7.2. Workforce Planning & Talent Acquisition Approaches

Workforce Planning and Talent Acquisition: How do you plan for talent acquisition in your industry? What approaches and strategies help you organize talent recruitment plans? How do you get the people with the right skills and knowledge in the right jobs at the right time to meet your organization's strategic goals and objectives? (AOE 7. Integrated Talent Management; 7.2. Workforce Planning and Talent Acquisition Approaches)

AOE 7: Integrated Talent Management: 7.2. Workforce Planning & Talent Acquisition Approaches

Learning Objectives:
  • Identify ways to assess current talent capabilities
  • Outline a means to estimate future demand
  • Examine factors relevant to hiring internally versus externally
  • Summarize the relationship between workforce planning and strategic planning
  • List five job analysis methods and three Competency Model elements
  • Define the role of HR in workforce planning 
  • Describe the roles of TD professionals in workforce planning
Current Capability Assessment: How do talent professionals match current skills to the organizations needs now and in the future? A capability assessment can help organizations and HR establish a baseline of understanding for comparing against future personnel requirements by looking at performance from these three perspectives:
  1. What basic skills are needed just to maintain the status quo and keep the organization running?
  2. What Skills are needed to improve the organization?
  3. What are the new business drivers on the horizon, and what skills are needed to meet those future needs?
How Do You Estimate Future Demand? Talent development professionals need to determine the potential gaps and be cognizant of workforce supply and demand projections; this can be done by conducting an environmental scan, looking at workforce projections for the business (products or services in the organization), and being creative with how this workforce plan is developed, e.g. hiring temporary or P/T appointments, targeted recruitment planning, ways to reduce a surplus of talent or relocate professionals, etc. 

BONUS READ: Workforce Planning via NIH Office of Human Resources

Internal vs. External Acquisition
: These are the questions talent development professionals ask for their work in an organization to determine this choice/decision due to their participation in employee development programs. Factors considered when choosing to develop talent internally, includes:
  • Will the position be difficult to fill?
  • Is an internal selection strategically important?
  • Are there potential internal candidates?
  • Does the position have a steep learning curve?
  • Does the position require continually and institutional knowledge/ 
  • Do internal learning opportunities exist? 
  • Internal promotions are great for employee morale
On the other hand, you can consider outside talent options if:
  • A change is desirable
  • The open position signals a new direction for the organization and requires a fresh perspective
  • Limited internal capacity exists
  • Organization is experiencing high growth
  • External hire could bring key relationships and intellectual capital
  • Outside hires can be motivation and inspiring from a new energy
Relationship Between Workforce Planning & Strategic Planning: Strategic planning is a process of systematically organizing the future, where HR will rely on past experiences to inform talent hires ahead. This helps all employees focus their attention on an organization's desired outcomes using four separate steps:
  1. Formulation
  2. Development
  3. Implementation
  4. Evaluation
  • Urgent need: with good economy and increased employment demand will require you to have 
  • The advent of data and technology: merging informed talent decisions integrated with technology
  • It’s bigger than HR: it’s not just about recruitment or HR; data from across the talent lifecycle will be informed from other places e.g. finance, marketing, external trends
Workforce plan: is a design that identifies the skill and knowledge gaps between today’s talent and the needs of the future as well as the actions required to meet the needs; it emanates from the organization's strategic plan and offers managers a framework for making staffing decisions based on an organization's mission, strategic plan, budget, and desired competencies

RESOURCE: Workforce Planning Job Aid [DOWNLOAD] via ATD

Job Analysis & Competency Modeling:
A job analysis can be completed in a few different ways depending on the time available, access to subject matter experts, and the level of detail needed. Here are a few job analysis methods:*
  • Interview
Survey or Questionnaire
  • Observation
  • Focus Group
  • Work Diary or Log
*More instruments might be found in AOE #2: Instructional Design; 2.5.2. Types of Data-Collection Methods -- check out that episode, if you have not already heard it.

From a job analysis you identify the requirements of work, create a thorough and complete job description. Competencies will focus more on the skills, knowledge, and attitudes (KSAs) of those employees who are performing the jobs at a high level proficiency, specials apply to pintoin unique characteristics of successful employees that are typically mapped to a competency model. Ideally, talent development professionals will want to develop training that targets those competencies to create a sustainable workforce. Often these competencies guide the needed learning by the organization and often competency models include these 3 areas:
  1. Executive: KSAs & behaviors required to create vision, lead, strategize, influence, plan negotiate, & recognize talent
  2. Managerial or Supervisory: KSAs & behaviors required to supervise, direct, counsel, discipline, coach, organize, and development people.
  3. Functional: KSAs & behaviors required to perform specific tasks 
Role of TD in Workforce Planning: from education, training, employee/management development, executive leadership programs, organizational learning/development, and human performance technology -- the purpose is to improve performance by developing human expertise. This might be part of the succession planning process -- to identify and develop internal employees who will likely fill key business leadership positions in the organization -- and proactively planning for personnel demands/needs/shifts. This could include employ ability of current talent, preparing professionals for the future, etc.

Other roles for Workforce Planning in TD: To support some of this workforce planning there are a few prominent roles that TD professionals play as HR partners, including:
  • Analyst 
  • Implementer
  • Evaluator
  • Business Partner
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