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Talent Management Column

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The Value of Elite Colleges
Does it pay to recruit from -- or even go to -- a prestigious university? There have been a number of studies that follow the careers of students who attended elite universities and those who just missed the criteria for admission.
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Should You Outsource?
Sourcing decisions are human resource judgments that too often are made based solely on economic issues. HR leaders need to better analyze -- and decide the best ways to deal with -- the business risks of outsourcing work.
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Finding Qualified Workers
Short-sighted HR practices and unreasonable job requirements may be two leading factors that contribute to the difficulties employers are having in finding qualified workers. A recent article on the issue drew an avalanche of responses, including a few that were quite enlightening.
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Managing Human Capital Risk
The potential for risk in human resources can negatively affect entire business organizations -- yet only half of organizations say they have a formal plan to assess such risks. It's up to HR leaders to better understand the risks and the potential costs they represent to the business.
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The One Thing You Should Do Now
Even as uncertainty abounds, there are actions HR leaders can take to determine what strategies corporate leaders should be considering -- or undertaking. These not only help the organization as a whole, but also help the HR function and HR leadership.
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The Catch-22 of Unemployment Discrimination
It may not be illegal, but a strong case could be made that it's foolish for employers to screen out the unemployed when looking at job applicants. As long as the applicant's skills are current, wouldn't such a candidate be more motivated to perform well and more likely to work cheaper?
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Management Lessons from Small Companies
Even though small companies have more barriers than large companies in creating "winning workplaces," some have managed to build in such programs -- even those employing blue-collar workers. And they have managed to prosper even during a down economy.
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Managing the 'Difficult' Employee
A new study finds that about one in five workers have a personality disorder that negatively impacts their career and the workplace. But while the research suggests that such disorders (particularly among women) can have a significant impact on business outcomes, HR leaders should nonetheless tread carefully as they craft a response.
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The Fork in the Road for European HR
Our intrepid columnist reports from the European front of the war for talent, where HR leaders are facing a fork in the road when it comes to developing their talent pipelines. Should HR leaders there embrace an "employability doctrine" -- or should they create a whole new doctrine?
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Are Leaders Made or Born?
Are leaders born? Or can they be made? A new study that looks at the brain waves of various individuals seems to find evidence that charismatic leadership has a physical manifestation in the brain. But it may be possible to teach people how to change their brain activity in ways that may make them more inspirational to others.
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Puzzling Out Union Impact
The furors over the dispute in Wisconsin with public-sector unions and the one between the NFL and its players provide plenty of questions -- and not very many answers. But such situations do offer HR leaders some broad lessons.
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The Future of HR
Two recent studies offer some thoughts on the future of HR. While HR leaders in developing areas are dealing with growing economies and an influx of talent -- leading to new ideas -- many CHROs in "mature" economies, such as the United States, are still focused on tactical, instead of strategic, issues. Is this a tipping point for HR?
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Where are the Jobs?
There are lots of theories as to why unemployment has remained stubbornly high, even as companies are doing better. But this disconnect is hardly unprecedented and the solution clearly lies outside the realms of skills retraining and new-hire subsidies.
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The Reversal of Authority
With many older workers preferring to cut back on their responsibilities and increase their flexibility by taking lower-level positions, many younger supervisors are dealing with the problem of managing older workers. And often they don't do it well. HR leaders might want to take a lesson from the Marines.
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Checking in With the Next Generation
Wharton's annual mid-term exam explores students' view of their last job and the way they were managed. In most cases, management was lacking. Feedback was limited or nonexistent, and bonuses -- instead of resulting in engagement and motivation -- often prompted these high-potential candidates to quit or slack off.
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Enough with the Generation Studies!
An entire industry has grown around the concept that differences exhibited by the younger generations are long-lasting and important for employers to understand and accommodate. But what if the younger generation today is similar in most respects to the younger generations of past years?
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Older Workers and the Job Market
More older individuals are staying in the job market longer -- or trying to get jobs, but they often face discrimination for a variety of stereotypical reasons. If hiring managers and HR leaders tended to think of such workers as "experienced," instead of "old," they might find talented workers who could positively impact their organizations' success.
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Creating a Performance Culture
Low wages and high turnover are common in occupations such as those found in the home-healthcare field, but Alternate Solutions Home Care found a way to counter that situation by creating a culture that focuses on retaining talent. And it paid off in both employee commitment and profits.
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