone who works there; especially as you progress in your career. It’s two degrees of separation. You never know who knows who. Be conscious of that. It’s a smaller world that you think.
What personal characteristics does someone need in order to be successful in this career?
- The level of professionalism that is required on a daily basis was something I didn’t expect. It requires you to be very poised all the time; the corporate world is more conservative than when you are in school. It requires you to come across as articulate, assertive, and confident presenting yourself in a business environment.
- Much of the job is presenting information in a way people can digest. 10% is advanced statistics, 90% is translating that into practice. A key skill is to be able to make complex information consumable for the rest of the organization.
- For selection and assessment, it’s mostly statistics. Most of my work is in Excel. Have a good solid foundation in math and Excel. You also have to be able to survey employee performance and tie it back to initial selection assessment.
What do you like best about your job/career?
- Working at Flowserve, there is a large degree of professional autonomy, and much less of a bureaucracy.
- Career: I love the real world application of psychology. Psychology fascinates me, and being able to apply that is valuable to me. But you do have to prove your worth/value to the organization.
What do you like least?
- Going in to work every day at 7:30am and leaving at 5pm. There isn’t much flexibility with work hours. At my old job, we could telecommute and work from home on Fridays. I definitely miss that.
- Most people in the corporate world are smart and have advanced degrees and look down on PhDs as being too egg-headed. Also, having to explain my ideas about projects, showing that I have the validity evidence we need to do testing legally, especially to leadership. You have to justify taking the time to do those analyses to leadership.
What advice do you have for someone considering a career in this field?
- One thing I wish I had done earlier would be to get more internship experience along the way. Try to get as much experience as you can in an HR setting, and in selection/assessment. Also, pay attention in your statistics classes!
What do you think is the hardest part of transitioning from your old job to your new job?
- It was a breath of fresh air. Flowserve is very hierarchical, less project management format, which is actually a good thing. There are less people to go to for approval to start a project, it’s less bureaucratic so it increases efficiency.
- The culture shock of switching companies was enormous, which can be difficult to prepare for when undergoing an organizational change. My previous employer was a very young company, whereas Flowserve is more mature and conservative. That is something to consider when you move across the country for a job. Consider the people you will be working with, not just the tasks you will complete. It has to be a good fit for you.
What did you consider when you were transferring jobs?
- There are so many jobs in Dallas, TX. There are a lot of other companies there that are growing and expanding, so be strategic about location and the size of your city. Think about your long-term career prospects.
- Think about weather and climate too! It’s not snowing right now here in Dallas, it’s actually in the 60s! 🙂
- Culture change. I was a guy fresh out of grad school at my previous job, whereas at this job, I have been given more trust and autonomy in my work.
The SHRM@QU members greatly appreciated these words of wisdom. We would like to thank Daniel Miller for taking the time out of his busy work schedule to talk with us about his career and share his advice.