Nobscot garners national honors
The Kailua company ranks near the top for its new workplace mentorship software
When some of the largest companies in the U.S. need help improving their workplaces, they come to Hawaii for help.
Since opening its doors in 2000, Kailua-based Nobscot Corp. has helped clients such as Home Depot Inc. and Best Buy streamline their human resources departments with its online software.
Yesterday, the company's Mentor Scout division -- developed to use MySpace-style social networking strategies to help employees link with senior mentors -- was named one of the top 10 human resources products of the year by Human Resource Executive magazine.
"Mentoring is one way that solves one of the different problems being identified in exit interviews," said CEO Beth Carvin. "We really saw that some of the problems or challenges could be solved by borrowing some of the concepts from social networking that Gen. Y workers are used to and bringing with them into the workplace."
In January 2001, Nobscot introduced the WebExit Management System, an automated employee exit interview program, winning it the Human Resource Executive magazine's product of the year award. The company grew to have 150 WebExit clients, ranging from local firms such as First Hawaiian Bank to multinational corporations.
Defense industry contractor General Dynamics Corp., based in Falls Church, Va., has used WebExit to conduct 1,352 exit interviews since 2005, with 74 percent of employees participating.
"Given our geographic dispersion and attendant scheduling changes, online collection is both flexible and convenient for employees," Ginger Coyle, who analyzes exit interview information at General Dynamics. "It also supports confidentiality."
Nobscot's Mentor Scout software, released in July, is designed to help businesses retain the 75 million workers between the ages of 15 and 30 now entering the workforce. It allows users to give co-workers praise, arrange get-togethers and establish mentorships so employees feel more connected to their workplace. About a dozen companies have used the software to set up more than 650 mentorships.
The larger the program, the lower the participant cost -- companies can subscribe to the service for as low as $8 per person, costing a small group as little as $50 per year, Carvin said.