Category Archives: Human Capital

Technology vs. Human Capital

By Adam Gellert, Founder / HR + Recruitment Consultant at Linkus Group

Technology versus Human Capital

Definitions for the term obsolete include: ‘no longer used, as something newer exists’, or ‘out of date.’ How terrifying is it for an employee to be anticipating being no longer needed in a workplace, or expired for the lack of a better word? This is in fact the reality of many workers in today’s society – whether they are members of the manufacturing, hospitality or even business services industry.

Today’s world consists of constant changes in technology. It includes product and service upgrades, replacements, and many versions of the same products that can essentially make a process easier. Can technology be compared to Human Capital? Just as there are employees who have industry expertise, there are employees who can upgrade their knowledge through training and development, leadership programs and cross training in new business areas. Employers can replace other employees who are better suited for the job – all in all to ensure that a business has the best human capital.

The reality is, that technology can do the exact same thing but in a more efficient, fast and less costly manner. This is very common in the manufacturing industry where entire jobs become obsolete as they are replaced with technologies that can produce a higher output than what employees can produce. However, it is also becoming common in the business services sector. Imagine having to analyze a data set of over 1 million documents – it would take many employees hours of work to accomplish this task. A computer program on the other hand has the ability to complete this task in a matter of minutes. Another recent trend is investment in Cloud Computing – where businesses can access information anywhere they go – small businesses will not have to worry about renting offices and actual workspaces. Why wouldn’t businesses want to invest on such technologies? Below are a list of pro’s and con’s of the use of technology in today’s average business.

 Technology vs Human Capital

Benefits of Technology:

How technology can’t replace human capital:

Paperless business – Environmentally friendly businesses

Planning and Management – Integrating new technology is not as easy as it looks – should you purchase a brand new software program as soon as it becomes available? Or should you wait and not jump on the bandwagon and take the risk of the product being obsolete soon.   Technology is fast paced – you snooze you lose, it can also be very costly
Increased productivity – Better production results from efficiency when a new technology is introduced Re-training – New technology does not necessarily mean replacing employees – but it can mean employees may need to be re-trained and educated on how to use the technologies – which brings room for errors, and costs. There is also the importance of meeting the needs of employees through job security, employee activities, etc – something that computers cannot do.
Smaller workforce – Easy to manage, reduces costs Maintenance – What if there is a glitch, system error, or the technology merely breaks down? Yes, you can upgrade a system, but this is a cost. Technology cannot be mentored or coached to become successful as an employee can be
Better communication – introducing up to date technologies allows for fluidity in communication throughout the workforce Costs – As mentioned in almost every point above, technology can be expensive. If it is used to replace employees, businesses will have to ensure that there are no redundancies in processes to avoid unwanted costs.
Stay competitive – being up to date in technologies allows businesses to stay competitive in today’s fast paced industry

Although we live in a technology driven world, there are advantages and disadvantages to the use of technology and maintaining human capital in a business. It is ultimately up to the business to decide if it has the capacity to keep up to date with constantly changing technology, or whether to invest in the good old -fashioned human capital.

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Employment After Graduation

-Written for Linkus Group by John Kobrossy, HR Student

Being a new graduate is an exciting time in anyone’s life, it is a time of new beginnings. This new beginning comes with a lot of change and a lot of important decisions that need to be made. These decisions are influenced by many things such as fears or perceptions held about going into the real world. In a small sample group surveyed regarding obstacles new grads may encounter, or fear they will encounter, were the following:

  • Too much competition or an over saturated job market
  • No available job openings
  • Not having the minimum relevant work experience required on job postings
  • Ending up in a position that you won’t enjoy
  • Only being able to find unpaid internships
  • Not yet having all the skills needed to perform at a high level

Linkus

Sometimes coming out of school and being lucky enough to land a job can be a relief and an opportunity that you do not need to think twice about. However, your first career decision does require some serious consideration.  You need to ask yourself whether or not a big brand name corporation is the best for you or whether you might be better off with a start-up company in your field? There are various factors when considering the best answer to this question. There is not one right answer for everyone; before making a final decision, it is important to consider it from all angles.

To begin with, the learning curve can be more flexible with a start-up. Unlike with larger corporations that can rely on their name and resources to supply them with a large candidate pool, a start-up is more likely to commit to you once they have made the decision to bring you on. . On the other hand, there are benefits to a big name company as well. In a larger corporation the reputation of the brand carries itself. You can clearly see the corporate hierarchy, and understand from the beginning how you fit into it. Your path of advancement is clearly drawn out for you if you stay with that company and because of its abundant resources; they are more capable of providing perks as you climb internally.  A start-up however, will train you and appreciate the advantages which you as an intern or entry-level employee afford them. Furthermore, an employee’s feeling of contribution can be greater in a start-up because you come in while the company is still building itself. You will be able to clearly notice the work you do and view the company’s success in direct relation to your efforts.

There are also a lot of personal development benefits to working for a larger corporation. In a larger organization, there are potentially more employees and a longer history; it is very possible that you may share an educational or career background with one of your new co-workers. This opens up the possibility for mentoring arrangements, because even without the shared experiences larger organizations possess the manpower to structure a mentoring program. Although it all depends on what you feel is most beneficial to you, in a start-up you can gain confidence and more significant experience. Within a start-up, rather than just having the resources to bring on interns for solely developmental purposes or even if you were brought on as a new hire, you would be put straight to work. You would build confidence through more autonomy, which in turn would give you meaningful experience because you would have to problem solve and rely on yourself. With a start-up company, rather than feeling that all your competency came from being micro-managed, you could be assured that you are actually capable of standing on your own two feet in your chosen profession.

Ultimately, there is a lot to consider when you are making your decisions after graduation. It goes without saying that hard work would be required in either scenario for success, what you have to consider is if you want to be part of something from the ground floor. Succeeding with a start-up can do wonders for your resume and your career; your achievements would stand alone and allow you to be recognized. In the end no one can make this decision but you and as long as you’re doing what you love you’ve made the right decision. After all, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” ― Confucius

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Employee Perks: What’s on Trend


iStock_ILoveMyJobSign_350-by Shada Mahboob, Recruiter at Linkus Group

“Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person – not just an employee – are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled. Satisfied employees mean satisfied customers, which leads to profitability.” – Anne M. Mulcahy (CEO at Xerox)

Statements like the above lead one to question: how do you make an employee feel like a “whole person”? Perhaps it is in supporting a good work-life balance or delegating rewarding work assignments? Regardless of the answer, employee perks can play a significant role in making an employee feel appreciated. Although some small perks may seem insignificant, they can make all the difference in boosting employee morale.

The Linkus Group has been interested in the trends surrounding employee perks. We conducted a survey of employees in various industries to analyze their current perks and their ideal of what should be offered. The survey data covered a range of employees from a start-up online magazine, a marketing firm, and a large mining company. While these companies may not have much in common regarding the services they offer, they all have kept in mind the importance of employee perks.

Competitive compensation is a hot button topic in all organizations; however, a focus on “total compensation,” including intrinsic rewards such as perks, may be the key to reaching true employee satisfaction.

Here are some interesting perks, we have found, that employers are currently offering!

  • Free breakfast essentials
  • Year-end vacations –based on profit
  • Corporate gym memberships
  • Choice of office colour
  • No dress code
  • Yearly “healthy living credit”
  • Commuting allowance
  • Stock options for all employees
  • Complete flex hours –option to work from home
  • Beer fridge
  • Company car for management
  • Discount to Wonderland
  • Christmas Gifts
  • Free housecleaning for employees every 2 weeks

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Recruiting: Researching the Right Fit

-by Rebecca Garber, Human Resources/Recruitment Intern at Linkus Group

I have spent the past several months trying to gain a better understanding of the different recruitment services offered in Toronto. Sending copious emails, cold calling, and networking was the core of my daily research routine. After speaking to several individuals in the industry, I came to understand that their response or lack thereof, could be seen as a reflection of one’s personal style of recruitment.

One of my first emails was met with a rapid response, suggesting a time to meet the next day. Enthused by the immediacy of my success, I inquired about current job openings. When I received a simple yes, my excitement continued to grow. My initial inquiry into gaining more information had transformed into an interview; I had struck networking gold. Upon my arrival, I met with several individuals in the company. I spent the next several hours screening resumes, perfecting my sales techniques and making cold calls. Although these are all important functions of the recruiting process, the accelerated speed had me question the authenticity and potential longevity of this position.

On the flip side, there were several occasions where my efforts to make contact were not reciprocated. For instance, during one particular experience I finally received a response after weeks of persistence, only to be told that I did not have enough experience for the position. When I reiterated that I was simply interested in learning more about the firm, I still sensed hesitancy. To my surprise, I received a phone call later that week asking if I was available for a meeting. When I arrived at the appointment it was evident why my status had shifted to high priority. The individual I was meeting with felt that I would be an appropriate candidate to fill one of the current positions at the firm. As a potential candidate, the suddenness of this situation seemed very obvious to me and I felt slightly uncomfortable. Placing candidates is what recruiters do, but there is a way to do this so that your candidate doesn’t feel like a “pawn in a game”. It is important to be subtle about personal gain and emphasize benefits to the candidate. .

Although my requests were not always met with unprecedented altruism, I must say that I was pleasantly surprised by many of my interactions. I had the privilege of meeting with some extremely helpful and inspiring individuals. The fact that people were willing to spend time with me when there was no apparent immediate benefit, is an indication that they understood a very important principle. I believe it is difficult to find success unless one approaches all interactions with an element of foresight; something beneficial does not necessarily mean something immediate.

In the end, I found myself at Linkus Group; a recruiting/HR agency that structures client and candidate interactions, based on the principle of quality over quantity. Whether it is a personal job search or a recruiter in search of a suitable candidate, finding an appropriate and well-researched fit should never be comprised of the temporary satisfaction of simply filling the role.

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The Recruitment Process… Made Simple

by Adam Gellert, Founder HR Consultant at Linkus Group

If your company is experiencing growth, recruitment and selection can be one of the most exhausting and difficult tasks in moving your business forward.  Yet, as daunting as it is, it’s necessary.

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Helping You Invest in Human Capital

by Kassandra Wenaas, Marketing Coordinator Intern at Linkus Group

In today’s global world, investing in human capital often directly influences an organization’s productivity.  With a continuous rise in secondary education combined with rapid advancements in technology, there’s a growing demand for highly skilled talent to fill industry roles.

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