How Talent Analytics Can Drive Workforce Planning

Today’s HR leaders are expected to deliver greater value to their organizations. Exceptional workforce planning and talent acquisition are a critical part of a broader talent strategy, but to execute effectively, you need access to the right HR data and analytics.

You also need to better understand the skills and talent available in target business markets, and better predict what roles will be needed in the future. With such information at hand, you’ll be better equipped to make important decisions around how work gets done, while elevating your own role within the organization.

All too often, employers have world-class planning capabilities and succession forecasts in place. But when it comes time to actually fill roles, they don’t have enough insight into the availability and market rates of skilled talent. Talent leaders need visibility to determine which work arrangements can get the work done most quickly, and benchmarking data will illuminate how to win that talent. They also need insights to develop strong training and development strategies that will upskill and retain their workforces.

Fortunately, an important trend in HR today is capturing critical supply-and-demand information, particularly around how to leverage permanent and contingent talent, the costs of labor, and any gaps in their talent acquisition processes. Focusing on these aspects will drive strategic workforce planning. After all, the last thing you want is to have a talent acquisition strategy in place and then be caught off-guard by the costs or unavailability when you’re ready to implement.

Finding the right talent at the right time. According to Randstad Sourceright’s 2019 Talent Trends Report, a key goal among 83% of human capital leaders is to make sure HR has a measurable impact on the overall business.  When equipped with real-time insights on the availability, accessibility and cost of talent — and with a plan that outlines how to adapt based on changing market conditions — it becomes easier to deliver value.

Here’s just one example of how talent market insights are helping HR leaders inform business decisions. Forbes suggests that a shortage of blue collar workers will drive businesses to consider relocating to new locations where talent is in higher supply. Market intelligence on where truck drivers, mechanics and other hourly workers can be found, and their respective market rates, can help inform crucial business decisions.

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Five tips for using market intelligence. Do you have the insights you need to guide your organization’s leaders on new products and services, market expansions and other critical projects? Are you ready to take a more data-driven approach to your talent strategy? Here are five ways you can begin to power up your market intelligence now:

  1. Assign a dedicated data team. With a team or partner responsible for compiling available market data, you’ll have an accountable source for tracking and synthesizing relevant analytics.
  2. Identify target markets. Understanding current and future talent availability can help you identify the markets in which your company should operate and recruit.
  3. Consider different work arrangements. Your company will need to engage permanent, contingent, part-time and flexible work arrangements to ensure access to skilled individuals. Gather insights on availability, costs and demand across these groups, and build a holistic strategy that focuses on getting the right resources in place at the right times.
  4. Understand how you measure up. By analyzing internal metrics and comparing them with market benchmark data, you can see how factors like your pay rates compare to other employers and potentially impact talent attraction.
  5. Get advice from the experts. Consult with industry analysts, your technology providers or talent solutions partners to take advantage of the specific market intelligence they have. You will likely get access to data on pay rates, market demand by skills and location, and average time to fill for key roles to help make better-informed decisions around recruiting and workforce reskilling.

A company’s talent continues to be its biggest differentiator. By taking a data-focused methodology to building your workforce, your organization can develop a more agile approach to talent acquisition, while positioning yourself and your company for the future of work.

Cindy Keaveney

Cindy Keaveney
Cindy Keaveney is Randstad Sourceright’s global chief people officer.

Cindy Keaveney

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