Collaborate for Human Capital: When, with Whom, and How?

Whether to collaborate and share your human capital is a foregone conclusion – we should. 

More pertinent questions are: when should we collaborate? 

With whom should we collaborate? 

Should we collaborate with peers in the industry or elsewhere? 

And, how should we collaborate?

Great questions, all of them! Let’s explore them. 

When should we collaborate and with whom? Ideally, we should be collaborating at all times but mostly we should start collaborating when things are going well so that when things were to go south, we are not caught off-guard. 

Here I will give you a hot-from-the-press example: see what is happening to the hospitality industry across the globe. For example, we now know that in the UK, this industry is looking at nearly 200,000 open positions to be filled in the next few weeks when the economy opens up towards the end of June. When the pandemic struck, the industry had to let go of a lot of people as demand evaporated overnight and so did the jobs. However, with economies now opening up slowly the demand for these services is expected to surge and they need the positions filled in quickly to address the same. 

But can they do so in such a short time? Most people who lost their jobs in the industry either relocated and found new vocations or switched to other related industries. Hence, getting them all back will be impossible.

What could have been done differently by the industry? 

Before the pandemic hit, the industry could have gone ahead and forged collaborations with allied industries such as the food-delivery businesses, e-commerce businesses, and such which didn’t see much downturn during the pandemic. This way, the surge in demand for new workers in both food-delivery businesses or e-commerce ones could have been supplied immediately from the hospitality industry that had to let go of thousands of people overnight. 

What is more important is that, had these collaborations been in place beforehand, a lot of suffering imparted to the human capital could have been avoided.

This would also have built positive loyalty equity within the human capital for the hospitality industry that moved from hospitality to other allied industries such as food-delivery and e-commerce. This positive loyalty equity could now have been called upon by the industry to attract the human capital back to it now that the industry is planning to open up. 

Instead, the human capital that was forced to leave went away with negative loyalty equity and now is reluctant to go back as they realize that they were left in the lurch by the industry and aren’t sure anymore of the stability of their jobs back with the industry. 

Building this trust and loyalty back with the critical human capital will now take a long time for the industry. Nevertheless, the industry should at earnest forge these collaborations immediately so that they are prepared for any such future shocks, and we know that there is a possibility of a third wave of the pandemic.

Now the next question: should we collaborate with peers in the industry or elsewhere? 

Well, the answer to the first question is partially given above already – however, peer-to-peer collaboration is equally critical to manage human capital slack and spurts that a business may face from time to time. 

For example, in the Information Technology industry, a company may suddenly need human capital for a project they won recently but will have to put them on what the industry calls “bench” when the project gets over – so, the industry faces perpetual spurt-and-slack cycles where they need or have to let-go for human capital on an ongoing basis. Thus, peer-to-peer collaborations will be needed by these businesses on an ongoing basis – this applies to other industries such as hospitality, construction, health care, and many other industries as well. 

Having said this, these industries should also forge collaborations with other allied industries that would not be affected by situations such as industry-business-cycles as well as calamitous situations such as the ongoing pandemic. As explained in the example above, the hospitality industry could have forged collaborations with food-delivery as well as e-commerce industries as well and they could have leveraged those collaborations during this pandemic and come out on top.

And, lastly, how should we collaborate? 

Well, we at (SBB) have built a robust platform just for this purpose! Businesses can subscribe to SBB and start forging collaborations for human capital with their peers as well as across industries and start sharing/ exchanging talent.

Happy collaborations!

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