Human Capital Advantage

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From The Blog

ARE YOUR TALENT PRACTICES STILL RELEVANT? Why you need to view “human resources” as “human capital” and include them on your key business strategy team.

Today’s CEOs are asking extremely tough questions in the conference room—the very kind that make the rest of the leadership team squirm a little in their seats. No longer do successful organizations develop and rely 100% on five-year (or similarly lengthy) strategic plans, because they’re just not very effective in this super-speed market. Predicting and adapting real-time is the new order of business, and how you recruit, manage and deploy your talent requires the same approach.

Talent practices within most organizations are deeply entrenched in the 20thcentury, making them increasingly irrelevant. They were effective then because environments were more predictable and people were managed through organization charts. We know better today—empower the right people and you’ll go further, faster. As a result, the most competitive and progressive CEOs are recognizing that to win in this new age, they must become talent-driven.

A new book, “Talent Wins” by Ram Charan, Dominic Barton and Dennis Carey is quickly becoming the new playbook for creating a talent-driven organization. They’re finding that CEOs are questioning:

  • Whether their organization’s talent practices still make sense.
  • How to select and develop people who help the organization outperform competitors, while meeting customer expectations.
  • If their human resources teams have the right skills, influence and foresight to drive necessary changes.

Why you must view human resources as human capital.

As “Talent Wins” highlights, and as I have seen in my own practice, true alignment is required within the leadership team, especially between the CEO, CFO and CHRO (Chief Human Resources Officer). Empowering the CHRO with financial accountability, while giving the bean counters responsibility for the organization’s talent creates an environment where the CEO can share and launch a vision for the future that is squarely built on having the right people in the right seats. It’s a forward-thinking strategy that will catapult your talent strategy into the 21stcentury and create a corporate culture that wins.

Yes, the people you hire will always be the key to success—but how do you determine who is right?  You have to start with how you perceive the role of talent. True talent-driven organizations place talent practices on the same level of importance as their financial practices, making organizations even flatter, more adaptive and more nimble.

When this happens, you no longer view humans as resources to be used, but rather as capital to be deployed for its greatest purpose.

 It’s a radical shift in thinking that drives better decisions about the specific skillsets and behaviors you need in your talent. Going one step further, it’s not just who you hire that is key, but how your talent fits within the overall business strategy. Let’s dig deeper.

The CEO and CFO are long-accustomed to thinking about the future of the organization. Will they expand the organization’s footprint? Will they add a new product or service line in the next few years? Or, are mergers and acquisitions part of the long-term growth strategy? Regardless, it’s important that the CHRO be an integral part of these discussions. Why? Because who you’re hiring today needs to be willing and able to take the organization to where it’s headed tomorrow.

By giving a seat at the conference table to the CHRO, your talent practices will be integrated with your business strategy—both short and long term. Human resources won’t be viewed as just another expense anymore either. Rather, the department will be empowered to hire and train talent to drive the organization forward.

Assessments guide leaders in choosing the right people to fill the seats today and tomorrow.

Once you know who to hire, you still need to quantitatively assess how well potential candidates fit with the role today and their ability to adapt to the role as it evolves. That’s when employee assessments such as the PXT Select™become invaluable.

They help hiring managers develop strategy-based position profiles and understand how well the candidates’ skillsets and behaviors match the needs of the organization. They also help managers to “scale up” talent as the organization strives towards its goals, making the onboarding and training process much more focused.

Next time the senior leadership team meets to discuss the strategic focus on the organization, invite the CHRO. Make it an open forum to discuss how your talent practices may need to transform in order to not just support, but to drive the organization forward.

Need help hiring the right employees? We can help you benchmark your top performers to give you a guide for better hires going forward. Contact Valerie Oldre at 952.470.0162 or email to learn more today.