Workforce planning for small business

how to implement workforce planning and workforce planning guide for managers
MiaJordon Profile Pic
MiaJordon,United States,Researcher
Published Date:07-08-2017
Your Website URL(Optional)
Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do. —Johann Wolfgang von Goethe our organization is only as good as its talent, so finding, hiring, and retaining the right people, with the right skills, at the right Ytime is critical for any company’s success. Operating in a globally connected arena, today’s talent marketplace is extremely competitive and challenging. The race to hire the best people is heating up, and companies are facing new workforce demo- graphic challenges: The majority of baby boomers who are poised for retirement will be leaving an unprecedented amount of talent gaps in nearly every organization. Millennials, who by 2020 will account for more than 50 percent of the labor force, are not necessarily equipped with the knowledge, education, and expertise to take over in the suc- cession plan. And the skills gap in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields is becoming more acute and represents a serious hurdle for talent management leaders. To achieve success in this recovering global economy and chal- lenging workforce ecosystem, companies can’t afford to fly blind with their human resources. They must have a comprehensive under- standing of their workforce segments and a clear vision of what they will need to achieve their business goals and objectives both now and in the future. Leading companies are increasingly leveraging sophisticated meth- ods to analyze employee and business data to enhance their competitive edge. They are properly getting a comprehensive understanding of the structure, strengths, and weaknesses of their employee base in order to anticipate their workforce needs. Getting that full-e fl dged knowledge 100W o r k f o r c e P l a n n i n g a n a l y t i c s ◂ 101 requires all the building blocks of workforce planning, which also includes addressing some talent management questions, such as: ■ How many people will your organization need in the next two to five years? ■ How much it will cost to hire those resources? ■ Where will those resources be coming from (internal or exter- nal full-time employees versus part-time employees, school, industry, location, and region)? ■ What will be the expected revenue per employee? ■ How much growth will those resources be expected to gener- ate? ■ Who are the critical segments of the workforce that will be required to achieve the business goals? ■ Which segments of the workforce might not be business criti- cal? ■ What technology and processes are needed to achieve new business goals? Addressing these strategic workforce planning business questions will be the topic covered in this chapter. Workforce Planning Analytics is one of the most important pillars in human capital management as it is defined along with your company’s strategic business plan for suc- cess. We will explore how companies such as Bullhorn, Dow Chemi- cal, Black Hills, and Societe de Transport de Montreal (STM) have been leveraging analytics to optimize their talent requirements so that they can achieve maximum return. WhAt Is Workforce PlAnnIng? We define workforce planning as the process that enables organiza- tions to identify what talent they will need to achieve their business goals and objectives, from current needs to future demand and succes- sion planning. 102 ▸ P e o P l e a n a l y t i c s i n t h e e r a o f B i g D a t a Workforce planning should always start with a clear definition of your company mission and your most pressing business chal- lenges and priorities. It should guide your organization into what is required to address its mission-critical challenges. This is a col- laborative process that requires all stakeholders such as Finance, Human Resources (HR), Marketing, and Sales to ensure that the acquisition of talent and the retention of top performers are tied to the company’s bottom line and represent everyone’s business objec- tives. It also demonstrates the value that proactive assessment and planning of the workforce will have on the bottom line. Getting a comprehensive view of the talent supply-and-demand equation to drive business performance in the future requires the power of ana- lytics to distill actionable insights from the complex workforce data ecosystem. Workforce PlAnnIng AnAlytIcs Economic cycles have always been the major drivers of workforce changes throughout the history of employment. During the global recession of 2008, we witnessed with little exception the sharpest downsizing of the workforce in the job market since the 1929 stock market crash and the Great Depression. The majority of companies went from hiring freezes and employment furloughs to massive work- force downsizing, restructuring efforts, and layoffs. Finance and HR teams were at the epicenter of it all, with Finance responsible for com- municating budget cuts as well as the underlying workforce reduction that was required, while HR’s major focus was about executing the plan and handling the legal purpose of those massive terminations: severance packages. At some point, most of us probably witnessed a conversation between the Finance and HR departments that sounded something like this: Finance: We need to cut 30 percent of the workforce. HR: What levels should we cut? And when should we start? W o r k f o r c e P l a n n i n g a n a l y t i c s ◂ 103 Finance: Cut 50 percent from level 1, 20 percent from level 2, 20 per- cent from level 3, and 10 percent from level 4, and start immediately. In most cases, Finance would hand over the requisition list on which HR was required to execute; however, depending on their size, some organizations did hire consulting rm fi s specialized in reorganiza- tion to lead the downsizing efforts. Generally, these companies had little or no knowledge of the organization’s day-to-day operations, and the outcome of their intervention was sometime questionable. After multiple exercises in downsizing, some companies have sim- ply realized they can maintain their minimal operations and service levels by hiring terminated resources as contractors (which can be problematic), and some have even tried to hire these employees back when the economy started to recover. Many had trouble hiring for some hard-to-fill skilled positions of employees who had been laid off, with most wondering why they were let go in the first place. When talking with talent acquisition and HR leaders, one of their most important requirements for workforce planning was the ability to have a predictive custom model that would help to anticipate the workforce they would need in the future, and a customer model that could factor in internal and external changes, such as economic down- turns and political change. They want to know how HR can become a more strategic partner in building acquisition plans during the up cycle of the economy or reduction plans during the down cycle of the economy. To achieve this level of prediction, traditional workforce planning that only leverages a single set of metrics is not sufficient. Organizations need to effectively utilize advanced analytics and Big Data to build and drive the optimal workforce they need to achieve current and future business goals with the opportunity to dynamically adjust based on internal or external economic or political changes. That means con- stantly exploring, analyzing, and reviewing all the data available along with the supply-and-demand equation of your organization. We define workforce planning analytics as the process of inject- ing advanced analytics into workforce planning in order to optimize 104 ▸ P e o P l e a n a l y t i c s i n t h e e r a o f B i g D a t a outcomes and ensure human capital planning success. It is about leveraging advanced business analytics to address workforce plan- ning challenges and business questions. It helps your company under- stand the past and the present and to anticipate your future workforce needs. When you leverage analytics, you should start with harnessing the data—Big or little, and from internal and external sources—to cre- ate economic value for the business and address human capital busi- ness questions. The Workforce Planning Analytics pillar is strongly connected with other pillars, as well. For instance, a bad candidate triage could lead to an increase in turnover and a decrease in productivity; a lack of a strategic succession planning could affect productivity and retention of top performers, while the lack of well-being, health, and safety policies could undermine engagement, performance, and productivity of the workforce and increase operating costs. Workforce planning analytics offers organizations both short-term and medium-term solutions by identifying current skills challenges, future shortages, or surpluses of critical talent. Why should you cAre About Workforce PlAnnIng AnAlytIcs? If you don’t know how many resources you will need in the future to drive business performance and win against your competition, you are flying blindly and more likely building your path to fail. Workforce planning analytics helps to anticipate what resources your organiza- tion would need 6, 12, 36, 60, or 120 months from now to achieve its business goals. It also helps to identify the skill sets and profiles, such as job category, job level, title, education, location, and status, which will be required or no longer needed. It provides actionable insights in terms of skills gaps with break- downs by demographics, helping organizations to forecast skills short- age and excesses long before they happen, and enabling them to W o r k f o r c e P l a n n i n g a n a l y t i c s ◂ 105 anticipate acquisitions, retention costs, talent needs, and productivity levels, as well as addressing the following questions: ■ How best to leverage and work with millennials who have grown up in a digital and social media world? ■ What talent will be required for succession planning? ■ Whom to prepare to take over according to succession plans? ■ What staff segment will be successful at various and disparate roles? ■ Which talent will deliver a high return to warrant the greatest investment? ■ What segment and profile of the workforce are essential to achieving business goals? ■ What resources would you need if 60 percent of your employee population will retire in four years? ■ What staffing needs has your organization had in the past, what needs does it currently have, and what needs will it have in the future to be successful? financial benefits of Workforce Analytics As per any business analytics main goal, workforce planning analyt- ics enables organizations to create economic value from their business and human capital data, including tangible benefits such as: ■ Reduction of workforce costs related to acquisition develop- ment and retention of talent. ■ Best identification of revenue stream through optimization of the staff needed at the right place, at the right time, and at the right cost. ■ Successful execution of the organization’s business strategy and design. ■ Optimization of learning and development as well as compensa- tion and benefits. 106 ▸ P e o P l e a n a l y t i c s i n t h e e r a o f B i g D a t a ■ Anticipation and planning for change to improve business oper- ations and decisions. ■ Allocation of talent investment and alignment of HR with the overall corporate strategy. ■ Enabling organizations to get the best balance of supply and demand by hiring the needed skill sets and reducing vacant positions and excesses capabilities. ■ Decreasing hiring cost and the time to ll fi while improving the quality of hire. Interview with Art Papas, CEO, Bullhorn Bullhorn, Inc., is a global company headquartered in Boston that E l I provides cloud-based software for the staffing and recruiting industry. f O JP Isson had the opportunity to interview Art Papas, who was named r P a 2014 EY Entrepreneur of the Year in New England by Ernst & Young. Isson: How are you leveraging Big Data analytics when it comes to workforce planning such as planning resources for hard-to-fill roles? Papas: There is a talent shortage already for some skill sets. By 2030, there will be a labor shortage across the board in almost every skilled labor category. I think about the talent pipeline not from the sourcing perspective, but rather how can I develop processes where we can bring in somebody with no education or experience in that particular field and make them successful. If you want to hire a good software devel- oper, for instance, you will have to wait up to two years, in some cases, to find the right person with the right experience to fill that position. Or, you can hire someone and train them over the course of two years. We choose to do the latter: We hire good and talented people and then train them, optimizing our workforce planning so that we can fill a variety of current and future positions. W o r k f o r c e P l a n n i n g a n a l y t i c s ◂ 107 In order to successfully execute this strategy, you need to hire some- one with the right raw intelligence and personality to fit the job. That’s where psychometrics and Big Data analytics come into play. We can give high school students an aptitude test that measures their intelli- gence, their speed to learn, and personality traits, and map that against other employees’ psychometrics that were successful at the same job. We combine our management instinct and experience with advanced analytics models that leverage the Big Data and psychometric fac- tors to help us better optimize our workforce planning; it is not what you know, but what you can learn from it. Companies will increas- ingly have to take the role of educators in this new challenging labor marketplace in order to remain competitive and optimize their supply and demand equation. We call the process of training our new employees without traditional education and experience high-potential entry-level (HPEL) hiring. This has dramatically changed our ability to attract and develop our talent. It will definitely play a big role in the future, and has already provided us with strategic insights for our succession planning as well as overall workforce planning. Isson: Do you apply HPEL for a specific group of your em- ployee population? Papas: We do it across the board, from sales and finance to customer services—and it is really paying off. Isson: What is the impact of analytics on the talent manage- ment process? Papas: There’s still so much inefficiency in hiring, especially for some roles like customer services reps or sales, where turnover can be as high as 40 percent. There are some companies that hire people and nine months later they are gone. But you can use analytics to remediate some of this turnover. For instance, if you look at your employees who have been with you long term, you can analyze the profile of the successful and loyal employ- ees, and, from there, identify loyalty and job performance drivers, and create some velocity. Advanced analytics helps to proactively address (Continued ) 108 ▸ P e o P l e a n a l y t i c s i n t h e e r a o f B i g D a t a (continued) potential challenges and issues, and helps you keep and protect your most valuable asset: your employees. If you put all those triggers in a database, you can build a model that will help you to anticipate who will be loyal and perform well at the job. JP Isson: You were named Entrepreneur of the Year in 2014. What would be your advice for employers who are looking to make their company a Best Place to Work? Papas: I have been very fortunate to work with intelligent and great people. I am passionate about many things when it comes to building a successful company, but I will underscore two major things: 1. I am passionate about delivering the best product to our cus- tomers and passionate about delivering a great experience to our customers. I want everyone working with our customers to really care about them, so much so that our customers can feel the passion and energy we have for what we do. I want them to know that we believe in what we offer and we are genuinely here to help them. 2. I care a lot about our employees. I want them to be successful. I love seeing them develop their careers, and I strive to create an environment where people like to succeed, where they want to do a great job, where they work harder because they believe in what they do. This is what gets you ahead of the competi- tion, and this will definitely lead to the overall recognition for your company as a great place to work. key comPonents of Workforce PlAnnIng AnAlytIcs Being able to successfully anticipate the talent gap in supply and demand of your organization requires a comprehensive assessment of the talent planning matrix and a laserlike focus on its major W o r k f o r c e P l a n n i n g a n a l y t i c s ◂ 109 components that include, but are not limited to, people, data, technology, and processes. People People refers to resources you need to build and implement your workforce planning strategy. These resources must have the skill sets to build workforce planning models to help your organization trans- form its data into actionable insights. These insights will help you address your key business questions, optimize your talent require- ment analysis, and provide you with a comprehensive picture of your talent supply/demand equation. data Data is the foundation of analytics and represents the backbone of workforce planning analytics. By this we mean taking care of all the data available and building statistical models that will help to assess the current and future human capital needs in order to achieve business goals. There are six major categories of data critical for workforce plan- ning analytics: 1. Talent data: Includes data from HR enterprise resource plan- ning (ERP), recruitment data, turnover and retention data, engagement data, training data, performance data, preferences and attitudes data, employee satisfaction data, and succession planning and retirement data. 2. Market data: Refers to information such as social media data, competitive intelligence data (getting an understanding of what your competition is doing as far as managing their talent is concerned), and voice-of-candidate data (what candidates are saying about your organization). 3. Business data: Includes companies’ key performance indi- cator metrics such as sales, revenue, customers, revenue per 110 ▸ P e o P l e a n a l y t i c s i n t h e e r a o f B i g D a t a employee, average order size, retention rate, new business, win-back count and rate, payroll data, budget compensation and benefits data, and finance ERP data. 4. Economic and industry data: Refers to industry benchmark data and macroeconomic data such as gross domestic product and consumer price index. 5. Labor statistics data: Includes labor force data, employ- ment data, job openings, unemployment rates, payroll wages, jobless rate, quits and layoffs, population growth, and forecast. 6. University graduation data: Refers to graduation by disci- pline with a focus on hard-to-fill positions such as those in STEM fields. technologies and tools Technology plays a critical role in enabling organizations to capture, store, manage, integrate, and analyze data to determine talent short- ages and excesses; it is also integral to creating an action plan to balance the right supply-and-demand equation. Analyzing the data described in the previous section requires a statistical or data science skill set that HR and business leaders championing a workforce planning project typically do not possess. Consequently, the companies we spoke with rely on technology solutions, as they provide a great return on invest- ment (ROI) when analyzing massive business and talent data to distill actionable and predictive insights. There are countless companies that provide workforce planning tools, and it is easy for businesspeople to get lost in all the noise. A common question we hear from talent leaders who are looking to embrace analytics is: “Where do I start?” In the next main section, we will explore how the IMPACT Cycle introduced in the previous chapters can be used to address these W o r k f o r c e P l a n n i n g a n a l y t i c s ◂ 111 1 important questions, but r fi st, here is a list compiled by Newman that describes eight groups of technologies to consider in workforce plan- ning: 1. Pure plays for scenarios planning and predictive models 2. Enterprise resource planning for the management of employee data 3. Application tracking system for the management of candidate data 4. Learning management system for the management of the learning process 5. Performance management for the management of the perfor- mance process 6. Analytics for the data warehouse 7. Emerging players include entrants into the workforce planning processes 8. In-house solutions for the development of systems to facilitate individual workforce planning needs Processes Based on our expertise with building workforce planning models, enriched with input from the industry leaders we spoke with, the process for a scalable and efficient successful workforce planning analytics should include resources planning predictive models and leverage the business analytics IMPACT Cycle discussed in Chapter 2. resources Planning Predictive models Resources planning predictive models will leverage all the data sets discussed in the previous section and help you to anticipate your 112 ▸ P e o P l e a n a l y t i c s i n t h e e r a o f B i g D a t a workforce behavior and changes and provide actionable insights to your workforce planning questions such as: ■ What resources will your organization need in the next 2, 5, or 10 years to succeed and remain competitive? ■ How many resources will be leaving your organization in the next 6, 12, 24, or 60 months? ■ Who are the top performers who will be leaving for retirement? ■ Who are the top performers who will be leaving to the com- petition? ■ How many resources should you prepare for succession plans? ■ How many resources will you need during the different upside and downside cycles of the economy? ■ Which resources are high potentials who you should promote? ■ What resources should you ready for late retirement departure? ■ What skills sets should your workforce acquire to compete and win? Predictive models already discussed in this book help to address some workforce planning questions; however, a comprehensive process for workforce planning analytics implementation is covered through- out the IMPACT Cycle reden fi ed next. mAkIng An ImPAct WIth Workforce PlAnnIng AnAlytIcs To put workforce planning analytics to work, we will leverage our IMPACT Cycle. As you may recall from Chapter 2, this framework is made up of six analytics maturity stages: 1. Identify the business challenges to meet goals and objectives of the desired state. W o r k f o r c e P l a n n i n g a n a l y t i c s ◂ 113 2. Master the data to define your workforce, and conduct supply/ demand and gap analyses. 3. Provide the meaning of supply/demand and gap analyses. 4. Act on the findings and recommendations. 5. Communicate the action plan. 6. Track the outcome constantly. Identify the business challenge By identifying the business challenge, we mean understanding the most pressing business goals your organization aims to achieve in the future. Focusing on these mission-critical priorities will guide the assessment of your workforce needs. Business goals are usually defined and revisited every year and should be tied to the company’s mission, vision, and strategy. For instance, a company’s most pressing goals could include: ■ Increase market share by 33 percent. ■ Increase customer retention by 10 percent. ■ Increase average order size by 27 percent. ■ Increase profitability of customers by 15 percent. ■ Reduce operating costs by 25 percent. ■ Become the leader in your industry. Those goals are obtained from business plan meetings with execu- tives throughout the organization, and these meetings can also help to capture the information needed to build the competency plan, and to socialize the target objectives and desired state. Outlining major workforce questions and assumptions that must be addressed in order to get to the desired state of human capital and the future changes is a key element to this step. These questions could include: ■ What is the target time line for implementing the change? ■ Would the desired state require a management change? 114 ▸ P e o P l e a n a l y t i c s i n t h e e r a o f B i g D a t a ■ Would the desired state require a new skill set from an exter- nal source or simply an internal transfer of resources between groups, locations, or functions? ■ Would the desired state require a rationalization and centraliza- tion of services? For instance, analytics groups currently exist- ing in silos but focusing on a common goal could lead to the centralization of such groups. ■ What are the current employee workload productivity and employee value? ■ Would the desired state require an increase or a decrease in full- time employees (FTE) or contractors? ■ Would the desired state require changes in head count, qualifi- cation, diversity, or work status? ■ Would the desired change create a systematic skills shortage? ■ Would the desired state require hiring a new specic fi talent and skill set? ■ Would the desired state require terminating or transferring a target function and skill set? Being able to address these questions by leveraging the power of data analytics will provide insights into your organization’s past, present, and future workforce needs. Once armed with this knowl- edge, you can begin to socialize your plan with the executives across your organization who will be affected by any changes. master the data to define your current Workforce and Perform supply/demand and gap Analyses Once you have identified the business challenges to address and major underlying business questions to answer, the next step is to gather the available data to accurately describe your current workforce situation and conduct supply/demand and gap analyses. Pulling together workforce and business data from internal and external sources, human resources information systems (HRIS), legacy systems, and any informal data storage and market data will help you W o r k f o r c e P l a n n i n g a n a l y t i c s ◂ 115 develop a more robust image of your organization’s current workforce milieu. Once you have gathered this information, it is important to standardize the data coming from multiple sources in terms of format and definition, with the ultimate goal of gaining a better understand- ing of the current state of the workforce and establish the needs for the future state. Describing Your Current Workforce and Building a Competency Plan Leveraging your existing data, identify and define your current work- force by skills, positions, and functions, and then build up descriptive statistics from your data, including the creation of talent dashboards. An effective competency plan should include workforce characteristics such as: ■ Job title ■ Job category ■ Job level ■ Job status (full-time, part-time, or contractor) ■ Quantity required ■ Quality of hire ■ Diversity ■ Financial implication, cost per hire, compensation, and benefits Performing a Supply Analysis It is important to create a profile of your workforce to assess its state. Statistical models and tools can and should be used to create a profile to ensure you are capturing a comprehensive overview of your current workforce. This profile should include the current workload of your employees as well as the scope of work being performed. A robust pro- file will enable you to estimate which capabilities are needed for the current state, which is called an as-is state. This refers to the estimation of the current workforce supply and future need, and represents the supply side of the supply/demand equation. 116 ▸ P e o P l e a n a l y t i c s i n t h e e r a o f B i g D a t a To create a target prolfi e (a prolfi e based on job function) of your current workforce, consider each of the following six layers of analytics: 1. Put together a dashboard of each job function, including job category, job level, grade, head count, gender, and job status (FTE versus non-FTE). 2. Profile each job function based on variables such as job title, job level, job category, education, grades, performance rating, qualification, certification, tenure, age, race, gender, job sta- tus (FTE versus non-FTE, internal, transition, external hire), benefits and compensation, turnover, top performers, low per- formers, median, and length of service (LOS). 3. Build up a comprehensive analysis of sick leave, absence, and family leave by job function and then profile by demographic and performance rating data, LOS, job grade, location, and occupation. 4. Factor in environmental considerations such as lateness cor- relating with lengthy commute times or work by job function. 5. Analyze historical workforce acquisition, turnover, and reten- tion data. Acquisition data should be profiled by the same aforementioned variables and should also include sources of talent acquisition: online and offline social media, headhunt- ing, referral, career fair, or university. 6. Determine strengths and weaknesses, risks, and gaps based on your supply analysis. Turnover Analysis There are two types of turnover—voluntary and involuntary. Voluntary Turnover The three main types of voluntary employee turnover are retirement turnover, promotion turnover, and employer change turnover. To gain insights into voluntary turnover, data should be profiled based on these categories: W o r k f o r c e P l a n n i n g a n a l y t i c s ◂ 117 ■ Understanding the reason for leaving ■ Destination ■ Correlation between turnover and acquisition channel ■ Turnover by grade and performance ■ Turnover by demographics for each job function Based on statistical models, identify your existing employees who are at risk of leaving as well as the likely reason for leaving and the potential date. Involuntary Turnover Involuntary turnover should also be analyzed by demographics, com- pany performance, and external factors such as economic upturn and downturn, performance issues, and acquisition channel and cost. Hard-to-Fill Position Analysis In this competitive talent market and skills shortage, special attention should be given to understanding hard-to-fill positions and vacan- cies. This requires a profile for each employee segment that includes demographics, performance rating data, length of service, grade, loca- tion, and occupation. An overview of attrition risks is also important to include in the profile. Once you have pulled together this informa- tion, set up meetings to validate your estimates and nding fi s with key stakeholders across the organization. Perform Your Supply/Demand and Gap Analyses and Forecast the Future Supply of Talent At this stage advanced analytics are used to identify your future work- force demand by building a target profile based on the same variables you used to define your current profile. You can then apply statistical models to analyze historical data and current profiles, and determine future needs and trends. Forecasting the future supply is about calcu- lating the difference between your existing supply (internal workforce) 118 ▸ P e o P l e a n a l y t i c s i n t h e e r a o f B i g D a t a and your estimated demand, which will also help you assess capa- bilities by job function and determine where there will be a shortage (deficit) or excess (surplus). Key information to look at for this assessment includes: ■ Current workforce profile by head count. ■ Turnovers (voluntary, involuntary, retirement, sick leave, fam- ily leave, and other). ■ Differential (supply and demand). ■ Assessment of the as-is state and the to-be state to evaluate the supply/demand balance. It is important to conduct a gap analysis on the current and future supply/demand workforce needs. Provide meaning Once you have conducted supply/demand and gap analyses leveraging advanced analytics, it is important to provide context, meaning, and business recommendations based on the ndin fi gs. This includes: ■ A clear definition of the workforce scenario for specific key roles that uses statistical models and tools to paint a clear picture for stakeholders. ■ Running scenarios against required head counts. ■ Building statistical models to analyze and understand workload by target workforce and gain insight into work performed. ■ Building supply/demand analysis of workload and current and future states to ascertain demand and supply. ■ Identification of strengths, weaknesses, risks, and gaps. ■ Determination of whether the analyses result in surpluses or shortages of critical staff who are required to meet business goals and objectives. ■ Identification of what skills are needed to accomplish the workload. W o r k f o r c e P l a n n i n g a n a l y t i c s ◂ 119 Action Plan After gathering the data and performing the supply/demand and gap analyses, it is important to put together an action plan that enables you to: ■ Develop a gap plan from the gap analysis of current and future supply and demand. ■ Identify future demand from workload. ■ Identify workforce objectives and development strategies lever- aging historical trends and data. This stage is about putting an action plan together to proactively address the outcomes of the supply and demand analysis. The final outcome is that the analysis can flag any potential stafng fi shortages or redundancies that might require an organization to take action in order to meet its business goals and objectives and maintain a balanced workforce. The ultimate goal of an action plan is to ensure a sustain- able supply-and-demand balance that is critical for success. Staffing Shortages If your gap analysis reveals insufc fi ient stafn fi g, new acquisitions have to take place. It is important to keep in mind the prolfi e variable for each job function where new talent acquisition is required. That prolfi e will provide ownership and guiding principles to help ensure that the right talent is hired for the right role. These considerations include job category, location, occupation, and grade, and will steer you toward the proper recruitment channels for attracting ideal external candidates. Excesses The action plan for a surplus of staff is typically a reduction of the workforce or an organizational restructuring exercise to meet the new demand level for each job function. These actions will ultimately help your company achieve excellence in delivering on mission-critical business goals with optimal resources.