Human Capital: Our Most Important Asset

I have recently been reading about a selection of topics surrounding employees, skills and how we hire, onboard and engage with our staff. This has brought me on to the concept of ‘human capital’ which is:

Human capital is a measure of the “knowledge, skills, competencies and attributes embodied in individuals that facilitate the creation of personal, social and economic well-being”
(Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development).

In my role as a Managing Consultant, I’m often involved in the hiring process, from writing job specifications to technical screenings, and over the last year, one of two final interviewers for almost all our Security Engineering hires. When driving this process to find and hire great people, I sometimes find it hard to articulate the non-technical knowledge, skills and competencies I’m looking for in a candidate. That is where I think human capital can help in the definition of, key indicators and metrics for candidates and already existing employees.

Quoting the CIPD: “business has yet to come to an agreed way of valuing and reporting on the value of a workforce’s knowledge.” Searching for a simple (yet well thought out) collection of metrics to search for and define, this paper (PDF) introduced me to KSAOs (knowledge, skills, abilities and other characteristics). In the following weeks I hope to do some further research and trial integrating this into the job specifications and interviewing guidelines I have written.

I thought I would add this interesting checklist from SF Magazine which aims to get you up and running with human capital strategy ASAP:

Further Reading

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