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Old 2013-01-25, 03:25   Link #25935
Knight Errant
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Age: 30
I think the problem is that a lot of companies don't understand the concept of "human capital". What makes one corporation more competitive then another is the people within it. If a company fosters and improves it's people, it will become greater.

I think this thinking goes back pretty far though, at least to Ford. Under Fordian Mass Production, the people are just standardised interchangeable parts. All the intelligence is in the machines, and the people aren't expected to think at all. For the skilled personnel, they all had to specialise and fit a single predefined role, and never move outside it. It's not an efficient way to do things, as the entire organisation becomes super compartmentalized and inflexible.

It's that same attitude that demands exact parameters of incoming employees. They want an employee that exactly fits into their industrial system, and that's really a big ask. A better attitude would be to advertise for a skilled engineer, and give them a few months to research what they need to know. Maybe attend a short local university course. Because if they're going to be that anal about their job descriptions, they'll never be able to fill their positions, and they'll miss out on a lot of good talent who have everything but the exact knowledge they need. Good engineers are able to pick things up quickly, they don't need to be so ridiculously specialised.

But a lot of people still haven't gotten the memo that you have to invest in people to make a successful business.

One thing I'll say of the best Japanese companies, is that they don't tend to go in for these shenanigans. They train engineers from the ground up. All you need is a good attitude and good academic record to get a job at one of them. (the downside is that it's more difficult to transfer into them mid career)
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