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Will you be strategizing your human capital to increase profitability?

As business continues to build and Illinois unemployment rate continues to decline, how will your company be single-pieceStrategyaffected? Will you be strategizing your human capital…. maintaining, reducing or expanding your workforce? If you haven’t given this topic much thought, it might be time to schedule a visit with your HR dept.

When HR uses the word(s) “expand” or “reduce,” we typically don’t just mean to adjust the number of employees on the payroll.  HR strives to achieve the business goal of increasing profitability through human capital. Further, this doesn’t mean to hire because the economy is looking better, it means you can grow your company and increase profitability by utilizing your employees’ talent.  It means to have the right people in the right positions. For example, Jim Collins, Author of Good to Great, wrote “Get the right people on the bus in the right seats. And get the wrong people off the bus.” Have your employees in positions where they can excel. The return is in the margins.

Now is a critical time to rethink how we conduct business in the twenty-first century verses old patterns and habits. For example, how and why companies hire new employees. HR trends show that many companies hire new employees because the “position is open” but the position hasn’t been assessed to fit the current needs of the business. In addition, other HR trends show that companies don’t utilize HR in the capacity to align employees with the business plan. Companies have to be willing to change, if they don’t, they will exist in survival mode, which we don’t want to do. Read on to learn more about strategizing your human capital to increase profitability.


Strive for process improvement; before you can utilize talent, you have to know your employees’ skills. One way to learn these skills is to have employees identify inefficiencies and redefine processes. This increases good teambuilding skills, brainstorming, and engagement.

Align employees’ talent with the business plan to increase production. Redefine job descriptions, i.e. shuffle around tasks that make better business sense with another employees’ skill and job tasks.

Implement the change don’t just talk about doing it. Set deadlines of who is doing what and by when. Have employees hold each other accountable. Have employees define the consequences of no accountability.


Lay-offs are traditionally the main source of reducing your workforce. Two alternative options for consideration are: furlough and/or job share.

Furloughs are an attempt to avoid layoffs; many employers are instituting mandatory furloughs as a means of cutting costs during the current recession. Mandatory furloughs, which require employees to take time off without pay. At first employees may not be happy about it, but when they realize they still have their job, they will be thankful. Not only because they have their job, but also because their employer showed them respect and creativity by keeping their jobs and the company afloat.

Job sharing is a flexible work arrangement where the responsibilities of a full-time position are split between two people. Job sharing offers many benefits to companies as well as meeting the needs of the employee.

  • Two employees working together on a single situation will usually devise more creativity and may even offer more varied solutions. Employers get two people with different skills and experiences in a single position, broadening the capabilities and expanding the knowledge of their workforce.
  • Burnout drops and productivity increases because they have to explain what they’ve accomplished each week for the job-share partner to pick up where they left off, each employee has to be organized, structured and held accountable to their teammate.
  • Vacation coverage is easier because the job-share employee can stagger their time-off. In addition, with more flexibility, it decreases the stress for the manager and the entire department.


Review current hiring needs – don’t hire just because “the position is open”, assess the positions you need now, not what you needed in the past.

Review the positions you laid off, or that you have been waiting to hire and look within the company, do you have an employee on the bus, but in the wrong seat?

Improve company policies and procedures, be sure to be consistent and maintain a high level of expectations. Don’t settle for mediocrity.

Review your current hiring procedures, now is a good time to have them updated and to implement the changes. Are you utilizing social media to your hiring advantage?’

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VRC can help you strategize your human capital – find out how – click here.