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Strategic workforce planning

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Strategic workforce planning goes beyond an annual budget-driven exercise where organizations simply forecast headcount numbers. Instead, a well-thought-out strategic workforce planning strategy is a flexible connection between operational execution and the future direction of the business. The alignment of the business strategy to the people plan is key. Strategic workforce planning takes into account multiple factors to drive business outcomes: 

Data, insight, and analytics

Leveraging data and using predictive analytics to provide strategic insights is imperative to informing smart strategies. Understanding the macro trends adds context to a number of people decisions and helps organizations identify similarities and differences inherent in their talent system. The sheer volume of data can be overwhelming but focusing on high-impact information will allow you to make the most meaningful deductions on which to base strategies.

Workforce segmentation

The segmentation of workforce is a critical component to any strategic workforce planning strategy. It means viewing talent from a criticality lens and rather than a ‘here and now’ perspective. Organizations must understand what job families will have the most impact on the future direction of the business and take the necessary steps to focus on those roles from a planning, acquisition and retention standpoint.

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Employer brand strategies

Attracting candidates is one thing, but inspiring them to join you and stay with your organization is a more challenging feat. Employee value proposition (EVP) and employer branding is integral from an engagement standpoint, and it extends beyond a social media strategy. With the markets converging, shifts in talent profiles and ever-changing candidate drivers, looking employer brand strategies in isolation will no longer work. It’s about understanding candidates’ perceptions of your brand and how a candidate interacts with your organization on an experiential level. Creating a holistic and integrated talent value proposition, which addresses the needs of each workforce group can bridge the gap.

Building and mobilizing talent communities

Building talent communities has shifted to focusing on organizations’ long-term future capabilities which may not even exist within the business; gone are the days of pools and pipelines built on a mass of potential talent against a particular role. The concept of communities requires highly specialized engagement and communications strategies to inspire the passive candidate market into a one-on-one dialogue. Successful talent communities will provide a proactive resource for workforce planning, support better cultural alignment and longevity of hires and reduce cycle times and cost per hire.

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Strategic workforce planning

There is a clear need in organizations today to make an investment in attracting and retaining the most talented workforce; it can be the difference between success and failure for companies. A strategic workforce plan should be part of any company's approach to proactive talent acquisition.
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