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Strategic Workforce Planning Best Practices for 2018

As of April 2018, the U.S. has the lowest unemployment rate (3.9 percent) since December 2000. And while this is great for employees (they can job-shop and even seek competitive offers), it is a huge challenge for HR departments looking for new talent or hoping to retain current staffers.

To combat this , HR teams should adopt a proactive approach to workforce planning by anticipating organizational gaps and recruiting the best candidates to fill them—before the gaps become apparent or problematic. To stay one step ahead, HR leaders should implement headcount forecasting and predictive headcount management technology in order to provide insight into when employees might leave or make internal moves. Armed with this data, organizations can create a strategic workforce planning program that outlines hiring goals and explains how to reach these goals through recruiting.

Here are three workforce planning best practices that company executives can use to develop an effective talent acquisition strategy:

1) Collaborate Company-Wide on Recruitment

HR is not the only department that handles new hires. Finance departments, for example, determine new hire salaries and benefits. To develop a sound talent acquisition strategy, all departments need to be aligned and their individual processes streamlined. One way organizations can align is by using a recruiting technology suite to set hiring timelines, track how long it takes each department to make decisions about new hires or get new-hire materials in order.

2) Look at Company Data and Make Forecasts

For workforce planning to be effective, organizations should bring together multiple data sources, such as number of employees hired in the past, how much employees cost the company and results from employee satisfaction surveys. This enables HR executives to make the most practical, informed decisions for immediate and future hires.

Looking at this data will also help inform forecasts to predict headcount shortages or talent gaps. For example, HR can see when employees traditionally leave the company (and why) and determine how to avoid that going forward. When the organization is prepared for workforce fluctuations, HR can proactively build a talent pipeline, and finance departments can develop a realistic budget for hires in the weeks, months and years ahead.

3) Deliver Seamless Experiences Through Tracking

Employee retention plays an important role in a company's workforce planning strategy, since retaining employees costs less than acquiring new ones. Tracking applicants can help retention, ensuring the interview and onboarding processes are effective by delivering insight into pain points and helping resolve them.

To get the most out of tracking, HR teams should track from the moment a job is posted to when new employees are onboarded. Automated candidate tracking systems can help map the entire application journey and fix issues in real time, as they arise.

By utilizing workforce planning best practices, organizations can succeed in the future by establishing a solid, loyal team, focused on pushing forward and helping an organization achieve its goals.

Want to learn more workforce planning best practices and future-proof your organization with a talent pipeline? Try Cornerstone's Recruiting Suite and HR Suite today.

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