News 02/01/2019 by "Natalie Jaafar"

Workforce planning: Top 5 tips to prepare for the new year

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Recently we had the pleasure of participating in a workshop which focused on some of the challenges our clients and their HR teams go through. Throughout the workshop, many challenges came to the surface, but there was one, in particular, that seemed to be plaguing everyone in the room: Workforce Planning.

The challenge? Human resources teams are under the pump to plan for future resource needs for the business, and they are struggling to do so. Of course, workforce planning is no easy task, and lack of effort is rarely the reason that businesses are finding it difficult to plan their resources accurately.

Every business will have different circumstances adding to this challenge. Particularly those in the fast moving spaces of technology where your future skillset needs may not even be able to be predicted today.

5 Tips for every business

While many workforce planning challenges will be different from business to business, there are still many strategies that remain universal and will help your business to plan with more accuracy, thus significantly minimising the surprises that can throw you off budget and quadruple your workload.

  1.  Review business growth areas
    This is something that should be looked at annually, if not quarterly (depending on your business). It is easy to get bogged down in reactive activities but taking the time to go and speak to the various divisions in your organisation can help you to assess who is predicted to grow. Then you can work with them to create a strategy to meet their needs as they arise.
  2.  Engage suppliers
    Working with suppliers such as recruitment agencies is beneficial for a few reasons. We can help to reach difficult to find candidates. We can alleviate pressure by affording you time to focus on other things. We can be your eyes and ears in the market. This one is perhaps the most valuable. Having a trusted supplier gives you access to intel that we gain by being “on the ground” day in and day out. We can tell you if a skillset is going to become more difficult to attract in the future, how you can charm them and what budget you’ll need to secure them.
  3. Analyse data effectively
    This goes for internal and external data sources. Most organisations today are filled with historical information that is gold for HR teams to use in their workforce planning. You can analyse previous years to see if there are monthly trends, annual trends, or if there were teams or skillsets that were particularly easy or tough to plan for. This will help give you a head start, a map, if you will, of what you are likely to expect moving forward. Then you can compare this data with current marketing data.
  4. Keep in touch with market trends
    Keeping abreast of what is happening outside of your organisation is essential for effective planning. Just because you have a need doesn’t mean that you’re going to be able to fill it easily. Keeping up to date with market trends allows you to predict where you will struggle and therefore where you need to plan ahead, rather than being reactive to the needs of your organisation.
  5. Stay up to date with technology
    If you are not leveraging technology in 2018, you are likely suffering. Today there are innumerable ways to boost efficiency through automation and improved data capture. You can use tech tools to quickly check the needs of the teams in your organisation. Data capture tools can help you to capture these needs where you can then review and analyse them for better planning. You have tools to help you get back to applicants, even tools to help you review applicants.