Mollie Lombardi, Co-Founder of Aptitude Research Partners and a former VP and Analyst at Brandon Hall Group, wrote in this Workforce Planning blog post last year: “Workforce planning is tricky business. Not just because of the complexity entailed in the process, but because if you ask four people what workforce planning is, you’ll likely wind up with five definitions.”
Workforce Planning 101
So, what is Workforce Planning? Essentially, it is about:
- Projecting labor supply based on where you are today
- Capturing labor demand for where you want to go
- Comparing the two and drawing the picture of how to narrow the gap
Workforce Analytics supports Workforce Planning by:
- Connecting workforce data to uncover insights
- Enabling data-driven decision making
- Measuring the results of initiatives
Workforce Planning enables Strategic Talent Planning (sometimes referred to as “Strategic Workforce Planning”), which involves:
- Looking out 3-5 years at labor supply and demand
- Considering long term economic and demographic factors
- Taking into account long term business objectives
A Plan for Success
Effective Workforce Planning has never been more important: In today’s recovering economy, talent has the upper hand: hiring, new job creation, and voluntary turnover are all at 5-year highs.1 At the same time, the workforce is growing more complex:
- Globalization is taking the competition for talent worldwide.
- Four distinct generations are in the workforce at the same time.
- Contingent workers account for a third of the workforce and counting.
Employers must be able to anticipate changing workforce trends and their impact on the bottom line. They need to find new ways to strategically plan for talent to keep up with the market. In fact, HR leaders say that workforce planning is one of their highest priorities, yet one of their weakest abilities: 62% are still using manually-produced spreadsheets despite facing dynamic, complicated planning problems.
How can HR be the catalyst that transforms workforce planning? Get your crash course on Workforce Planning with this infographic.
1BLS Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, Feb 2015
About the author: Dave Weisbeck
Dave enjoys problems that require both logical and creative solutions, and thus exercise both his left- and right-brain. He started out his career in the 90s writing code as a computer programmer, and then moved on to product management, marketing and general management roles. Dave has a strong background in analytics, having played a key role in the analytics businesses at SAP, Business Objects, and Crystal Decisions. At Visier, he looks after product and market strategy. A proficient do-it-yourselfer (he made his own PVR for fun), Dave’s hobbies include the logical and creative challenges of cooking, home brewing, and photography.
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