Human capital can be defined as the combined attributes of human beings which collectively form as a capital resource and used to produce value mostly which has economic benefits .These attributes may include the combined pool of knowledge , creativity, habits , personality traits etc. Human capital can be considered as one of the most important resource for any organization as the humans in the form of employees starting from the corner office executives to the subordinates are responsible bring in the mission and vision of a company to executing the smallest of plans and schedules. The modern development in human capital is done in the last half a century but the basic concept of human capital has been recognized since the early 17th century when the valuation of a life lost in war was done, gradually the importance of the laborers as human capital was recognized and slowly the concept of human capital trickled down to the insurance businesses.
Human Capital consulting industry has emerged from the management consulting field. It basically deals with management of organizational human capital to increase the productivity of the organization. The human capital consulting deals with the whole process starting from the recruitment of an employee, assigning them proper roles according to their qualifications, forming effective teams , developing strategy to increase the team’s productivity, dividing the available resources to all the necessary tasks, developing a encouraging and friendly work culture and environment in the workplaces and finally keeping the employees satisfied by proper remunerations .As human capital management is really crucial to the organization , the proper human capital consultation is very much necessary in today’s world and companies invest a great deal in acquiring human resource management tools to analyze how effective and productive their human capital is , and what can be done to improve the productivity further. These investments are called “Investments in Human Capital”. The benefits of the human capital consulting have been quite visible to the world as of now. As the circumstances keep changing organizations have to adapt to the market and customer needs and accordingly need to restructure their human Capital structure, their attitude which results a change in their style of work for better.
In the earlier days, when the organizations understood the importance of cultivating a good human capital, and the competitive edge it gives, they went into competitive hiring wars. The organizations wanted to reach to the potential candidates before their competitor. The main focus was to get the best of candidates and increase the size of the resource pool. But today, the trends in human capital management are totally different. Today, as most of the countries are recovering from the slowdown and accelerating towards growth, the management of the human capital has also developed a new trend. The aim today is to extract the maximum possible value from the human capital, and hence investing in the human capital consulting to find out the right answers to the right questions like where the people should come from and how exactly they will contribute to the performance of the company. This is today done by extensive and comprehensive use of all the HR tools and information. The gist of today’s trend is to set you apart from the crowd. The organizations are not looking for recruitment wars but strategic use of the existing human capital. The importance of the diversity in organization is well understood and is worked upon and also the focus is shifting to increase the productivity through collaboration rather than competition. The use of analytics tools are really vital nowadays to find out what is going wrong and then to improve it , and more importantly what is going right which increases the productivity of the human capital and try to further enhance it.
According to Deloitte University Press report on emerging trend on Human Capital Consulting the following are the emerging trends in Human Capital Consulting
Culture and engagement- This means that HRs today are looking for the clear understanding of their organization culture and environment which will engage the people better and make them more empowered.
Leadership- The leaders of the organization should have a very clear view about the goal and stay really motivated and committed to the cause. This helps the motivation to trickle down to the peers to the lowest level.
Learning and development- Instead of having recruitment wars , and hiring more and more people , the organizations are today more focused on proper training of the employees and making their learning curve more steep which really helps in increasing the efficiency of the human capital.
Reinventing HR departments- The organizations are really focusing on increasing the quality of the HR engagement with the employees to maximize the value of the department to the employees of the organization.
Workforce on demand – Today the trend is to find the versatile workforce for different tasks , so the trend is shifting to contract working agreements and the employees using their skills on different tasks and organization and at the same time being able to give the maximum possible value all round the year.
Performance management – The employees need to be more enthusiastic and committed to the organization and the traditional competitive way to analyze the performance was not serving the purpose well , so different organizations are taking initiatives to change the way of performance management . For example Infosys has removed the bell curve way of analyzing the employees and the effect could be seen as a lower attrition rate and a increased motivation to work.
Collaboration – The organizations are really focusing on collaboration of different departments rather than working in silos which do not exactly create the ideal environment in the workplace.
The report concludes on the fact that today , the softer aspects of the organization plays a very vital role in increasing the efficiency and productivity of the human capital and has to be given keen attention.
Today the companies are focused on smart growth and this principle is very hard attempted to be resonated in human capital management and consulting too. This focuses on the improvement of the relevant skills of the human capital rather than the recruitment wars. This was realized as the companies had to cut down on number of workers during the economic slowdown and realized that with relevant skills and proper management of the workforce, company could generate the same amount of work from less number of employees. This made the realization of importance of skills and efficient management of the workforce management. So, as the economy revived and the companies started accelerating towards growth, they started focusing on the proper training and development to make their workers more skillful and also focused on soft skills like communication, team building and leadership which is today resulting in well glued and resonant functioning of the skillful teams under efficient immediate leadership. The employees were also rewarded more frequently as a appreciation of their good work, which is keeping them more motivated and attached to the organization.
The aim of human capital consulting today is to use the analytical tools to measure the human capital resource in an organization using HR metrics and identifying the capacity gaps. Once the capacity gaps are identified, the organization looks for filling it by proper training programs or if recruitment is done the HR specifically looks for people with skills matching their requirement to fill the gaps.
Today, there has been also a huge focus on the diversity in an organization. According to study by price water cooper diversity helps the organization create a better environment to work and enhance the team skills in a team and eventually increase the productivity of an organization. So, diversity is one of the emerging trends too in the human capital consulting field.
To conclude, we can say that the importance of human capital is well understood today and the emerging trends are the trends which were not given primary importance in the past. Today all organizations are focusing on these trends and eventually will excel in it to find some more areas where they could work on to still improve the efficiency of their workforce. The human capital consulting field should keep looking at those areas and to find out the necessary management and steps that need s to be taken as the business scenario is constantly changing and will keep on evolving and the trends in human capital consulting must resonate with it.