Receive daily articles & headlines each day in your inbox with your free ERE Daily Subscription.

Not logged in. [log in or register]

workforceplanning RSS feed Tag: workforceplanning

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

by 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computer recycling center, I was struck by a strange thought: the similarity between these still working working-but-outdated computer hardware and many employees in jobs whose best days have passed.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

by 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

by 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

by 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

by 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

by 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?

by 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!

[podcast format="video"][/podcast]

It’s Time to Blow Up Time to Hire

by 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…

Onboarding: The Missing Link to Productivity

by Jun 14, 2012, 3:15 pm ET

How can a successful onboarding program improve productivity? What do organizations need to consider in order to build and to sustain this program? This webinar, based on research conducted in March and April 2012, will shed light on these critical questions and help organizations start to think strategically about linking onboarding to ongoing organizational performance.

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

[podcast format="video"][/podcast]

2 Things You Should Know About the Skills Shortage

by May 30, 2012, 3:18 pm ET

A day doesn’t go by that I don’t read a blog, LinkedIn discussion, or business article challenging the existence of a skilled worker shortage.

Just last week I presented a keynote address to the Executive Women’s Roundtable in Dallas, Texas. Most of the attendees were shocked by the statistics and trends I presented about skilled worker shortages. As suspected, I encountered a few objections. Most of the arguments targeted employers. The antagonists say that management in many companies simply refuses to pay qualified workers what they are worth. I can’t argue with them on that accusation. That is absolutely true.

Some employers still don’t get it — that high unemployment does not equal more qualified workers in this new global and technology-driven economy. The bar for minimum requirements has been raised substantially. Many previously employed and experienced workers now fall under the bar. To recruit and retain skilled workers, employers will need to re-examine how they compensate their workforce.

Supply and demand also plays a part. The supply of workers — domestic and international — available to do many task-oriented jobs far exceeds demand. Jobs that were once a sure bet to middle-class wages can now be performed at a fraction of a cost in developing countries or by automation.  For those workers holding a high school diploma or less with no secondary education or trade school experience, I see low-wage, low-skill positions in your future.

But none of these arguments negates the fact that the U.S. has a significant and growing skills shortage. You need look no further than educational attainment, high school dropout rates, and basic literacy to see that U.S. employers are facing an acute shortage of skilled workers.

I can summarize my “case” for skilled worker shortages with two points. keep reading…

The 14 Components of an Agile Talent Management Strategy

by May 28, 2012, 5:06 am ET

In business, it is becoming more apparent every day that a large-size company is less of an advantage than speed and agility. There are new stories every month about how smaller firms like Facebook, Zynga, Instagram, and Zappos dominate over larger firms in their same space.

The same shift in critical success factors toward speed and agility is also occurring in the areas of talent management and recruiting. keep reading…

Integrated Talent Management: What Is It and Why Should You Want It?

by May 15, 2012, 5:22 am ET

How familiar do the three scenarios below sound to you? They’re a few examples of how the siloes in talent management impact HR, employees, managers, candidates, and corporate executives. The impact: companies waste time and money; they compromise on the quality of their talent; their employee engagement deteriorates; and, ultimately, their business performance suffers. Breaking down these siloes is the topic of a workshop I’m running at the fall ERE Expo.

Here are those three well-intended but ineffective scenarios of siloed talent management:
  • Company X has a rigorous succession planning process, but the results of this process sit in binders in several HR business partners’ desks. Mary, a senior manager, has a critical vacancy, so she calls her recruiter, John, to fill it. John hires a retained search firm at great cost and expends a great deal of effort, but finally fills this critical but difficult-to-fill position. After the hire, John gets a call from his HR business partner, who asks, “Why were the three ready-now internal successors identified during talent reviews not even considered for this position?”
  • Brad, a manufacturing site manager at Company Y, reviews his staffing needs on March 15 and determines that his plant is fully staffed. However, on March 22, he calls his recruiter, Jane, and tells her a change in business strategy has occurred, and he needs 100 new people at his plant by the end of April. Jane thinks, “Senior leadership must have known about this change three months ago. If only I had known ahead of time, I could have proactively pipelined external talent, and worked with Learning and Development and Succession Planning to pipeline internal talent. At this point, I’ll never be able to meet Brad’s timeline!”
  • Peter, a new employee at Company Z, meets with his manager, Lisa, two weeks after his start date. In that meeting, Lisa tells Peter that HR requires every employee to have a development plan. She hands him a copy of the development plan template, and tells him to put anything he wants on it. Peter thinks, “I wish Lisa would give me more direction and support for my career development. I interviewed with so many people to get this job; you think they’d have some sense of my development areas and some suggestions for how to grow. I guess this company’s stated commitment to employee development is just lip service.”

Integrated Talent Management: the Solution keep reading…

Employee Engagement Is Broken: Unlocking The True Driver of Employee Performance

by May 3, 2012, 3:55 pm ET

In this dynamic, provocative and groundbreaking presentation, you will learn to see the science of employee engagement in a completely new way. You will understand why the way we have historically measured employee engagement is fundamentally flawed. You will discover that many of the ways we have been working to drive employee engagement may be actually hurting the company’s performance. And, most importantly, you’ll learn what to do about it. You will be introduced to the concept of Reality-Based Engagement where accountability and engagement intersect to produce awesome results. This will include some practical guidance for how to cultivate the power of personal accountability within your organization.

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

[podcast format="video"][/podcast]

Retiree Re-Staffing Can Help Ease the Coming Brain Drain Crisis

by Apr 16, 2012, 9:45 am ET

What’s old is new again, as companies rediscover retiree re-staffing as a way of retaining the experience and skills of their Baby Boomer workers.

“Companies are losing way too much experience with the retirement of the Baby Boomers,” says Greg Doersching, founder of Bullseye Recruiting Process. “Some companies are sucking that experience back in on contract. They don’t have enough people to replace all of that experience.”

Doersching told Top Echelon that retirees will be the “contract candidate pool for the next five to 10 years, especially in areas like IT and Engineering.”

Cathy George, owner and founder of C.G. & Company in Odessa, Texas, says retiree re-staffing has been picking up steam in West Texas as the pace of hiring there has quickened. Previously it was mostly smaller firms that would rehire their retirees, but now, she says, the big service providers have entered the picture.

Besides simply finding enough talent to fill all the jobs, George says an almost even bigger challenge is housing the new workers. “There’s plenty of work, but no place to live,” she says, which is another reason the petroleum industry in the area is rehiring retirees. keep reading…

Powering Your People: Recruiting For The Energy Industry

by Mar 15, 2012, 5:06 pm ET

Recruiting for the energy industry presents a unique set of challenges that many other fields do not face. It’s highly specialized, constantly shifting, and the consequences of an accident are critical. Join us as Dan Hilbert shares his experiences and the lessons he learned managing an award winning recruiting team at Valero. If you’re recruiting for the energy industry, this is an event you can’t miss!

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

[podcast format="video"][/podcast]

Unless No One Gets Sick, Quits, or Dies, A Plan’s in Order

by Mar 13, 2012, 5:24 am ET

Does your organization have a succession program in place? Too many organizations and small businesses default to the practice of reactionary assignment of a successor amid a now-glaringly-vacant position, or embark on a rushed external hire that often ends up as a high cost disappointment from a ”hiring misfire.” The consequences are not only expensive but are also a missed opportunity due to lack of focus and the inability to support fast growth.

And this is the challenge for recruiters: urgent hires, and the inability to explain the succession process (i.e. growth potential) to candidates, as well as to current employees who are looking to build their career. Recruiters can have an important role in helping leadership address the issue of succession readiness.

A succession strategy is about having an identified plan to fill key positions within your organization. A succession program is the implemented process of identifying, developing, and transitioning potential successors for the company’s present and future key roles, aligned with the talent and ambition of its current employees and talent network.

A common error that we see in succession planning is to target only the key executive roles (CEO, COO, CFO). This is a significant risk unless you are a micro business. For example, if you are in the construction or transportation industry, a logistics manager may be critical for the success of your business. Having a vacancy in this position could quickly result in a decrease in service and an increase in customer complaints, and possibly a decrease in customer retention.

This is why critical positions across the business need to be identified and replacement processes planned.

In our work with companies we hear some common arguments and justifications. We repeatedly see that the president or key executive doesn’t believe there is an immediate need for a succession plan. Their stated arguments are, “we’re too small,” “we’re too new,” “we already have good people in place,” or “I’m not going anywhere soon!”

In an unlikely static environment where no one leaves, no one gets ill (including the owner, president, or senior managers), growth isn’t that important, and performance is exceptional — these arguments hold true. But, we don’t live in a static business environment. People do leave, they do get sick, the executives need to focus on growing the business verses operating it, the employees are not all good performers, and some roles are hard to fill!

There is also a tendency to hold on to marginal performers because there is no clear plan on how to replace them. The impact: the business suffers, the executives suffer, employee morale and productivity decreases, the customers become less than satisfied with their service, and new candidates are not attracted to your company.

When organizations do not have a succession program in place, consequences include: keep reading…

VUCA: the New Normal for Talent Management and Workforce Planning

by Jan 16, 2012, 5:13 am ET

If you are among the many strategic leaders frustrated with your inability to anticipate and handle the volatility and the speed of change in the talent management environment, you should take a few minutes to understand VUCA. VUCA best describes the volatile and chaotic business, economic, and physical environment that we all now face. Unless you have had your head in the sand, you must have noticed the chaotic business and economic conditions under which we currently operate. In fact, the last decade was so chaotic that in its cover story, Time magazine labeled it “the decade from hell.”

Many in talent management have been hoping that this chaos is a short-term phenomenon, but it is a permanent condition that we must all learn how to manage under.

Because they were designed for more predictable times, almost all current HR, talent management, and workforce planning processes fail to perform in this chaotic environment. In a VUCA environment, there are more changes, a faster rate of change, and the size of the changes are so impactful that they must be labeled as “disruptive.” So the question for talent leadership becomes, “how do you effectively hire, develop, place, and retain individuals and leaders in the volatile environment where literally everything changes in months rather than years?” keep reading…

Does Your Company’s Passive Talent Acquisition Strategy Need a Chiropractor?

by Dec 2, 2011, 5:57 am ET

Of late I’ve been making the contention that the strategies and tactics used to recruit active candidates is fundamentally different than the ones used for passive candidates. Until this foundational difference is resolved, companies will never be able to hire enough top talent to meet their needs, unless they have a big employer brand to hide their process inefficiencies.

Employer brands, however, have limited shelf lives in maturing markets. As an example, just compare Google today and its continuing series of product blunders to the Microsoft of 10-15 years ago. When a company’s business strategy changes due to changing market conditions, its talent acquisition strategies must immediately follow suit.

Quickly, here’s what I believe are at the root cause of most companies’ hiring challenges: keep reading…

Succession Planning: Why Releasing the Names of High Potentials Is a Smart Move

by Nov 14, 2011, 5:19 am ET

Despite all of the recent talk about the need for openness and corporate transparency, there is still one area where corporations tightly hold on to secrets … revealing who is/isn’t designated as “high-potential.” According to Towers Watson’s 2011 Talent Management and Rewards survey, a scant 28% of employers let employees know their designation.

If you are a proponent of transparency, you’ll be happy to know that despite this low percentage of openness, there are many benefits associated with making managers and the high-potentials themselves aware of who is on the high-potential list for succession planning and leadership development. keep reading…

Succession Planning – 18 Reasons Not to Tell Hi-potentials Their Status

by Nov 7, 2011, 5:45 am ET

photo from Giorgio MontersinoFor years, being secretive has been the status quo in succession planning and leadership development, and few argued against the standard practice of keeping the names of high-performers secret. According to Towers Perrin, “72 % of companies do not tell employees they have been labeled as high potentials,” which means that only 28% do. While the number of organizations that do share is growing due in large part to demands from the workforce for greater transparency, internal debates on this issue continue to be extremely difficult and controversial.

Many are cynical about transparency in people-planning processes because there are numerous real and imagined consequences associated with revealing the names of the chosen few. Regardless of where you sit personally on this subject, realize that the impact of both positive and negative consequences can often be negated with poor/great approaches to the practice. Doing anything exceptionally well requires foresight and planning, something I hope this list helps you accomplish. keep reading…