Know Your Internal Labor Market

The hiring and managing of employees is the achilles heel of many an otherwise tightly-run organization. Why? Because human beings come with many more variables than do widgets – we’re trickier to assess, our motivations are complex, and we change over time. 

What’s the Big Idea? 


In the end, it’s not the vision that makes the business – it’s the people. Yet the hiring and managing of employees is the achilles heel of many an otherwise tightly-run organization. Why? Because human beings come with many more variables than do widgets – we’re trickier to assess, our motivations are complex, and we change over time. 

Haig Nalbantian, author of Play To Your Strengths and a well-known authority on human capital measurement and management, says that all personnel decisions need to begin with a careful assessment of supply and demand. On the demand side, businesses need to be asking: 

  • What are our sales needs and goals? 
  • How many and what mix of workers do we need to meet them? 
  • Do we need more teamwork or more individual achievement? 
  • Do we need more entrepreneurial risk taking, or more diligent control?  
  • Answering these questions in detail is key to identifying your specific hiring needs. But that’s only the beginning.  

    Supply concerns the complex puzzle of finding the best workers wherever they might be, incentivizing them to perform their best toward the goals you want them to meet, and distributing them wisely throughout your organization. Here, says Nalbantian, the key questions are:  

  • Is our current pipeline adequate to meet those needs, or do we need to develop people faster or go to the outside market to get them?
  • If we have to go to the outside market to get them, do we know where such people are and how costly it is to acquire these kinds of people? 
  • If we’re asking employees to move internally – overseas especially – are we paying them sufficiently to offset the risk they’re incurring?  
  • Haig Nalbantian on making smart human resources decisions. 

    What’s the Significance? 

    While human capital management is complex, it’s the heart and soul of any business. Too often, it’s left more or less to work itself out while leaders focus on more straightforward goals and directives. Says Nalbantian: 

    Start thinking about this whole workforce domain in the same way you think about other areas of business, recognizing, and this is all important, that if you thought asset management on the financial side was complex, asset management on the human capital side is all that more complex because people are not things, obviously.  People have volition.  A machine doesn’t decide I’m getting up and going on vacation today, or I’m fed up with my boss I’m not going to work.  People do.


    Image credit: Shutterstock.com

    How to make a black hole

    Here's the science of black holes, from supermassive monsters to ones the size of ping-pong balls.

    Videos
    • There's more than one way to make a black hole, says NASA's Michelle Thaller. They're not always formed from dead stars. For example, there are teeny tiny black holes all around us, the result of high-energy cosmic rays slamming into our atmosphere with enough force to cram matter together so densely that no light can escape.
    • CERN is trying to create artificial black holes right now, but don't worry, it's not dangerous. Scientists there are attempting to smash two particles together with such intensity that it creates a black hole that would live for just a millionth of a second.
    • Thaller uses a brilliant analogy involving a rubber sheet, a marble, and an elephant to explain why different black holes have varying densities. Watch and learn!
    • Bonus fact: If the Earth became a black hole, it would be crushed to the size of a ping-pong ball.

    Russian reporters discover 101 'tortured' whales jammed in offshore pens

    Protected animals are feared to be headed for the black market.

    (VL.ru)
    Politics & Current Affairs
    • Russian news network discovers 101 black-market whales.
    • Orcas and belugas are seen crammed into tiny pens.
    • Marine parks continue to create a high-price demand for illegal captures.
    Keep reading Show less

    China’s artificial sun reaches fusion temperature: 100 million degrees

    In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.

    Credit: EAST Team
    Surprising Science
    • The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
    • Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
    • Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
    Keep reading Show less