Outdated Approach to Human Capital Development in Liberia

We will continue to experience critical talent shortages and face serious human capital development issues in Liberia if we do not strategize on a better Human Resource approach to human talent development, and be more pre-emptive about it. Our approaches to developing talents and human capital are backward-looking, blinkered, and political.

We think about developing talents only when certain sectors are being explored; our policies are reactionary. The situation of the oil industry in Liberia; Students who went on scholarships as a result of the exploration of the industry returned when the industry was already redundant; they had to struggle to adjust to a new career. Students who also went overseas to study in some critical areas returned to compete with expatriates who were already working with some of these concessions. As a Country, prepare and respond to disaster only when there is one big disaster; we do not plan to manage and mitigate it.

We build Universities and start to look for competent faculty; instead of making a talent hunt for qualified teachers as part of the construction plan. As a result, we find people standing before the blackboards and instructing students; who should be a million miles away from the chalkboards.   

We build health facilities before we start to look for talents or develop human capital, and plan for other logistics. All these HR planning should be part of the entire planning stages of designing the health facility.

Example: operational budget; how many specialist doctors, nurses, Pharmacists, cleaners, Lap technicians, or how many health workers do we need to train to support the smooth running of health facilities, etc?  We are more reactionary to these issues which impact budget planning, efficiency, and productivity.

We do not do any Human resource planning; we only react to HR issues making it uphill to get better results; and continuously creating big talent gaps and human capital development challenges.


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