Leaders can devise the best vision for their business, but they will remain just words on paper if you don’t have efficient workforce planning to turn the vision into reality.

Businesses such as Professional Services that rely heavily on their people need to get workforce planning right. Today, this means having a proactive approach in finding the right talent and managing employees to control attrition.

How can businesses have a proactive approach to talent? You can do this by forecasting your manpower needs and making data-driven decisions. Once you have the right people to support your plans, you can then focus your energies on aligning everyone with the firm’s long-term goals.

Why do you need effective strategic workforce planning?

The business environment today is witnessing a faster rate of change than any other time in history. There are changes in client behavior and expectations, business models, and technologies that consultants can leverage to deliver value. With such rapid changes, you can no longer rely on old hiring models. What businesses need to consider is to start forecasting talent requirements and make hiring plans based on those plans.

The forecast is not restricted to the number of employees needed based on upcoming projects. Hiring managers need to consider multiple factors such as:

  • What the business is planning for the medium to long term
  • What new technologies will be relevant
  • What will be the right engagement model (full-time, part-time, contract, remote position or work from office, or hybrid)
  • What skills will be needed for projects in backlog, the sales pipe, and beyond

There is a lot of pressure to think in terms of short-term goals and deliver projects on time, on-budget, and meet client expectations. Numbers are looked at from quarter to quarter. However, effective workforce planning requires leaders to take a strategic view of the business.

Some of the elements of efficient workforce planning are:

  • Forecast recruitment needs
  • Deploy employees to right projects and ensure effective utilization across the business
  • Manage employee absence by assigning substitutes and have documented succession planning
  • Engage current employees and manage their performance
  • Anticipate workforce risks such as leadership churn due to retirements
  • Reduce employee costs by managing employee turnover, improving productivity, and faster onboarding

With the business goals in mind and workforce planning process in place, what you need next is the right workforce planning solutions to support you and your team to make effective, data-driven decisions.

Develop an effective strategy for future workforce with the right tools

With the rapid changes in the business environment, business leaders need to leverage the right technologies to make better decisions. According to Gartner, only 33% of HR leaders feel that their organizations make effective use of data in workforce planning.

What can help you make better data-driven decisions is a talent management software like Microsoft Dynamics 365 Human Resources.

Businesses today have implemented “best of breed” solutions across the business. While these systems work well individually, they don’t talk to each other, offering little value to the business as a whole and specific business functions like Human Resources.

With effective strategic workforce planning tool – Microsoft Dynamics 365 Human Resources, you will be able to:

  • View all the information you need from a single source of truth
  • Measure the impact of different programs and effectiveness of the team through advanced, embedded analytics
  • Gain better insights from the data by visualizing all the information in rich dashboards that can be customized to meet your specific needs

Only with the right technologies to support your team will you be able to create an efficient workforce planning process and turn your vision into reality.