Book Reviews: Staffing and Labor Markets

Age Works: What Corporate America Must Do to Survive the Graying of the Workforce, by Beverly Goldberg.The Free Press.
America is facing a critical short of knowledge workers. At the same time the baby-boomer generation is reaching retirement age, and the next generation is smaller and not partial to big firms. The challenge is to retain and attract older workers, but they, and younger workers, feel anger and frustration toward the work world of large corporations. To address this crisis will require expenditures to achieve fairnessła new social contract between employers and employees. Changes to convince older Americans to participate longer in the workforce are demanded, which will take deep understanding about the forces that have are driving them out. Firms must undo the resentment they have caused and implement new strategies for employing older workers. This is an important book that addresses one of the key issues facing this and other industrialized nations over the next 10 to 20 years. Highly recommended. 230 pp. 2000.

The Black Book of Outsourcing: How to Manage the Changes, Challenges, and Opportunities, by Douglas Brown and Scott Wilson. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
An excellent source for information and guidance. The book's three main parts cover: how to plan, lead and manage outsourcing initiatives; a guide to finding an outsourcing career; and a guide for outsourcing entrepreneurs. Some specific topics include: making decisions to outsource; what is needed to be known before starting; assessing cost, benefit, and risk; outsourcing options; selecting suppliers and vendors; and much more. Includes an annotated, extensive vendor directory. Offers a wealth of information and insights. 370 pp. 2005.

CEO Succession: A Window on How Boards Can Get It Right When Choosing a New Chief Executive, by Dennis C. Carey and Dayton. Oxford University Press, Inc.
Written by authors who recruit CEO's and directors for clients, the book is based on interviews with CEOs, directors and HR executives. What emerged was systematic steps and best practices that are used by leading companies, discussed in considerable detail. Also examined is the value of calibrating internal candidates for CEO and other top posts with comparable outside leaders. Practices used but not necessarily recommended are also presented. Guidelines for board members are provided in the last chapter. This book should be of considerable value to all board members, top human resource executives, and CEO's. Highly recommended. 210 pp. 2000.

Effective Succession Planning: Ensuring Leadership Continuity and Building Talent From Within, by William J. Rothwell. AMACOM.
Comprehensive guide to establishing and implementing a succession planning program based on research and experience. Provides a model for systematic succession planning. Includes a discussion of the use of competencies and values, applying online and high-technology approaches, and an audit checklist for evaluating a program. Includes illustrations, cases, worksheets, interview guides, and other resources. Highly pragmatic. Strongly recommended. 125 pp. 2001.

Grow Your Own Leaders: How to Identify, Develop, and Retain Leadership Talent, by William C. Byham.Audrey B. Smith.and Matthew J. Paese. Pearson Education Ltd., Financial Times Prentice Hall.
This book introduces acceleration pools, an alternative approach to traditional succession planning. The concept grooms people for an organizational level rather than a specific position. The members of the pool are developed through stretch job and task force assignments that offer learning and visibility. Pool members are assigned a mentor, receive more training, attend special development experiences, and get extensive feedback and coaching. The book explores the operation of this leadership development concept in five phases, presents the purpose and importance of its features, and gives lots of detail. Additionally, we were impressed with the loads of information, tools and forms it provides. Highly recommended. 376 pp. 2002.

Shared Services: Mining for Corporate Gold, by Barbara Quinn. Pearson Education Ltd., Financial Times Prentice Hall.
This comprehensive guide to shared services explains what "shared services" is and outlines how to 1) assess its viability for an organization and 2) plan and implement it. The book presents in-depth coverage of initial size-up, assessing outsourcing possibilities, establishing the infrastructure, and shifting the culture. 250 pp. 2000.