Back Up Your Reserves

With war looming, CIOs will have to help their companies manage through employee shortages.

InformationWeek Staff, Contributor

November 24, 2002

3 Min Read

"If organizations can have an agility plan in place, they can handle any situation. War and military reserves is just one of them," says Jason Averbook, director of human-capital management product strategy at PeopleSoft. But Averbook acknowledges that few companies have implemented a comprehensive database that contains information on employee certifications, military status, and other details. "They may have one database for skills, one for compensation, one for benefits, and one for training," he says. "Without a global view, it's really hard to close the loop on planning."

Pharmaceuticals company Pfizer Inc. is taking that message to heart. It's begun merging separate HR databases to incorporate a view of employees' military reserve status with other key pieces of data, CFO David Shedlarz says. About three dozen Pfizer employees are on active duty, and there are 1,000 to 1,250 reservists on staff, 800 in the sales group alone. Pfizer "has a lot of depth" of knowledge, Shedlarz says. If a large part of the staff were to be called for service, "no doubt, it would be a sacrifice," he says, but at least the situation would be manageable. No one wants to see war come, but if it does, Pfizer plans to be prepared. -with Tischelle George

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