Human capital management (HCM)

Human capital management (HCM) has sometimes been described simply as the new name for human resource management. However those active in HCM  say this interpretation misses the point.

This page provides links to a broad range of resources relating to human capital management from Personnel Today, including our blog and a podcast. But we also aim to present here a wealth of other information about human capital management from throughout the internet.


Human capital management – what’s it all about? A Personnel Today podcast in association with Northgate HR

Karen Dempsey interviews Northgate HR’s Steve Foster (pictured), who gives an accessible account of what human capital is and how you can embrace it in your organisation.

What is human capital management?

The Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD) has described human capital management as the “skill, experience and capacity to innovate, that is owned by individuals”, a sub-category, alongside social and organisational capital, of intellectual capital.

In June 2007, Wikipedia described human capital as “the stock of productive skills and technical knowledge embodied in labour”. It then goes on to look at how the term was used by economist Adam Smith in the 18th century before being used by 1950s economists such as AW Lewis and Arthur Cecil Pigou.

Meanwhile the International School of Human Capital Management (ISHCM) describes HCM as the term which is used to describe an organisation’s multi-disciplined, integrated approach to optimising the capabilities and performance of its management and employees.”

The term ‘human capital’ reflects people as assets – as opposed to resources which is implied by the term ‘human resources’. In essence people, from an organisational perspective, can be viewed as part-asset, part-resource and part-liability dependent upon their role.

HC Global is’s second blog. Dedicated to the world of human capital management, Nicholas Higgins provides daily comment on the world of employment from a human capital perspective

The ISHCM’s Nicholas Higgins, who writes’s HC Global blog, says “HCM is about the management of human capital which is a more technical and proactive approach that derives from the organisation performance perspective. It marries traditional HR disciplines with measurement/performance and financial/economic/risk disciplines, among others. ‘Technical’, ‘integration’ and ‘measurement’ are key terms but people are still the core focus.

“In the marketplace, this is manifesting in new concepts like employee engagement, talent management, workforce intelligence, human capital reporting, organisation architecture etc. For some, it may be a particular case of different terminology, for many it’s the change in mindset that is new,” he says.

Download Northgate HR’s free Guide to Human Capital Management

Latest articles on

Cass Business School survey shows people innovations are being missed as company reports fail to account for human resources initiatives 08 June 2007
Work Foundation sets up three-year probe into how good leaders drive inspired performance 11 May 2007
Accounting no longer just a numbers game as finance challenges HR for right to manage the people 02 May 2007
More local councils than ever before attain Investors in People status  25 April 2007
Cranfield School of Management and Capital Consulting team up to investigate the meaning of talent 13 April 2007
Human capital: How are HR professionals measuring the impact staff have on the business? 03 April 2007
Human capital: management or measurement? 13 February 2007
Integrated HR information system frees up professionals to do strategic thinking 5 February 2007
Are employees businesses’ greatest asset, or just their cheapest? 16 January 2007

External documents
Human capital and performance: A literature review, Judge Institute of Management, University of Cambridge, available from the DTI.
Human Capital Measurement and Reporting: A British Perspective, London Business School

Human Capital White Paper
, Ceridian UK
Key trends in human capital, PricewaterhouseCoopers
Social Capital, Human Capital And Sustainable Development, Open University
Human Capital by Gary S Becker, Concise Encyclopedia of Economics

Human Capital stories from elsewhere on the web
Hamilton Bradshaw Human Capital (HBHC) acquires Eden Brown Online Recruitment, UK – Jun 11, 2007
Transformation of HR priorities, UK
Hexagon Human Capital pro-forma FY EBITA Hemscott, UK
Remedy Human Capital Management to exhibit new to market products … Online Recruitment, UK

Human capital events
HR Business Partners in the Public Sector 28 June, Central London
What’s Strategy got to do with Reward? 11 July, London Business School

If you have resources that you feel should be linked to via this page please email


Comments are closed.