When it comes to the field of Human Capital Management (HCM), it’s all too easy to find examples of organizations that fail to fully consider – and truly value – that first word: Human. These companies tend to see “what the job requires of the individual” instead of “what the individual brings to the workplace” in terms of life experiences, interests and skills.
In their book “The Inside Gig,” future of work experts Kelley Steven-Waiss and Edie Goldberg, Ph.D. talk about why that mindset is self-limiting, woefully out-of-date… and needs to change.
“We often forget that people had other roles, industry experiences, skills, and interests before taking on their current positions.
Most human capital management (HCM) systems categorize employees by job titles, not skills, though many systems link static job descriptions with requisite skills to those job titles.
Even this simple organizing system is flawed because often we let employees customize their job titles for niches they’re in, thus making common jobs difficult to compare from a systems perspective. For example, a sales manager becomes a fine wines sales manager, and a software developer becomes a “hacker” or “QuickBooks guru.”
This failure aside, most employees are much more than their job titles. They bring past experiences and current passions that reflect different skills and abilities they can contribute to their organizations, even if those skills aren’t utilized in their current jobs. For instance, to determine how many web designers a company might have, we would have to get beyond those individuals with “web designer” in their job titles. Some people are self-taught web designers and may design websites as a hobby or for personal passion projects. To answer this question, we would need to survey the skills of these employees to know what talents they possess, regardless of the positions they have today.
For a more common example let’s consider an employee, we’ll call her Kathy, who has a degree in engineering. Kathy’s first job out of school was as a product marketing engineer. She realized she had a knack for understanding and communicating the importance of product features and benefits. As a result, she followed a marketing path rather than an engineering one. However, at Kathy’s core is her love of engineering; it was just that the opportunities in marketing at the time were more interesting and challenging. She could have uniquely contributed to projects based on both her engineering and marketing expertise. But as her time with her company progressed, she remained a marketer, and no one ever considered asking her to participate in a project that required engineering abilities. Consequently, Kathy now feels that her skills are underutilized. She is more than her current job title and can offer far more to her employer if it thought of her as a whole person.”
Learn how the Hitch talent mobility and opportunity platform can help you go beyond job titles to see a more robust view of employees’ skills, talents and aspirations. Contact us to set up a free assessment call or meeting or visit www.hitch.works and registering to receive a free chapter from “The Inside Gig.”