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Human capital analytics: Thinking like an economist

Human capital trends 2013


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Today, many HR leaders are dealing with more complex questions than the ones their predecessors faced. Instead of focusing on traditional "personnel" issues, these new questions address core business issues: Where should we build a plant? Which M&A target will add the skills we need? Where should we locate a new R&D center? Why is our turnover rate in China so high?

These questions require new data and new thinking. Today's HR leader has to think like an economist – someone who studies and directs the allocation of finite resources. In the global economy, talent is one of those scarce resources. Embracing that mindset is half the challenge. The other half is harnessing the applicable information. Companies are accustomed to following their own internal "leading indicators," but the economist-minded HR leader has to look to macroeconomic indicators as well.

By calibrating the finite talent investments their organizations are able to make, these leaders aim to make their workforces more responsive to the current and future needs of their organizations.

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