Update your workforce strategy with these four steps

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Posted by Matt Rivera

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April 13, 2011

With several generations in the workforce today, creating a viable workforce strategy can be challenging. If it were only that (and you had all the resources you needed), it wouldn't be so bad. But most HR practitioners find themselves dealing with a variety of factors in addition to the challenging economy.

Let's break it down:

  • The aging workforce. Will they retire, or won't they? And what if they all retire at the same time?

  • Another possible tech bubble. Wages are soaring for some; many are hard to find. What's the next big technology "thing?"

  • Low employee engagement. Depending on who you listen to, one-third to one-half, or more, of your employees are ready to leave right now.

  • Increased use of non-employees in the workforce. Temporaries and independent contractors are here to stay, but how do you manage them efficiently and reduce co-employment risk?

When you look at your workforce strategy, it's time to update your approach or at least find some creative ways to deal with all of this chum and change.

There are some basic steps to help you understand your talent acquisition process and needs and to better align your workforce strategy with your resources. Here are four key items to consider:

  1. Skills inventory. What skills do you have, what skills do you need now, and what skills will you need in the future? It's crucial to align your workforce strategy with your business strategy. Performing a skills inventory is the first step to understanding where you are today and what you'll need to be successful in the future.

  2. Recruiting resources. This includes both human resources (as in people) and the tools, methods and techniques used for recruiting. Evaluating your recruiting costs and efficiency is important. Leveraging your employment brand (or creating one) is another element.

  3. Process efficiency and compliance. Do you have the processes that support the efficient acquisition and retention of talent? Do they meet the needs of your internal customers? Are they compliant, or are they exposing you to undue risk?

  4. Ability to execute. How are your resources aligned with your needs? Do you have sufficient resources to source and recruit the talent you need? Do you have executive support to put in place the recruiting resources that will allow you to execute your workforce strategy?

Many companies came out of the recession with the same workforce strategy they went in with. The only problem is, the world has changed.

Now is the time to take a look at your talent acquisition strategies and your overall workforce strategy and make sure they are aligned with changes in your business and the world.

If they're not, get help now. The steps above are a good start, but taking action means making the business case for implementing the right resources to get your workforce strategy moving forward.

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Topics: Staff Management, HR Strategies

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