Mar 11 2015

Optimising Human Capital

The strategic role of Human Resources has evolved in recent years, responding to the rise of the idea of Human Capital. That is, the concept that each employee of an organisation, from the cleaner to the CEO, is an asset. As with any other asset, the employee can be both under or overutilised, which presents a danger to the organisation’s stability and long-term growth. The key, therefore, is to find that balance where your employees are providing maximum utility whilst not becoming burnt out. Much time has been and continues to be dedicated to developing systems and techniques to achieve and maintain this balance and whilst some companies have managed it and benefited from it, many continue to struggle. So, what are some of the basics of Human Capital Optimisation?

The Right Employee

It is tempting to subscribe to generalisations when searching for “the right employee”: they should work hard, be dedicated, not steal company stationery, etc. etc. However, if this is how you’re been doing it then the sad truth is that you have been doing it wrong.

Finding the right employee begins with understanding your own organisation.  In which industries do you operate? Are you focused on growth via specialisation or via diversification? What is the average age of your staff? What kinds of working hours do you keep? All these and many other questions will help to determine the culture of your company, and your culture will in turn determine which applicants make a good fit. If your company is constantly looking to expand into new portfolios then your employees should, in general, be the kind of people who enjoy and seek out challenges and new opportunities. Conversely, if you prefer to specialise there is something to be said for singularly-minded employees. In the end, finding the right employee means knowing your company.

The Right Position

Alright, so now you’ve found The Right Employee. How do you ensure that she’s performing at optimal levels?

If you’ve found the type of talent that your company needs, the next step is managing that talent to make sure that they grow and their growth translates to dividends. A key aspect of this is career mapping, and many organisations make use of this tool to move promising new hires in entry-level positions up through the echelons of the organisation. The new crop of job seekers are focused on forging careers. They want to measure their success not so much in terms of how long they stay in a company, as the case used to be, but rather in terms of how their career has progressed. That means they have few qualms about moving to a different company if they feel it better suits their goals. If you’ve gone through the work of finding the right person for the job, losing them to another company sucks.

So make it worth their while to stay.

This doesn’t just mean setting up financial incentives, although that is one facet. It means understanding what your employees want out of their work life and helping them achieve it. Is your new junior manager intent on becoming a senior manager  in the next ten years? Do you want her to stay in your company? Then provide her the tools to move up the ranks. If you don’t, you risk losing her to a company that will do exactly that.

The Right Cost

We can never forget the financial bottom line.

The truth is that acquiring and retaining the talent which will keep your organisation growing and prospering will cost you more than simply hiring the most affordable people. Finding that balance between costs and benefits will be an individual thing for each company. In some sectors there’s a surplus of talent, in others, a surplus of employers. Some job descriptions are very rigid, the requirements set almost in stone, others are fluid. Setting the price you’re willing to pay to acquire the people you want will require a close examination of all factors relevant to your business environment.


So, where do we fit in? 

At Basadzi, we specialise in talent sourcing, not simply job filling. When we take on a project, we seek to understand our clients and their overall needs so that we can shortlist not only the most qualified, but also the best suited individuals for your consideration. We understand that filling a position isn’t just about placing a warm body in an office, but about finding an asset that you can utilise to grow your business and achieve your long-term objectives.

For information on our work in the recruitment industry and to find out what we can do for you, please contact our recruitment specialist at: thabo@basadzi.co.za or alternatively, send an enquiry email to: reception@basadzi.co.za

Basadzi Group