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Talent Management Column

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Teaching Machines to Think About HR
For all its promise for HR, big data and its "machine-learning" component still only give us facts about, and factual relationships within, our workforces; not conclusions based on the statistical analyses HR has always needed -- and always will -- to make meaningful predictions.
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Taking Workforce Development Seriously
Singapore's pragmatic approach to meeting the needs of employers and employees -- pre- and post-hire -- probably wouldn't happen here because of U.S. politics and ideology.
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What's Up with Wal-Mart?
As the biggest private employer in the United States, Wal-Mart's recent moves to raise employee pay, improve scheduling practices and provide greater internal career opportunities stem, in part, from business necessity and will inevitably have major implications on a national scale.
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'Predestination' in the MBA Job Market
A new study suggests MBA students no longer have the freedom to try out careers, but must, instead, choose their directions early on -- and have industry and intern experience behind them.
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Betting on Retention
The odds are pretty good retaining talent will become a huge challenge for HR executives -- but also perhaps a significant opportunity.
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Comcast's Big Bet on the Future
How can you lure top talent away from Silicon Valley and other tech centers? Offer them things they can't get there, such as the ability to walk to work, own a house and be part of an affordable, urban community.
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A 'Creepy' Benefit
Few employers seem to be following in the footsteps of Apple and Facebook by offering to cover the cost of freezing a woman's eggs -- and perhaps for good reason.
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'Back to the Future' at IBM
While the idea that employers would co-invest in an employee's education is certainly not a new one, IBM has begun retraining its workers with an old-school -- and perhaps replicable -- approach.
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Steering Clear of a Bump in Wages
The trucking industry finds itself squarely in the middle of a wage-related dilemma as the economy continues to grow.
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What Happened to Part-time Work?
At least a couple of factors may be behind the emergence of unpredictable work schedules, a trend that's understandably taking a toll on today's sizable part-time workforce.
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Project Mismanagement
Over the past few decades, organizations have moved toward much greater individual accountability and away from less functional, committee-based approaches when it comes to managing projects. While these new models certainly have their advantages, they also can easily be undermined.
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So You Think Things Are Bad Here?
While the job market in the United States is extremely difficult for newly minted college graduates, the situation in China is even worse.
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Don't Get Around Much Anymore
The continuing downward trend of people relocating for work may be more rooted in employment practices than it is in aging baby boomers, current economic conditions or the rise in home ownership.
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Who's Really Moving the Big-Data Needle for HR?
While HR struggles to capitalize on the potential of big data, other departments such as IT are already finding business value within the numbers -- and conveying that information directly to the powers that be.
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Re-evaluating Assessment
Considering their obvious importance, you'd think employers would have perfected the candidate-screening and performance-evaluation processes by now. But thanks to a range of factors, including some that are quite subtle, bias continues to persist and cloud the judgment of assessors.
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How Disney Solved Its Skills-Gap Problem
There are some valuable training lessons to be learned from Walt Disney's method of developing world-class animators, but companies in China seem to be the only ones taking note.
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Rethinking the Retail Model
Zeynep Ton's terrific new book titled The Good Jobs Strategy strengthens the case that many retailers might be well-served to reconsider their strategy and put human-capital investment higher on their priority list.
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Rethinking Performance Appraisals
Why is it so difficult to change an organization's performance-appraisal process? Because it requires a change in the culture of the organization -- an outcome that only can be brought about through some very different HR practices.
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