Human capital management and talent management

I have thought for sometimes how Federal government can enhance recruitment pool of qualified candidates to fill critical and leadership positions and how agency Human Capital Officer can help identify those high performing employees who have been trapped in the same position for so many years without having a chance to move out of his or her existing position. For some reasons, agency management may have decided that allowing those high performing employees to leave his or her current position will be costly for the organization in terms of personnel cost when more employees have to be hired to fill that one slot. Those high performing employees may become their own victim for their success in the position that they are in. I call that situation as indispensable. Being trapped in the same positions for so many years with no hope for advancement or moving on to a different position of their own passion, those high performing employees become disastisfied and will go to work each day just to bring home the needed paycheck. Some agencies, I was told, may create detail opportunities but often those detail opportunities are planned for their favorites even though they may be announced to show that they are in compliance with merit system principles. Sometimes the right talents are kept out and I have wondered what the rationale for it. I have not learned if OPM has audited recruitment, selection and placement practices to minimize improper personnel management practices or invalid selection procedures.

There are mentoring programs in various Federal agencies, I believe, but without a proper monitoring and evaluation to ensure merit-based competition for future job vacancies, corruption in hiring practices may result. As biases and corruption occur, certain employees will be included and certain employees will continue to be excluded.

I have wondered how Human Capital Officer can identfy what is needed to untrap those high performing employees who are being held back by ineffective managers and leaders as they don’t want to loose them from those positions they feel they benefit from these employees but those employees feel that they have no motivation to stay in the same position forever. I have wondered whether Human Capital Officer can perform a human capital study and determine the right human talent strategy to untrap and unleash those talents and move them to the position which will benefit the agency and the employee.

Effective human capital management can not be one-sided but must be two-sided. The success of the agency depends on the happiness of the employees. Human Capital Officer should have a concern if someone stays in the same position for so long. Let’s say longer than 5 years. What has Human Capital Officer done? I hope that he or she will make a difference in mobilizing the entire workforce and to ensure that all employees with the right talents have the opportunity to move up or to move across to enhance job satisfaction and to provide employees and the agency the opportunity to fill critical positions when needed.

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Terrence (Terry) Hill

To tell you the truth, human capital officers are not the ones in charge of individuals’ careers. It is up to the individual employee to be engaged and to manage his/her own career. There is no one looking after individual employees and employees should not expect anyone in HR to step in to help them manage their career.

Phuong Le Callaway, PhD

Terrence (Terry) Hill– Thanks for your comments. Ideally, supervisor and the individual employee should work together in the development and growth of the individual employee. I agree that the individual employee is responsible for his or her own development; however, without the support of the supervisor, probably due to lack of supervisory knowledge, poor management, or other wrong intent, the individual employee seems to get stuck. In this scenario, I just wonder where is in the organization the individual employee can come forward for assistance? It is ideal if the employee can leave the organization for her or his own good, but sometimes, seeking a different position can be difficult and requires time and patience. I see that the supervisor is a problem here. In any organization, good managers will have a concern for the development and growth of their employees. However, there are poor and ineffective managers who will hold employees back, especially high performing employees in the same position for as long as they can as these high performing employees benefit them so they will create barriers to make their departure difficult. If the individual employee does not want to file a grievance or to file an EEO complaint, if appropriate, in a positive manner, what an organization can do to ensure that all employees can thrive so to eliminate complaints? I keep coming back to Human Capital Officer. Should the Human Capital Officer or someone in the HR division have an open door policy to encourage employees who don’t want to make wave to come forward in seeking help and advice? The workplace is joyful and productive when all employees have the same opportunities to develop and grow but often it is not the case. There should be a way so no one should be subject to poor supervision and management. I focus on positive enforcement.