Biz Book Death Match: Finding Keepers vs. Talent on Demand

Last Updated Oct 31, 2008 2:53 PM EDT

Want to find the best employees? Want to keep them happy? Without breaking the budget? Two recent books say they're the answer. Both have their strengths. Which one is best?

Talent on Demand Talent on Demand: Managing Talent in an Age of Uncertainty

Author: Peter Cappelli Background: Cappelli is professor of management at the Wharton School of Business, Director of its Center for Human Resources and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research
publisher: Harvard Business Press
Pages: 260
Type: Theory/guidebook

Talent on Demand Web site
Who should read: Human resources strategists, CEOs, CFOs and other executives concerned about the cost of talent.

Cheers: The idea that underlies this book is creative and seems to work. Excellent use of real-world vignettes to help build his case. An engaging brief history of management training and theory. An effective discussion

Groans: You've gotta really care about HR. Also, it seems like it should have a little more math to prove some of its points, especially in the sections about 'buying' talent vs. 'making' it.

Readability: The writing is clear and in some places admirable. But ultimately, this is a book for those who run human resources departments.

Breakdown: A well-executed new theory for handling all aspects of human capital based on principles drawn from supply chain management.

Next: Finding Keepers »

  • Michael Fitzgerald

    Michael Fitzgerald writes about innovation and other big ideas in business for publications like the New York Times, The Economist, Fast Company, Inc. and CIO. He’s worked as a writer or editor at Red Herring, ZDNet, TechTV and Computerworld, and has received numerous awards as a writer and editor. Most recently, his piece on the hacker collective the l0pht won the 2008 award for best trade piece from the American Society of Journalists and Authors. He was also a 2007 Templeton-Cambridge Journalism Fellow in Science and Religion.