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Buzzwords in Human Capital Management - what's it matter to you?

“HR”, “People Operations”, “Talent Operations” – aren’t they all the same? Sometimes. But not really. Human Capital Management (HCM) is about creating an environment that allows employees to do their best and to do what’s best for the business. HCM has evolved over the last several decades, and now encompasses much more than it used to.

In small companies, Human Resources (HR) is the typical name for this department, while in more modern or progressive companies it’s called the People Operations Team. In large companies, you’ll notice that the Human Capital Management department is divided into more specific business units, such as Human Resources, People Operations, Talent Operations, Culture, and Internal Communications. This blog dives into the nuances of each facet of Human Capital Management and explores the areas where The Outstanding Company can support your business.

Human Resources (HR)

Typically, HR is broken into two subsets, Administrative HR and Strategic HR. Administrative HR focuses on compensation and benefits, payroll, compliance and employment law, employee complaints or disputes, and change management. Strategic HR supports the company’s strategic business plan and focuses on what HR can do right now to support the long-term business plan. This also includes the people-related challenges they may run into when trying to execute the business plan, such as being able to hire the right talent for a rapidly growing team in a market where compensation is higher than the budget has allocated for those roles. Strategic HR leaders work closely with the Executive Leadership Team and must be well-aligned with them on company initiatives and business changes.

People Operations

As you might suspect, this aspect of HCM is catered more towards people and the interpersonal workings of employees at a company. It may include onboarding, training and development, employee relations, mentoring programs, an annual review of employee engagement, and exit interviews.

Talent Operations

While Talent Operations is often not explicitly separate from the HR or People Ops. team, the areas of focus within Talent Ops. are unique enough and demand the resources to stand on their own. Aspects of Talent Operations includes recruiting, career development, performance management, and succession planning.

The Outstanding Company provides services directly related to People and Talent Operations. We use a talent optimization platform called The Predictive Index (PI), which has unique solutions for recruitment strategy, employee motivation and engagement, and executive strategy alignment. Each aspect of the PI platform leverages data from the PI Behavioral Assessment, which collects information from an individual to create a unique behavioral report that explains this person’s drives, needs, and general temperament. Supervisors and the Talent Operations team benefit from this data because they can use it to determine which roles an internal or external candidate is best suited for, how to approach a feedback session with an employee, what format of training employees will learn the most from, how to coach employees or an employee and their supervisor to navigate a challenging situation, if employee engagement is in good standing, and so much more.

Take the 6-minute Behavioral Assessment now!


Culture typically rolls into People Operations at smaller companies, but many larger companies have a specific team dedicated to this aspect of HCM. Culture is made up of a company’s unique culture code or set of values; diversity and inclusion initiatives (such as Employee Resource Groups); employee engagement initiatives like company parties, book clubs, and volunteering opportunities; additional benefits given through HR, such as paid volunteering time, getting your birthday off, or a paid sabbatical after working at the company for a certain number of years; and other perks like snacks and drinks at the office, catered meals, bring your dog to work policy, or games like ping pong and foosball tables.

Internal Communications

There’s a lot happening within every organization that needs to be communicated clearly and efficiently to employees. Most companies have a dedicated staff member or team who manages these internal communications, which may include email newsletters, an internal company webpage (called an Intranet), video updates, executive communications, and all company meetings or town halls.

If you are interested in learning more about how The Outstanding Company can support your people and talent operations initiatives or need guidance on how to structure your Human Capital Management team, contact us here.