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Human Capital

We help clients shape talent strategies linked to business needs, understand workforce trends, develop great leaders, and build an excellent HR function.

A shortage of the right talent is a top concern for CEOs in all industries and geographies. Our deep experience, proprietary tools, and focus on business outcomes help clients meet this challenge and turn talent into a source of competitive advantage.

We work with clients to:

  • Shape talent strategy to meet business needs: We help develop talent strategies tied directly to business plans—including actionable and segmented insights into talent strengths, needs, and economics. We shape clear employer value propositions focused not just on compensation but also on other key factors that matter to talented employees, including professional development. Our proprietary tools and dashboards help clients closely monitor talent plans and deployment.
  • Build world-class talent systems and culture: Beyond meeting immediate recruitment and succession planning needs, the most successful companies use talent management as a tool to drive strategic change, innovation, effective merger integration, and long-term organizational health. We help clients define a talent agenda to support their core competitive strengths, and shape talent practices—including development, rotation, reward and recognition—to deliver business outcomes. Our Organizational Health Index provides a robust fact base for understanding and improving talent culture.
  • Develop leaders to deliver and sustain performance and health: We work with you to customize experiential programs based on your need, and we integrate our business insights with proven development methodologies, embedding them in your real-life context for lasting impact. Learn more on the McKinsey Leadership Development website.
  • Understand and strengthen workforce dynamics: To enable our clients to compete through talent, we provide foresight into key socio-demographic, regulatory, and technology trends. We help clients shape an explicit workforce strategy that is cognizant of these trends, incorporating compensation, training, employee engagement, diversity, and regulatory compliance. A key focus is on understanding, measuring, and improving workforce productivity.
  • Build excellence in HR: We help clients turn the HR function into a highly credible business partner, driving strategic people initiatives while improving the cost, quality and speed of key services such as recruiting, training, and administration. Using our proprietary HR Navigator tool, we help HR set quantified targets, measure its performance, and demonstrate its contribution to business value.

Examples of what we do

  • Helped a global financial services company with a 4,000-person HR function improve performance and generate $120 million in savings.
  • For an airline client, for example, sequenced changes to work rules and benefits resulted in $150 million in annual savings, industry-leading productivity, and increased employee satisfaction.
  • For a government revenue service, we helped develop and implement a plan to recruit 5,000 managers over ten years to meet its revenue targets.

Featured experts

Bryan Hancock

Partner, Atlanta

Mary Meaney

Senior Partner, Paris

Impact Story

Implementing a talent strategy drives growth

The telco client's recruiting time is halved, allowing the company to sign on 100 IT specialists within three years—a crucial enabler of its growth strategy.

Related Insights

Article - McKinsey Quarterly

Getting beyond bureaucracy in human resources

– By becoming more strategic and operating with an edge, corporate HR departments can boost their effectiveness and shed their bureaucratic... reputation.
Article - McKinsey Quarterly

Toward a new HR philosophy

– HR should empower managers to decide on standards, hire how they choose, and develop company-wide leaders.

How we help clients

Human Capital

We help clients compete through talent—by shaping robust talent strategies linked to business needs, understanding workforce trends,... developing great leaders who deliver results, and building an excellent HR function.

Merger Management

We help clients realize maximum deal value from mergers—by tapping the right synergies, building capabilities, shaping the new... culture, and speeding up integration.

Organization Design

Our consultants help clients design organizations to reduce costs, drive growth, and strengthen both short-term performance and... long-term organizational health.

Transformational Change

We help large organizations design and implement major change programs that improve performance, build capabilities, and strengthen... behavior over time.