Challenge

Celgene is an American biotechnology company operating in an extremely competitive and fast-paced industry. To be at the forefront of science and research, this 9,500-person organization needs an accurate and efficient workforce planning methodology to ensure they have the right talent in the right place—and at the right cost—to deliver their life-changing products.

Approaches

To meet this challenge, the Celgene Talent Acquisition (TA) team has developed a comprehensive end to end TA Operations strategy known internally as the Total Talent Solution (TTS). This all-encompassing methodology is enabled by a data-driven core, which layers in the Visier People® analytics and workforce planning platform and a wide range of other functional reporting, including data from financial, marketing, and candidate-based data sets.

The insights gathered through this collective model drive the workforce plan and internal talent resourcing strategies, and also provide a greater depth of business insights to support the leaders of the organization.

On a monthly basis, the TA analytics team conducts a turnover and growth analysis that is compiled into a scorecard report. In parallel, a workforce plan is created, paying special attention to anticipated headcount for the year, month over month headcount changes, and predictive model overlays.

The team also considers the influences of large-scale business initiatives, such as M&As, product launches, market growth, and patent expirations, to inform the monthly workforce plan on a go-forward basis working against the context of a 3-year operating expenditure.

A scorecard report that shows at-a-glance where there might be areas of concern
A scorecard report that shows at-a-glance where there might be areas of concern. *Fictional data used for customer privacy.

Once these numbers are available, the TA team shares the analysis with the embedded Human Resource Business Leaders and their respective Finance teams. The local groups, along with their TA partners, align on near-and long-term projections, identify challenges, and then recalibrate the projected numbers for the planning process. The TA leadership complements this by utilizing Visier outputs and ATS data to adjust recruiting plans.

This routine process enables the TA organization to provide a more efficient, proactive, and elevated level of service to support the fulfillment of the needs. It also keeps functional group stakeholders at the forefront of the Talent strategy.

Uncovering opportunities

With their TTS methodology, Celgene now utilizes Visier and high-end modeling tools to project short-term (up to six months) critical positions with a much improved level of certainty, against a rolling long-term projection of headcount out to an extended 3-year time period. This enables them to plan for talent shortages by allocating the proper resourcing to support the gaps in the model. The comprehensive methodology also enables them to manage and source talent more effectively and have more insightful conversations with stakeholders to drive to the new numbers.

This visualization shows month-over-month changes in the workforce plan and predictive data on future resignations
This visualization shows month-over-month changes in the workforce plan and predictive data on future resignations. *Fictional data used for customer privacy.

The team leveraged the workforce planning process for the first half of 2019 to quickly identify an extra 380 headcount that was dispersed across the organization. This ability to preemptively identify and mitigate individual units at the cost center level, on a month-to-month basis, has proven to be a strategic driver for the company.

“The level of detail we’re now able to get by using Visier for workforce planning, combined with the talent acquisition analytics, means we can now predict what the next few months are going to look like, whereas before it was a lot more hypothetical.”

Robert Caruthers, Senior Director, Talent Acquisition Operations

Single source of data truth

Implementing the TTS methodology has led to a stronger partnership between various stakeholders in the planning process and raised the bar for the TA team’s overall service. Because Visier feeds the data back into Hyperion, the teams are now operating under a single source of truth which enables them to speak apples to apples. Also, HR leaders have been given extensive training on the new workforce planning process, as well as the Visier platform, which has improved their ability to have fact-based conversations with the business at the highest levels.

Results

The improved role projection equates to tens of millions of dollars in operating expense reclassification based on the fully loaded cost estimates (inclusive of the compensation, benefits, and tax allocation averages). The team also saved an additional 20% of their own annual recruiting budget.

These savings have been reinvested back into TA. It’s enabled the team to build a stronger marketing program, which includes investing in RPOs, a new employee value proposition and career site, and a modern advertising suite powered by AI-based technologies. The process has helped HR partner with Finance, with Finance now being very receptive to working with HR and the TA analytics team.

This TTS methodology has also streamlined the workforce planning process.

“It used to be a rat race to get those numbers in line with what was budgeted for the year. And now our workforce plans are staying within budget and we believe they’ll go down even more.”

Matt Furey, Senior Manager Talent Acquisition - Reporting and Analytics