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Successful workforce management is based on aligning hiring plans with your company’s operating plans. It’s that basic – and critically important that this alignment is maintained.

Employers often invest great resources in creating business plans and then hire the wrong people to realize them. You need a hiring process that is just as strategically crafted as that business plan – and one that places the right people in the right roles. This results in a team of satisfied, value-added contributors.

Analyze Your Workforce  

Start your effective workforce planning by pinpointing projects, business demands and organizational objectives for the year ahead. Then develop an accurate overview of your current workforce capabilities, from which you can identify and fill critical gaps.

  • It takes top down commitment. A successful hiring process requires the involvement of senior and mid-level management. This enables you to delineate functional barriers and identify desired results.
  • Perform incumbent interviews. You will learn from employees what their key responsibilities are, the types of issues they address and the skills they need to succeed in their roles.
  • Look for success patterns. Observe experiences and accomplishments of existing high performers. Examine how work gets done and by whom so you can fully understand your human capital investment.
  • Watch for variables. Develop projections for possible pending separations, transfers, retirements and turnover. Consider labor trends, market shifts, economic factors, technical changes, reorganizations and the bench strength of your organization.

Define the Future State

Once you’ve analyzed your current workforce, set your sights on the future and what type of talent will make the most impact.

  • Work with managers to develop predictors. These are performance measures that support the probability that an employee will succeed. They include education, technical proficiency and experience. Equally important are soft skills – communication proficiency, leadership ability and the capability to solve problems and navigate unexpected crises. If you have the resources to fully analyze related organizational Big Data, now is the time.
  • Create success profiles. These are the new job descriptions. They take into account the behavioral competencies and traits that candidates need to make an impact in their role and within your company and its culture. Hiring practices are shifting from a hire-for-skill model to a more effective hire-for-fit approach.

Launch Your Plan for Success

Based on your groundwork, identify strategies to close talent gaps. Define steps to implement these strategies and measures to effectively monitor the process.

  • Develop your HR infrastructure. This includes branding efforts, your actual staffing plan and provisions for hiring flexibility. Also included are parameters incentives, career patterns and development. Hand in hand with all of these components is a robust communication plan that effectively reaches all stakeholders to drive their behavior.
  • Be open-minded. Your key management stakeholders should be involved fromstart to finish. Design your plan with their ongoing input.
  • Ask the right questions. Where and how have you recruited your best talent? What skills are most difficult to hire for and where istraining needed? Which current workers are ready for more responsibility? What did you learn from recent exit interviews? What upcoming projects will have the greatest impact on company progress?
  • Be sure your plan includes passive job seekers. Where are the superstars working now? According to a recent Gallup poll, nearly 20 percent of today’s workforce is underemployed, meaning they’d likely change jobs if given the right opportunity. The best ones aren’t actively looking.
  • Observe, review and monitor progress. Your hiring plan is a work in progress. Be prepared to revise it based on stakeholder feedback. Regularly assess and evaluate it for continuous improvement purposes.

The executive consultants at BrainWorks can partner with you to develop your best practices for hiring and ongoing workforce planning. Contact us today.


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