In a study done earlier this year by APQC that looked into workforce planning processes, the organization found that while the majority of organizations (89%) have integrated workforce planning with business planning it’s not always successful. While 54% of organizations report that their workforce planning is highly effective, the remaining 46% report it is moderately or less effective.
Based on the research APQC found five ways that best-in-class workforce planners employ.
Standardization and Integration: Best-in-class workforce planners are more likely to have enterprise standardization of the workforce planning process, with minimal local customization. This means that all areas of the organization use the same sub-processes, methods, technology, and training to support and carry out workforce planning. In addition, best-in-class workforce planners are more likely to create workforce and business plans together with each equally informing the other.
“Real-time,” Responsive Practices: Best-in-class organizations are significantly more likely to use workforce planning practices that allow them to be responsive and agile, such as including planning for less than six months into the future among their workforce planning time horizons; using real-time internal and external data; and using prescriptive analytics and artificial intelligence (AI).
Methods Beyond Forecasting: Best-in-class organizations use forecasting but also make use of a wider array of workforce planning methodologies, such as structured interviews and workforce segmentation.
Broad Solution Set for Addressing Gaps and Surpluses: Best-in-class workforce planners use significantly more approaches to address skills gaps and surpluses, including Development (87% vs 50%); Work Redesign (85% vs 38%); Automation (80% vs 41%); Contract Work (76% vs 42%); and Moving Employees (74% vs 40%).
Get Help from the Right People and Technologies: Best-in-class organizations are more likely to purchase workforce planning software from a vendor and then customize it, rather than developing solutions in-house or using spreadsheets. Such software can save time and money; automate manual and repetitive tasks; provide access to the latest analytics capabilities; and provide enterprise-wide access to consistent data and reports.