From the earliest days of commerce, successful business owners have had to shrewdly manage their assets. Finding and keeping skilled labor was always a relevant factor, but it was only recently that business owners began to recognize their organization’s employees as a crucial asset. Today, employees, with their unique knowledge and individual skills, are considered human capital, and a company’s ability to intelligently manage that asset is more critical than ever.
Business owners who view their employees as capital have an added interest in investing in those employees to enhance the value they contribute to the organization. Human capital management is the practice of optimizing workforce productivity and individual employee performance through an investment in strategic recruiting, learning and performance management.
Recruiting the right job candidate can increase productivity and improve employee retention. By creating accurate job descriptions, establishing realistic job goals and objectively assessing candidates’ skills, companies are more likely to recruit and hire applicants who can meet the demands of the job and quickly contribute value to the organization.
Training positively impacts an employee’s level of job satisfaction, engagement and overall commitment. Learning programs also help bridge gaps between an employee’s existing skills and job competencies that still need to be developed. By providing targeted learning opportunities for employees, companies can increase productivity and improve employee performance.
An effective performance management process tracks employees’ achievements, holds them accountable for meeting goals and provides an opportunity for constructive feedback. A performance management program also helps companies recognize and reward key performers, which in turn, helps motivate and retain existing talent.
To remain competitive in an often-brutal business environment, large companies practice human capital management, investing significant financial and intellectual resources to develop technology to support their initiatives. These advanced systems have streamlined recruiting processes, enhanced instructor-led and electronic learning opportunities, and simplified performance evaluation procedures. Smaller companies, however, have found these platforms cost prohibitive and difficult to implement and administer effectively. Until now.
Progressive human resource service providers are expanding their service offering beyond administrative and tactical HR support to include human capital management best practices, as well as the systems to support them. Now, with access to the same advanced recruiting, training and performances management platforms used by large companies, smaller companies can optimize their workforce and their HR processes to enhance employee performance and improve productivity.
Suppose you own a small company and you decide to invest in the human capital management platform offered by your professional employer organization or human resource outsources. Advanced recruiting and applicant tracking software could immediately elevate your company’s recruiting efforts. By allowing you to establish a branded careers website and quickly and easily post openings to the most popular job boards, more qualified applicants can find your small company as they pound the electronic pavement for work. That same platform will allow those applicants to link to your website and easily populate online applications from their LinkedIn profiles. Customized filtering tools can help identify the most-qualified candidates, and those candidates can complete a pre-employment assessment online to further narrow the field.
After the interview process, the recruiting system can electronically deliver a formal offer along with employment documents to your selected candidate. Your new hire can complete all the necessary forms online and even execute an employment contract with an electronic signature.
A smart, streamlined recruiting process helps your company look and operate like a major player, so you will not only attract top-notch talent, but seamlessly move that talent quickly from applicant, to candidate, to employee before they pursue some other opportunity.
Once you have that top-notch talent on board, your advanced learning platform can deliver targeted training to ensure new employees hit the ground running and scale the learning curve quickly, so they are making meaningful contributions within weeks rather than months.
Finally, your performance management platform lets you measure employees’ performance relative to defined evaluation criteria that focuses on behaviors, attributes and technical skills you determine are most important to sustaining your company’s success. Will you evaluate your employees on speed and accuracy or teamwork and creativity? If you aren’t sure, you can pull applicable elements from existing evaluations designed and used by other companies in your industry.
Your employees, along with their supervisors, can establish individual goals and track their progress relative to selected criteria. Employees’ colleagues and internal client groups can also provide regular feedback by completing convenient online evaluations.
A constructive performance evaluation process can engage employees and highlight the potential for their careers, so they are motivated to work hard for themselves and the company.
Introducing the strategic human capital management practices and technology used by the most admired global companies can propel your recruiting, learning and performance management processes and ensure your employees are aligned and engaged, so your business can achieve optimum returns on its greatest asset. Your human capital is worth the investment.
John Allen is president and COO of Houston-based G&A Partners, gnapartners.com.