Chapter Two

Strategic HR

What It Is, Why It Is Important, and Why It Is Often Difficult

The War for Talent was an influential book published in 2001 that emphasized the growing impact that workforce quality has on business performance. The book noted that “in 1900 only 17 percent of jobs required knowledge workers, now over 60 percent do. . . As the economy becomes more knowledge based, the differential value of highly talented people continues to mount.”1 Since that book appeared, the importance of attracting, hiring, developing, using, and retaining high-quality talent has steadily grown. Business success is becoming less about having better business strategies and more about having the talent to execute these strategies effectively. Winning ...

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