Organizational Consultation XIII: The Human Resource Bank—Source of Information and Use
Banking the Skills, Knowledge and Aptitudes
What type of skills, knowledge and aptitudes is a Human Resource Bank likely to identify and use? The content of an HR Bank will obviously vary widely from organization to organization; however, HR banks often focus on managerial SKAs that are directly related to such functions as supervision and delegation, team facilitation and leadership, budgeting, performance review and program planning. The HR Bank might instead focus on generic skills, knowledge or aptitudes in such areas as writing, speaking, bilingual fluency, problem-solving, teaching, and expertise in the use of specific computer software programs. In other cases, the HR Bank is designed around much more specific and technical areas of expertise. It may be based on SKAs regarding production, marketing, sales, finance or personnel selection.
In very large organizations, the HR Bank may be established to identify and store information about highly specialized SKAs. These SKAs might rarely be needed in an organization; however, they can be of great value if a unique occasion arose when this SKA was needed. We might not need someone with skill in speaking Finnish, but who knows. We may never need to know about the application of Platonic philosophy to our organization, but one can never be sure. Our organization may never need someone who is excited about anthropology, but there is always the possibility that interest in this discipline could be of value. Such is the potential value of a specialized HR Bank. It is meant for that critical moment when we immediately need to know what resources we have in our organization. It would be very expensive or time consuming to look for this specialized resource outside our organization, or to begin a search from scratch inside an organization.
Aptitudes are usually more difficult to assess than are either skills or knowledge. Yet, aptitudes often play a key role in determining the success or failure of a project—especially if this project requires persistence and a long-term commitment of energy. For example, if a new project is filled with many unknowns, then the HR bank might contain information about an employee’s aptitude regarding new challenges or new learning. What does this person find to be most exciting about his current job or about special assignments he has taken? Where is he most open to new learning and challenges? When is he likely to work long hours? When does he feel most loyal to the company? Under what conditions will a strong work ethic prevail?
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