1 Human capital is the collective value of an organization's workforce's capabilities, knowledge, skills, life experiences, and motivation (Valentine et al., 2020, 1-2b section). Human resource professionals and leadership should consider that a firm's greatest asset, its people, are the culmination of their collective experiences, personally and professionally. Expanding into new markets is an exciting and complex time for the organization.The selection of the new markets in four strategic locations has been completed after an exhaustive review and analysis. To begin answering questions around adequate human capital planning, several questions, likely leading to further questions, should be considered. ●Of the four markets slated for expansion, what is the population density of each locale? ●What are the education and job types typically held by the local population? ●What are the income demographics for the locals for jobs identified in the low-skill, highly-skilled administration and management market? ●Is the population established and settled or more transient/ever-changing? The journal article "Firm Organization and Productivity across Location" noted that a firm could gain 8.8% and 22.4% in productivity when operating in a denser area (Spanos, 2019, p. 4). Understanding each new location's proximity to a larger metropolitan area and its associated potential employee pool will help while building staﬃng and recruitment activities. Productivity and employee engagement will be vital in developing successful expansion locations. Data shows that companies who understand what motivates their employees can better foster the maximized productivity desired. Ensuring that hired staff can develop their skills is one of the twelve core elements important to higher employee engagement (Wright, 2021, 4.3 section)
2 Another key element in developing a human capital strategy is the corporate operations at each location. Will each site be a duplicate of the main campus? Will some locations focus more on manufacturing and distribution than sales and administration? Fully understanding the purpose of each location assists in focusing on the type of staff required. In Proverbs, the author advises, "Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers, they succeed" (Holy Bible, n.d., Proverbs 15:22 section). Ensuring that the expansion plans are multi-layered and ﬂexible with input and insight from those familiar with each new location will assist in successful launches at each strategic location. Having individuals in the expansion project team who understand the localities, regulations, and competition will be invaluable to the team and leadership. The human capital needed to set up each location is equally important to have the correct team members in the project planning team. These questions are just the beginning of the project. Still, thorough consideration will develop a foundation for successful expansion and, as mentioned, lead to additional questions that must be addressed.
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