A high-performing workforce is a vital asset, especially as economic uncertainty, supply chain disruptions, and labor shortages continue. But, employing an accurate number of individuals with fitting expertise at the right time is no easy task.
Because of this, organizations are using workforce planning to improve employee oversight and human capital management long term. This helps companies answer burning questions like what skills are missing from their workforce and how they can keep top talent around longer.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about strategic workforce planning and the top solutions you can introduce to fill skill gaps and achieve business goals efficiently.
Workforce planning is the analysis and evaluation of a company’s talent needs, both now and in the future. The process involves assessing the tools, resources, and skills present within the current workforce, identifying future needs, and discerning skill gaps to address. Organizations also focus on implementing initiatives to find and retain talent, all of which aim to promote long-term organizational success.
Why does this matter? By taking a closer look at your current workforce, you can staff your organization more efficiently — avoiding potential shortages or labor surpluses and meeting variable demand as needed. When workforce planning is done successfully, businesses can increase productivity, cut labor costs, improve resource allocation, and reduce time-to-market because they have the right people with the necessary expertise in the right positions at the right time.
More and more organizations are shifting to strategic workforce planning models for more comprehensive future-proofing strategies. However, Innovative Benefit Planning reports that fewer than 50% of companies have an effective strategic workforce plan in place. With this in mind, we’re taking a look at what companies need to know about tackling the workforce planning process with confidence.
When evaluating your current workforce strategy and future labor needs, take the following benchmarks into account:
Evaluating these criteria offers an in-depth understanding of your existing workforce’s skills, experience, and potential talent gaps — which is a necessary foundation for impactful workforce planning.
As organizations create a unique strategic workforce plan, it’s critical to look at major industry trends that can impact the process. For example, the manufacturing industry demonstrated strength and resilience in 2022, but going into 2023, companies will have to keep an eye on inflation and economic uncertainty and how that will affect their talent needs. Other major manufacturing trends to take into account include:
On the other hand, the freight and transport industries are navigating unique outlooks such as the growth of e-commerce, the availability of big data for supply chains, the use of user-generated content, and the implementation of CRM platforms.
While expectations for 2023 vary across industries, two major common trends to monitor include:
Effective workforce planning helps HR professionals and organizations:
As industries face economic uncertainty and fluctuating demand, it can be difficult to anticipate long-term workforce needs. Because workforce planning efforts help organizations analyze their human capital management, they have a much clearer forecast of what their future requirements will look like.
The talent acquisition and hiring process is not only time-consuming but also costly. A detailed overview of current workforce and operational needs helps organizations fill roles with suitable talent. Proper workforce management also ensures the right people have the skills and experience to fill their roles effectively from the beginning of the recruitment process, which optimizes productivity and minimizes operational costs.
A comprehensive workforce planning model identifies critical skills gaps in an organization’s workforce. These insights set the stage for boosting learning and development opportunities, improving talent acquisition efforts, and creating a competitive advantage.
Succession planning — the process of identifying critical positions within an organization and developing an action plan for individuals to assume those positions once they’re vacant — is vital to ensure that strong leaders are in place, even if a sudden change occurs. But, AIIR Consulting reports that while CEOs and business leaders account for a 30% variance in an organization’s profitability, only 35% of organizations have a formalized succession planning process for critical roles.
The workforce planning process reveals employees with potential for leadership and roles where subsequent leaders are needed, boosting succession planning efforts. This guarantees workforce changes and acquisitions can occur with minimal disruption to business operations.
A strategic workforce plan helps companies identify the employees and organizational roles that deliver the highest ROI, which promotes greater investments in the right areas and positions of the business. This also indicates where extra help or resources might be needed to add value to a business and help it reach its full potential.
When you don’t have the right number of employees at your disposal and current workers fill roles they’re not suited well for, employee turnover is inevitable. Workforce planning offers insight into labor needs and positions in which current team members can reach their full potential in the organization. This promotes employee engagement and satisfaction, which goes a long way toward supporting greater retention rates.
Comprehensive strategic workforce planning boosts multiple business goals and strategies including:
But, how can organizations make the most out of workforce planning insights and improve workforce management?
Companies can work with a dependable partner like Bluecrew to solve current and anticipated labor needs efficiently and effectively. Bluecrew’s platform gives your organization access to advanced workforce-as-a-service solutions — including a well-qualified Elastic Hourly Workforce and workforce management tools — to support your employment needs.
Our technology platform makes finding and managing pre-screened W-2 workers simple, transparent, and accessible: streamlining your systems for recruiting, employee scheduling, time tracking, forecasting, compliance, and more — all at your fingertips.
Talent is a key element of business success, and when workforce planning informs your labor needs, Bluecrew can help you meet them. To learn more about how our platform is solving today’s workforce challenges with tomorrow’s technology, contact Bluecrew today.
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