The aim of this study was to explore and describe foundational assumptions in the selection of human capital metrics, unpacked within three broad categories of meaning, namely: why?, what?, and how? A modernist qualitative paradigm, with data provided by South African practitioner experts, was employed. Thematic analysis was inductively applied to data generated during unstructured, in-depth interviews. Twenty-four assumptions found within the three broad categories of meaning provide an understanding of selection in human capital metrics. Clusters of findings are: the supply of decision level-specific human capital information, the limited value attached by senior managers to transactional and compliance information, the systemic integration of the business strategy into the business value chain, and an emerging measurement framework within HR. The clusters are representative of two emerging and overarching paradigms: the current Performance Measurement Paradigm (transactional) and achieving a Human Capital Contribution Paradigm.