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.
Jason Gots is a New York-based writer, editor, and podcast producer. For Big Think, he writes (and sometimes illustrates) the blog "Overthinking Everything with Jason Gots" and is the creator and host of the "Think Again" podcast. In previous lives, Jason worked at Random House Children's Books, taught reading and writing to middle schoolers and community college students, co-founded a theatre company (Rorschach, in Washington, D.C.), and wrote roughly two dozen picture books for kids learning English in Seoul, South Korea. He is also the proud father of an incredibly talkative and crafty little kid.
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:
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:
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
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