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Like many other companies, you may be considering implementing strategic workforce planning in your organization. That’s a good move.

Strategic workforce planning helps you align your hiring processes with your company’s mission and vision. You become more mindful in your recruitment, choosing candidates who possess the right skills and competencies, which can add immense value to the company.

There are many benefits of strategic workforce planning, and here we’ll look at the top 5 advantages:

1. Strategic workforce planning helps you infuse fresh resources into the business

When you implement your strategic workforce planning process, you conduct a comprehensive evaluation of what resources your company lacks and what it needs. Often, this includes new skills & competencies your workforce requires.

You see, we’re currently in the age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, where smart technology is replacing people in business. Multiple studies like the Oxford Study, show that as much as 47% of the US workforce could become redundant, replaced by automation. That’s just the US alone. Other countries face the threat of job extinction too. In such a precarious climate, it becomes essential that your employees upgrade their skills and acquire those competencies that will be needed in the future.

But training can only do so much and sometimes, training or upskilling can be too late. Not having the right skills at the right time can cause business disruption. The best way to protect your company is to strategically hire people, whose knowledge and expertise can simultaneously evolve with the ever-changing landscape hence making them a great fit for the future.

But that’s not all.

Strategic workforce planning can help you analyze the diversity, or the lack thereof, in your company. By evaluating the demographic & ethnographic characteristics of your workforce, you will know if your hiring process is biased. You can make responsible recruitment decisions and bring in a diverse staff who possess new perspectives, experiences, and styles of management.

Additionally, strategic workforce planning can help you identify technology gaps in your recruitment process. Many companies fail to take advantage of predictive analytics while planning and recruiting, which can lead to poor hiring decisions. You can prevent this by adopting predictive talent management software like TalenX, which uses over 100 years of personality science and AI technology to vet and analyze candidates for the ultimate job-fit; aligning your human resources needs with your company’s vision & mission.

This type of skill, technology, & culture overhaul can future-proof your company by equipping you with the resources needed to stay ahead of the curve.

2. Strategic workforce planning helps you implement the most-effective employee engagement campaigns  

The objective of strategic workforce planning is to find and hire the best candidates who can safeguard the future of the company. But such candidates will join your firm only when your company has something valuable to offer them. This is where employee engagement comes in.

Gone are the days when salaries and financial incentives could attract top guns. Today, a large part of the workforce prefers non-financial engagement in the form of recognition, community events, and transparent communication. Studies proved that engaged employees are 22% more productive than disengaged employees. Additionally, increasing investment in employee engagement by just 10% can increase your profits by $2,400 per employee each year! This is why you should focus on strategic employee engagement as well.

When you strategically plan for employee engagement during your workforce planning, you create a supportive organizational environment where candidates are appreciated for their contributions and they receive the timely support they need to discharge their responsibilities.

You can do this by:

  • Opening lines of communication where each employee can communicate and share feedback with others.
  • Providing access to technology that facilitates inter-team collaboration (both during & after hiring).
  • Offering opportunities for career growth, that makes the open position more attractive to skilled candidates.
  • Adopting supportive leadership that champions strategic hiring.
  • Creating bureaucracy-free avenues where employees can easily upskill themselves for any future requirements.
  • Putting in place mechanisms where employees see how they contribute to the success of the company – this will reduce disengagement & attrition.

3. Strategic workforce planning helps plan for critical roles in new worlds of work 

The world is changing. Not just geographically, politically or socially, but business-wise as well. According to research by PwC, the workplace of the future could evolve into one of four worlds of work:

  • Red world

Innovation rules the roost in the Red world. Here, companies are close to a zero-employee landscape, with almost every task, except for certain key roles, being automated. There will be very high competition to occupy these few people-roles and candidates must possess the best skills to access these jobs. Technology will give companies access to immense amounts of data and in turn new opportunities.

  • Blue world

The Blue world places multinational corporations at the top of the ladder, with companies earning more than ever before and wielding massive power and influence. Here, just like in the Red world, competition for top talent is fierce. Employees are expected to keep themselves relevant to the existing skill/competency requirements to retain their jobs. Predictive analytics is used extensively to reduce HR risks and find most-adaptable hires.

  • Green world

The Green world is a place that values ethical ways of doing business. Sustainable operational practices, such as using local resources, ending child labour, providing clean working conditions, and ending the use of fossil fuels, are some of the things that will be seen.

  • Yellow world

The Yellow world is characterized by employees who seek greater meaning and satisfaction from their work. Hires will forge strong networks with people who possess the same competencies and there will be greater emphasis on community or guild work. Pay parity and equal opportunities will take center stage. Technology will be used to fine-tune the process of hiring candidates with the best job-fit.

Considering this, you can see how critical the role of strategic workforce planning is in each of the above worlds of work. As you plan for your future hiring needs, you’ll be able to answer the following questions:

  • Which roles in my company will most-likely get automated?
    • Which jobs will survive the transformation?
    • What skills will my staff need to possess to occupy these few open roles? 

Additionally, you will know whether you need to create new roles that can give you a competitive advantage. You will be better placed to acquire the right talent and make those hiring policy changes that will help your company survive in the future.

You can use technology like TalenX when hiring for the future of work. This is a predictive talent management software that combines organizational psychology with your company’s unique employee life cycle and the candidate’s specific professional history, to generate valuable insights about his/her job-fit. The deep-dive analysis of the candidate’s work history allows you to know whether he/she possesses the competencies needed to meet the challenging requirements of a new world of work.

4. Strategic workforce planning can help you mitigate the impacts of a bad hire

Did you know that it costs a company an equivalent of 6-9 months’ salary of the open position that’s being hired for? Depending on the role, the cost of attrition and re-hire can amount up to the hundred thousand. But hiring expenses is just one of the consequences of a bad hire.

An interactive CareerBuilder survey showed that 3 out of 4 employees are negatively affected every time there is a poor hire. According to the study, a bad hire that results in the employee leaving within a few months can cause massive disengagement in the rest of the team – a ripple effect – which can impact the team’s overall productivity and ROI.

Bad hires usually have an absenteeism problem as well; not to mention an attitude problem, which prevents working in harmony with the team. Given that companies spend about 40% of their time planning for and hiring candidates, a poor hire is wasteful for the company in numerous ways.

When you plan for your workforce strategically, you can avoid these problems. For one, you are keenly aware of the exact competency, temperament, and personality requirements of your future hires. You’ll also know where to find the ideal candidates and what to do to attract them to apply for the jobs. This way, you will avoid making short-sighted decisions that can lead to bad hiring.

5. Strategic workforce planning can ensure HR compliance

With workplaces changing across the world, hiring compliance requirements have also evolved. Today, recruiters need to be very careful when hiring, ensuring that they meet all the compliance regulations they’re supposed to.

The ramifications of non-compliance with HR laws can be very costly for companies. For example, did you know that a claims adjuster who was wrongfully fired in the US, was awarded $4.2 million in damages after the jury found out that his age was the cause for firing? This was excluding the fines & penalties charged for not meeting the US’s HR compliance regulations.

There are many compliance requirements that your company needs to meet when planning for the workforce. These pertain to:

  • Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)
  • Employees with Disability
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Gender & Age Discrimination
  • Racial Discrimination
  • Immigration-related Discrimination
  • Wrongful Termination
  • Fair Labour & Fair Pay
  • Negligent Hiring
  • Religious Discrimination
  • Pregnancy/Maternal Discrimination

Strategic workforce planning can help you here.

It is important to monitor the workplace trends that are likely to become a reality in the future. Often, these trends are precursors to laws or regulations that uphold the rights of the employee. Take the EEO for example — it came into effect globally after countries started awarding civil rights to all their residents. As a result, companies welcomed people from all backgrounds to apply for jobs and anyone found discriminating against a candidate could be sued. By tracking global workplace practices, you will be able to anticipate any HR compliance changes that may take place in your country.

Additionally, you will need to monitor political, cultural, and economic changes to forecast how they will impact your business in the future. By keeping an eye on these changes, you’ll be able to take proactive measures to become more compliant with anticipated regulations and laws.

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