New Year, New Priorities: Managing Your Human Capital for Best Results

 

We are all back at our desks, probably facing performance reviews, salary adjustments, new sales initiatives and much more.  I’d like us to take just a minute and look at what human capital management aspects you may really want to add to your resolutions as you move into 2012.

1)      Is your organization’s brand as an employer up to snuff?  Many companies fail to recognize that their brand as an employer is weak, negative, or nonexistent.  The issue may start internally – what do your employees think of you as an employer – and what do they tell their friends about working there? If you get few internal referrals for positions posted, you may want to find out what existing employees think.  Then look outside—leaders in candidate experience survey applicants and others to uncover perceptions of their company as a place to work.

2)      Is your talent acquisition process doing your company justice?  Leaders among companies we interview strive for transparency through the process for the applicant, and are in the forefront of proactively using social media to reach out and maintain dialogues with top potential candidates. But many companies are relying on last-generation hiring management programs that are cumbersome and laborious—causing promising candidates to walk away from the application process.  Try applying for a job on your web site (go ahead—just do it!) How long does it take? Can a candidate easily attach the information you really need to make a decision? What does the process tell the candidate about you as an organization (see Question 1 again!)

3)      Do you have the workforce in place to address corporate goals for 2012? Have new or expanded corporate goals changed the requirements for your workforce skills or numbers? Which areas should be addressed by full time positions and which by contractors?  HR and recruiting professionals have frequently left hiring contractors to procurement.  Do you have a strategic plan for a blended workforce that includes contractors where you need them – rather than just a tactical, panicked response to an immediate need? Do you have consistent procedures to manage contractors across your organization?

4)      Is your mid-manager pipeline in place for the future? Studies conducted during the recession showed that over 70% of employees holding a job that did not get laid off said they would jump ship when the economy improved. Are your mid-managers among them?  Do you have a pro-active retention plan that would keep them from ever considering such a move? Do you have a solid plan to back-fill with qualified talent if they defect to new positions?  

5)      Does your performance evaluation process actually reflect or affect your employee’s performance? Or is it a pro forma activity loathed by all participants (perhaps yourself included!) Bersin & Associates’ performance management research demonstrates that coaching may be superior to the standard performance review as a way to improve an employee’s on the job performance. Think about it!

Despite all chores on your to-do list as you sit at your desk today, give these points some thought as you look to better your environment for the new year—and Happy New Year!

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