[EDITORIALS]Find and cultivate geniusesOne constant truth is the observation that people are competitive, whether as a country, society or company. In the information age, the survival of a business depends on securing an excellent work force. But despite the widespread realization of this fact, our schools and companies and society in general have failed to respond to the challenge.
A noteworthy exception is the Samsung Group, which has set out on a campaign to strengthen its core personnel. The chairman of Samsung, Lee Kun-hee, said at a recent workshop of group executives, "This is an age of human resource competition and knowledge-based creativity in which one genius will support 1,000 or even 10,000 people." Heeding his call that the entire corporate group should go on a drive to recruit excellent people, Samsung has announced that it will hire 1,000 people with post-graduate degrees every year and strengthen the global skills of the existing human resource. The company will look abroad for much of the new talent.
We have been warned repeatedly on the importance of training talented people. The Switzerland-based International Institute for Management Development rates Korea's ability to secure technologically excellent human resources at 6.37 out of a maximum of 10. That finding paints our personnel management program as inferior not only to the United States and Japan but also Taiwan, which is rated 6.88, and Singapore, rated 7.67.
Declining demand for Ph.D holders has led to a drop to 958 last year in the number of people obtaining a doctorate, fewer than before the financial crisis of 1997.
Human resource management has been neglected by society in general and corporations in particular. Education has concentrated on standardizing people rather than building a superior work force equipped with creative minds.
The days of waiting for a high-quality work force to come to you are over. In the age of globalization, there will not be borders as far as good people are concerned. The outdated system of compensation and human resource management must be reformed to seek out superior workers. Samsung's strategy should come as a source of encouragement for other firms.