2011 workforce management forecast

Looking ahead to 2011, I see another challenging year. No duh, right? Well, like most things in life, it's 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you react.

So while 2011 might be more of the same, this difficult business climate also presents a great opportunity to demonstrate how workforce management can make a difference on the bottom line. Whether you are in procurement, HR, or on the front lines in professional staffing services, you need to understand how you fit into the picture.

Below are some key areas I believe will need some attention in 2011. As you read through, think about how you can contribute to the workforce planning and management process in the coming year.

Workforce planning will be crucial to success.
But wait. HR is focused on retaining and attracting talent. And there are fewer people in HR. Now's the time to look inside and, if necessary, outside your organization for the resources to properly assess your hiring needs. The turnaround might not be quick, but those who are prepared will reap the benefits. Input and collaboration are required throughout the organization to keep up with a constantly changing workforce.

Independent contractor compliance remains an issue.
You still have time, but as the workforce starts to grow, so does the likelihood that more independent contractors will sneak in under the radar. Procurement should get it under control now and put a process in place, so you don't have to worry about it in the future. Hiring managers, don't take the easy way out and put your organization at risk. Understand when someone is really independent or really just a temporary without proper insurance.

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