Based on my discussions with business leaders, talent experts and procurement professionals over many years, I have come to the conclusion that Australian organisations are significantly under prepared when it comes to their future talent needs.
Australian based leaders, when compared to their international peers, demonstrate a distinct reluctance to embrace the concept of Strategic Workforce Planning (SWP). In the main, discussions with local leaders are centred around short-term pain points such as cost, attraction, workforce size, performance, training and workflow efficiency.
With so many businesses focused on year-to-year outcomes, leaders are not developing the necessary skills to build a strategy for the future – not necessarily due to lack of trying, but rather a lack of knowledge regarding where to start.
With the way we live, the way we communicate and the way we work changing at such a dramatic rate, this lack of action is reason for concern.
Aligning SWP to Business Strategy
SWP is so much more than understanding the future supply and demand needs of your organisation.
In my experience, almost every successful company has completed a substantial amount of work developing their vision for the future and articulating a clear business strategy.
What many companies fail to do is ensure their workforce is part of this strategy.
Too often I hear about visions and business strategies that are 100% externally focused, including great detail on things such as “service delivery” and “customer experience” with no mention of how the business is going to attract the right type of person in the correct volumes at the right times to bring the strategy to life.
The good news is SWP is not an overly complex theory. By simply committing to connecting strategic planning cycles with financial and talent management cycles, leaders can develop a genuine model for success, no matter the size or complexity of their business.
Identify Gaps and Opportunities
In my discussions with talent leaders, I’ve always found that one of the trickier aspects of SWP is trying to define future workforce gaps and planning effectively to combat them.
How do you plan and prioritise in a market that is demonstrating such unpredictability or when you don’t know exactly how these future gaps will affect you?
A good first step is to build your knowledge of talent demographics and workforce/population trends.
To assist in this area, Kelly Outsourcing & Consulting Group developed the Talent Market Analyst Portal, a tool available exclusively to our clients, which provides detailed analysis of every occupation and industry within Australia (both historically and projected). We work with employers using the portal to build a comprehensive understanding of demographic and psychographic data regarding the talent that the business will require in the future and then predict where it is likely to come from.
Basic population and workforce data is also available through the Australian Bureau of Statistics and this is a great place to start exploring the sorts of trends that will influence your future workforce.
So the question is… is your workforce future-proof?
If your answer is no or I’m not sure, today is the day to start the conversation.
Don’t let the fear of getting it wrong paralyse you or the expectation that it will be too difficult stop you from taking the first step.
No matter how much uncertainty the future holds, doing nothing is not the answer.
To find out more and arm yourself with the information you need to champion the discussion within your organisation, download our white paper, “Future-proof your workforce”.
This article is sponsored by Kelly Services.
Leave a Reply