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workforceplanning RSS feed Tag: workforceplanning

Recruiting Against the Private Sector: What Government Can Do to Better to Compete for Talent From Campus

John Flato and Bob Lavigna
Apr 2, 2014, 5:57 am ET

Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 6.57.27 AMIn a previous article, we described the keen interest in employment in the public sector by millenials. Federal employment provides many of the most important attributes that students identify as attractive for their careers. This is evidenced by federal agencies being chosen among the top “ideal employers” identified in Universum’s student survey of tens of thousands of college students: the Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Institutes of Health, Peace Corps, Department of State, and NASA, to name a few. However, despite the appeal of public sector careers, most government agencies are quite inefficient in their recruiting and selection processes and consequently lose many top candidates to the private sector.

Compounding this handicap is the fact that the job market for new campus graduates has heated up once again. According to the 2014 National Association of Colleges and Employers survey, employers plan to increase their hiring from the class of 2014 by 7.8 percent for their U.S. operations. While the job market is certainly tough for some recent graduates, the most sought-after candidates are receiving multiple offers with higher salaries. Agency recruiting and hiring practices must change to effectively for the desired talent.

Here are 11 suggestions that the public sector might deploy that parallel successful practices in the private sector: keep reading…

Hire for Bench Strength or Brace for Failure

Jim Roddy
Mar 25, 2014, 5:29 am ET

Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 8.25.05 PMBaseball spring training is here, so it’s a perfect time for us to talk about the importance of an organization’s bench strength. When you think about all-time greatest baseball players, near the top of the list are legends Ted Williams, Ty Cobb, Ernie Banks, Rod Carew, Tony Gwynn, and Harmon Killebrew.

Guess how many World Series championships those Hall of Famers won combined? As many as you and me: Zero. Those players all set individual major league records, but their teams never won the ultimate prize.

Tying that point to our organizations, we can’t be satisfied having just a couple superstars on our team and no bench strength to support them. Ultimately, we won’t win. Our organizations won’t achieve key goals in a timely manner, and we run the risk of sliding backwards if we lose one of our superstars.

Too often, we hire people whose full potential and ambition are invested in performing the jobs they’re hired for. Then, when we need more from them, they’re not able or willing to go the extra mile.

Your goal should be to have at all times (or be working toward) at least one employee with the skills, personality, character, ambition, and technical competence to take over each key position in your organization right away. Without this, your company will be unable to attain its growth goals quickly, reducing future profits and opportunities for your co-workers to achieve their career goals.

Also, if a key player is incapacitated for a couple months or longer, your organization could be damaged. I learned that lesson the hard way when I was diagnosed with cancer. But I was fortunate that we had hired several high-potential people who filled in for me when I was sidelined by my surgery and chemo treatments.

Here are four important actions I suggest you take to improve your bench strength:  keep reading…

One Way to Tell How Many Job Candidates Are Graduating

Todd Raphael
Mar 17, 2014, 4:35 pm ET

The largest schools for engineers in the Chicago area.

A company that helps employers examine the labor supply of such potential employees as truckers, nurses, and retailers, as well as physical therapists and women in IT, is out with a new tool for measuring the number of people graduating. keep reading…

Here’s How to Tell That Your Talent Is About to Quit

John Zappe
Feb 24, 2014, 6:00 am ET

Quit Job keyboardEmployees who are serious about changing jobs give off cues that, if you know what to look for, can give you time to act before it’s too late.

These are not the kinds of tell-tale signals every manager recognizes.

“You might think that someone who starts showing up to work late, failing to return phone calls and emails, and taking lots of sick days might be about to leave, but those weren’t unique behaviors that applied only to the quitters,” says Tim Gardner, a Utah State University associate professor at the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business. Unlike a worker who starts taking days off in the middle of the week, or who prowls job boards, or inadvertently leaves a resume in the copier, the signs of a serious job seeker are more subtle. keep reading…

Millennials Are Attracted to Public Service, But Government Needs to Deliver

John Flato and Bob Lavigna
Jan 22, 2014, 12:30 am ET

Screen Shot 2014-01-16 at 1.26.32 PMThis is not an easy time to be a public servant. Heated budget battles and rhetoric about the size, function, scope, and effectiveness of the public sector have generated criticism — not just of government, but also of the public servants who deliver government services.

It’s ironic that while the government is being criticized, Americans continue to ask public servants to solve some of our nation’s toughest problems: revitalizing the economy and putting people back to work, supporting a war that has stubbornly persisted for more than a decade, protecting the public, eliminating poverty, improving our education system, providing affordable health care, and so on.

This paradox — attacking public servants while also expecting them to solve problems other sectors can’t handle — presents an extreme challenge for government leaders and agencies as they strive to maintain or improve performance despite harsh criticism and shrinking resources.

The Government Talent Challenge keep reading…

Are You Wasting Your Time Sourcing Top Talent?

John Zappe
Dec 20, 2013, 6:25 am ET

In this week’s roundup I address the issue of succession planning. Please pay attention, There will be a pop quiz. (Or not.)

As a talent acquisition professional (“recruiter” is so yesterday), your role in succession planning and workforce management is indirect, even if it falls on your shoulders to only source and present candidates who are the absolute best at doing the job for which you have a req.

Stick with me here for a minute as we walk through this hiring and succession moraine to reach the point where you will agree that the best plan is to fill promotions purely at random, while discovering that you and your colleagues are the only ones in the organization hiring people who must convince you they actually can do the available job. keep reading…

Bring in the Reserves: an Argument for Over-Hiring

Gail Miller
Jul 25, 2013, 6:34 am ET

Consider this scenario: A talent acquisition director makes a seemingly great hire for a specialized manufacturing role. However, several weeks after the new employee starts the job, another, better — actually, amazing — candidate is referred by a colleague.

The HR professional decided to bring in the late-coming candidate for an informal interview even though a true “job opening” no longer exists. After the decision makers interview the late-coming candidate, they acknowledged that he’s a perfect fit for the culture, qualified for several potential future opportunities in the firm, and a prime candidate for leadership grooming.

The talent acquisition director considers two options: keep reading…

Our Big Cleanup of Our Big Data

Brad Cook
May 8, 2013, 5:12 am ET

Screen Shot 2013-05-07 at 11.26.15 AMInformatica, the company for which I work, deals in big data challenges every day. It’s what we do — help customers turn their data into actionable business insights. When I took the helm as VP of global talent acquisition I was surprised to learn that the data within the talent acquisition function was not up to the standards Informatica lives by. Clearly, talent acquisition was not seeing the huge competitive advantage that data could bring — at least not the way sales, marketing, and research were viewing it. And that, to me, seemed like a major problem, but also a terrific opportunity!

This is the story of how Informatica Talent Acquisition became data-centric and used that centricity to our advantage to fix the problem. keep reading…

Advanced Items for Your Recruiting Agenda — What Should Google Do Next?

Dr. John Sullivan
Apr 22, 2013, 5:37 am ET

PhilipsDuring the newly reinvigorated and exciting ERE conference, two attendees posed related but powerful questions to me. The first was “What advanced topics should be on the agenda of recruiting leaders at elite firms?” Or as another put it “What should Google be planning to do next in recruiting?”

At least to me, future agenda items are an important topic. Because after visiting well over 100 firms, I have found a dramatic difference between the agenda items that are found on 95% of the firms (cost per hire, ATS issues, req loads, etc.) and the truly advanced subjects that only elite recruiting firms like Google, DaVita, Sodexo, etc. would even attempt to tackle.

So if you have the responsibility for setting agendas or recruiting goals, here is my list of truly advanced recruiting topics that elite leaders would find compelling but that most others would simply find to be out of their reach. If you want to be among the elite, you should select a handful for implementation. However, even if you are currently overwhelmed by your current agenda, you might still find them to be interesting reading.

25 Advanced Recruiting Topics for Bold Corporate Recruiting Leaders keep reading…

Planning an Efficient and Effective Corporate Recruiting Function

Bill Boczany
Apr 4, 2013, 12:50 am ET

Building a house, a building, or a department all starts out with a plan. Many of us, however, don’t heed those textbook ideas of how we should start. Rather, we jump in and try to steer the ship while it is moving and frankly don’t know where it is going. As many have heard the adage, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.”

A recruitment plan starts out with an agreed-upon strategic vision of what a corporate recruiting department is to accomplish. This must be a consensus of the immediate management chain as well as the people on the top floor. It has to start out with both a forecast of intended hires in a given time frame (a people budget) as well as an overall concept of operations … also known as just how are we going to accomplish our people budget and ultimately drive the operational budget which supports the execution of the concept of operations.

A “people budget” is just that: a budget. We all know that budgets are guidelines that become fluid depending on changes in the business. After all, all business is dynamic and things do change. Development of a “people budget” should be an ongoing activity of the recruitment department, perhaps polling divisions, departments, etc. to provide you with not only an anticipated number of potential new hires in the next three to six months but also a general breakdown of skill sets that you envision hiring.

Your departments will resist this exercise. keep reading…

Close the Talent Gap These 6 Ways

David Anderson
Mar 21, 2013, 5:03 am ET

bigstock-Jump-7475814CEOs are frustrated. According to a ManpowerGroup survey, 34% of companies are experiencing difficulty filling mission-critical positions. Paradoxically, the Department of Labor reports that 12.3 million people are still unemployed. And so here we sit, asking ourselves, why are we struggling to find the talent?

Welcome to the Great Talent Gap of the 21st Century

In an article for, Keith Cline wrote, “The demand for top-tier engineering talent sharply outweighs the supply in almost every market, especially in San Francisco, New York, and Boston. This is a major, major pain point and problem that almost every company is facing, regardless of the technology ‘stack’ their engineers are working on.”

If you’re a hiring manager or a recruiter in the trenches, you’re not seeing a way out of it any time soon  You may need a production manager who knows calculus, or an experienced software developer, or a technology strategist with cloud-based computing experience; and you need them yesterday. Oh and, by the way, you need them at a “competitive salary” (i.e., the lowest wage possible).

To begin to close the gap, we first need to recognize that the talent gap of the 21st century is made up of smaller fissures. Second, we need to understand the interrelated economic and organizational forces which formed these cracks. And lastly, we need to get started now. keep reading…

Saying You Can’t Find Talent Is Like Saying You Can’t Find Anything to Watch on TV

Ryder Cullison
Feb 5, 2013, 5:54 am ET

Screen Shot 2013-01-25 at 2.09.21 PMAs a child living in a rural area, I had but three, maybe four channels when the weather cooperated, to watch. Installing cable down our very long lane was not economically sensible, and my father sure wasn’t going to install one of those monstrous satellite dishes in the yard. So we watched network television through the slumping antennae on our roof and ignored the fuzzy lines that appeared on the screen whenever we ran the microwave. Despite my limited viewing capability, I could always find something for my viewing pleasure. Flash forward 25 years and I now have 150+ channels in addition to dozens upon dozens of DVDs from which to choose. Problem is, I can’t find anything I want to watch half the time.

Limit my choices and I can decide on something. Give me too many choices and I constantly search for what has got to be something better out there. The current so-called “talent shortage” mirrors this conundrum. For those not familiar with this idea of a talent shortage, it is born from the fact that 49% of current U.S. employers, according to a study conducted by Manpower, cannot find qualified people for their open positions. When you hear this statistic you perhaps jump to the conclusion that if companies can’t find qualified people, then qualified people must not exist. Hence, a talent shortage must exist.

This is flawed thinking.  keep reading…

How Capable Are Your Employees? 4 Indicators to Get the PICK of the Litter

Ira Wolfe
Feb 1, 2013, 5:12 am ET

commodoreHave you ever been stuck using a painfully slow and inefficient computer because it still worked?

Just a few weeks ago, I emptied my garage and office of over a dozen CPUs, printers, and monitors. The cargo area, back seat, passenger seat, floors of my SUV were filled with equipment and components. During the short drive to the local computer recycling center, I was struck by a strange thought: the similarity between these still working working-but-outdated computer hardware and many employees in jobs whose best days have passed.

The simple truth is these functional, reliable, and hard-working computers were no longer able to keep up with the tasks I needed them to do — and when they did, it took too long. Booting up took 5 to 10 minutes, sometimes longer. The operating systems — you know the Windows “stuff” like Windows 98, Vista, and even XP — kept crashing. The CPUs took too long to process information. They couldn’t handle new software upgrades. The hard drives were full and the boards couldn’t support new ones. The modems needed to be replaced because good, consistent high-speed connections required new versions. And let’s not forgot the 15-inch black-and-white monitors. Need I go on?

That same resourceful philosophy for many of us, my friends, doesn’t stop with computers. Many workforces today are filled with loyal, dependable, hard-working employees whose skills don’t match the needs of the organization anymore. keep reading…

Think About Talent Like a Financial Planner

Jillyan French-Vitet
Jan 22, 2013, 5:45 am ET

sdsuI’m a planner; I have to juggle a career and a family, so my home calendar is my family “book of reference.” It helps us all to know who is where, doing what, at what time, and which parent is responsible.

I am a planner financially too because I have responsibilities and I also have dreams. I have a responsibility to create a financial nest-egg for retirement, my children’s education, and maybe … just maybe … the country house I dream of buying someday.

To help me plan, I engage with a financial planner who works with me on my portfolio, the degree of risk, future plans and responsibilities, as well as current needs. Granted, none of us know how the stock market will look in 20-plus years, but I feel comfortable knowing my current financial plan, and my path.

I am not a financial expert. I work in the business of talent, specifically talent acquisition. It is a domain I enjoy continue to learn in an ever-changing environment where it can be difficult to plan. But it recently dawned on me that how I plan my future financially could also apply to how my organization looks at its talent. After all, without your talent, products and services as well as new ideas and innovation would not exist. If talent is your equity, then (to quote a branded credit card company in the United States) “Do you know what’s in your wallet?” keep reading…

Adopt a “Whole Career” Strategic Hiring Model

Dr. John Sullivan
Nov 26, 2012, 5:44 am ET

If you are a recruiting leader, I would like to introduce you to a concept that many are not familiar with, which is “whole career employment.” The premise of this hiring and workforce planning model is that instead of the traditional expectation that employees will work at a firm continuously from their hire date until they retire, leaders need to plan for the eventuality when top employees may come and go from your firm several times throughout their whole career.

This new model is necessary because it fits both the changing loyalty levels and expectations of workers and the evolving way that work is done. The average tenure of the American worker at a single firm is just over four years and Americans may hold between 5 and 10 jobs throughout their career. This process of hiring, losing and bringing back employees requires a hiring model that is more flexible and sophisticated than most firms currently have.

A whole career model is a hiring and workforce planning strategy that focuses on the reduced loyalty and retention levels among top performing employees. Instead of focusing on hiring a top person only one single time, it plans on targeting them for rehire at several different points throughout their entire career. Smart firms will plan to recruit and hire the very best back into regular or contingent jobs at points in their career when we need them and when they are willing and able to work for us in some capacity. The goal is to get as much high-quality work from top performers whenever they are available throughout their career.

Lifelong Employment Is Coming to an End keep reading…

Next Year’s Recruiting Headlines, Trends, and Next Practices

Dr. John Sullivan
Nov 5, 2012, 5:10 am ET

If you are going to be strategic, you must be forward looking. Obviously forward-looking people stay aware of current trends. I’ve written extensively on recruiting trends, but the definition of “a trend” means that a significant group of firms have already implemented the practice. And that means that if you merely identify and copy current trends, by the time your firm implements them, you will have fallen behind the benchmark firms that would have continued to develop new approaches. If you are tired of simply playing catch-up and you want to “get ahead” of your talent competition, you need to move beyond current trends and instead identify “next year’s” upcoming practices long before they gain wide acceptance.

If you want to prepare for what’s next on the horizon, here is my list of “next year’s recruiting headlines” or “next practices” that will soon be adopted by leading edge firms. Don’t be surprised if you’re not familiar with some of these “next practices” because they are seldom written about and they are even less frequently implemented.

A List of the Top 20 Recruiting Headlines That You Can Expect to Read Next Year keep reading…

A Look at the Global Talent Pool

Todd Raphael
Oct 9, 2012, 11:57 pm ET

What does the pool of skilled IT employees look like in Russia? Does the U.S. or Canada or Ireland have more “innovator talent”? Are Mexico and Turkey positioned to have good pools of future leaders — or are China and Canada?

These are the sorts of questions addressed in an interesting new report from SHL, in an analysis of 4 million assessments of employees from 205 countries and territories.

SHL was acquired this year by the Corporate Executive Board. The report is available here, and embedded below. keep reading…

Experts Predict: Half Your Workforce Will Be Temps

John Zappe
Aug 28, 2012, 10:24 pm ET

The world is suddenly waking up to the discovery that employers are bringing on temp and contract workers at a pace that will soon surpass the peak numbers of 2006.

Subscribers to The Fordyce Letter first read about the surge in temp workers in the May issue. Following the release of the June employment numbers by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, reported, “There are now 2.534 million contract and temp workers in the U.S., a number just a few months shy of exceeding the all time high of 2.657 million reached in August 2006.”

Now, U.S. News says “Temp Workers Make Huge Comeback.” The article points out that the staffing industry has regained almost all the jobs lost in the recession, while other employers have added just over half the ones they shed. It’s not simply a sign of cautious employers bringing in extra help while waiting to see what the economy will do, but evidence of a trend.

Says the article, “In 1983, temporary workers made up just over half a percent of all employment. Now, that figure stands at nearly 2.3 percent — a remarkable change, despite the small numbers.”

“It’s a structural transformation,” maintains Arne Kalleberg, a professor of sociology at University of North Carolina who studies the labor force. keep reading…

Workforce Planning – Your Competition Knows Your Best Talent, Do You?

Brendan Shields
Jul 20, 2012, 5:08 pm ET

In this session, Brenan German, Managing Principal, Bright Talent Resources, Inc., a boutique Talent Acquisition Advisory and Recruiting Services firm, will discuss the basic principles of Workforce Planning and demonstrate tactical exercises to develop a Workforce Plan. A former Fortune 500 Talent Acquisition leader with nearly 20 years of experience, Brenan will share what he learned from his corporate experiences and consulting projects.

For more podcasts, webinars, and articles on recruiting be sure to check out!


It’s Time to Blow Up Time to Hire

Rob McIntosh
Jun 19, 2012, 5:50 am ET

The foundation of recruiting performance has been built historically on three core business metrics:

1) Cost Per Hire  = Can you recruit and do it with optimal financial investment?

2) Quality of Hire  = Can you recruit an optimal or better performer?

3) Time to Fill = Can you fill the position quickly?

For this discussion I am going to concentrate on the third one, time to fill, which is historically a calculation from the clock starting once the business comes to recruiting with a need, and then stops once the candidate is hired/or onboarded. I want to share with you the journey that the Avanade team and myself have gone on, and how we arrived at the conclusions that it was time to blow up the time-to-fill metric. keep reading…