Workforce Planning: Being Prepared is Better than Being Surprised
At Key Corporate Services, it’s always our goal to develop long-term strategic business partnerships with our clients. As an executive recruiter in business since 2000, we realize the focus should never be on individual transactions or short-term success, but rather lasting business relationships with our clients.
Sometimes a client will come to us with an immediate need to fill a key staffing position resulting from an unplanned vacancy. As they scramble to fill the position, their hope is to find the “best hire” as quickly as possible to minimize the cost associated with the vacancy. This is exactly what we pride ourselves in doing by staying on top of the best candidates in the industry. While we realize unforeseen vacancies can occur in any organization, the client may be able to minimize the problem by implementing a workforce planning strategy.
From our experience, the companies who continually hire the top talent do so by following a hiring process
that involves proactively planning to avoid talent surpluses or shortages. This is the very essence of workforce planning. This used to be called having a “bench” of employees being groomed to take an advanced role when it became available. There is a commitment in additional salaries that a company must determine is a good investment for this strategy to work.
While most companies realize the value of implementing workforce planning, many have yet to go beyond the “talking” stage. So, how does a company build a business case for workforce planning? We offer these suggestions:
Show the cost-savings that can be realized by implementing a workforce planning strategy.
Before HR can implement a workforce planning strategy, they have to get senior leadership onboard with the idea. What better way to build a business case for it than to gather metrics showing the financial impact “unfilled” positions are having on the company’s bottom line. This is particularly easy to do if the key position is in sales, as it could directly be impacting missed revenue. Multiply each unfilled vacancy by associated “revenue lost” figures, and you have a powerful financial reason for workforce planning.
Get senior leadership to buy-in on the benefits of workforce planning.
Find the right person on the executive team to present your case for implementing a workforce planning process. This could be the Director of HR or the CFO. With your strong statistics showing how such a plan will bring value to the company, the buy-in from leadership can be expected
Realize your plan doesn’t have to be 100% perfect initially. It CAN be changed in the future as the business’s strategic objectives change. But, any plan is better than no plan. And it will pay off by improving your ability to hire the best talent in the market.