10 Strategic Human Resource Planning for Academic Libraries
Human resource strategies need to consider talent acquisition for skills, profes-
sional development for increasing institution knowledge in order to compensate for
changes, performance management for driving a level of competence forward, not
to mention the traditional aspects of human resource management, such as compen-
sation, benefit administration, and employee relations. Much of these traditional ser-
vices will continue to be driven centrally by a campus human resources department,
but much of the strategic intelligence part will reside with the hiring organization and
its strategic view of talent, performance, and development.
A common term used to describe or demonstrate value within a library environ-
ment lately has been ROI. As a business term, “return on investment” means those
investors and others who provide support or investment into the business, are due a
return or an evaluation of their efforts. In addition, ROI can be a measure of efficiency
from the actions or use of “that which was procured.” So in today’s academic library,
all parts of the university are being held accountable and must demonstrate measur-
able results of value to continue to expect funding to continue (Kaufman, 2008). The
library is no exception and the personnel side of the equation can be significant since
it is one of the largest expenses to the operation. Demonstrating ROI on the human
capital can be critical.
1.8 The balance scorecard
Business and industry have utilized a Balance Scorecard approach to strategic plan-
ning for many years. The idea with this system is to provide measurements to what is
being managed. The balanced scorecard is a strategic planning and system, to align
business activities to the vision and strategy of the organization, improve internal and
external communications, and monitor organization performance against strategic
goals. Its use has extended beyond being only a business application but now includes
government and nonprofit organizations worldwide.
The balanced scorecard approach is utilized to implement an organization’s strate-
gic plan from a concept to directives and action items for the organization to adopt on
a daily basis. It provides a framework that not only provides performance measure-
ments but also helps planners identify what should be done and measured. It enables
administrators to truly execute their strategies. This concept recognizes the shift in the
role of the organization’s employees and how they contribute differently in the infor-
mation age (Kaplan and Norton, 1996). This requires a reskilling of employee skills
so that their intellect and creativity can be useful to achieve organizational objectives.
The original basic scorecard asks administrators to view the organization from a
variety of perspectives built around four basic premises (Kaplan and Norton, 1996):
How do we look to shareholders (the financial perspective, including such familiar measures
as ROI, revenue, net income, and cash flow)?
How do our customers see us (the customer service perspective, including measures of cus-
What must we excel at (the internal process perspective, focusing on performance measures)?
Can we continue to improve in creating value (the staff development and learning perspec-
tive, focusing on knowledge creation and innovation; Kaplan and Norton, 1996)?
Strategic intelligence in today’s environment 11
Consideration should be given to this approach as over the years since the initial
development, the balanced scorecard method for developing strategic plans have
begun to be used in nonprofit and educational organizations. Michelle Reid identi-
fied some of the benefits for academic libraries who could choose to use this method
justification for increased funding;
building stakeholder awareness and demonstrate accountability;
provide metrics that align and support the library’s role on campus;
support assessment and accreditation activities;
provide framework for development for internal standards and ethical issues; and
increase productivity and effectiveness of staffing.
As a strategic intelligence component, use of balanced scorecard methods can
demonstrate an organization’s recognition that changes are coming and the need to
strategically modify current operations and services is mandatory. Figure 1.1 shows
how these changes can be reflected in a balanced scorecard set of perspectives for an
The literature has multiple examples of the use of the balanced scorecard, including
a program through the ARL.
Figure 1.1 Balanced score card.