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There is no one formula or best practice for workforce planning – the approach you need is driven by the results you want to achieve. If you want to achieve headcount control and accurate staffing forecasts, you need some solid mathematics. If you want to change the mindset of the business about talent, effectively explore your future workforce options and challenges, and drive talent strategy, then you need a lot less math and a lot more qualitative techniques.
“Qualitative” gets a bad rap in some parts of the workforce planning community because it’s accused of being “blue sky”, “irrelevant” and all kinds of other taunts. But “qualitative” does not mean lacking rigor or analysis. Qualitative means being rigorous with a range of hard and soft data and making judgements and decisions based upon those – not just based on available hard data.
If your workforce planning looks beyond 12 months (and it should!), you have no choice but to embrace the qualitative – there is too much uncertainty for numbers to have value beyond that horizon.
The challenge, of course, is using qualitative techniques with rigor, effectiveness and credibility – how DO you make the soft stuff meaningful to the business, and drive real change with it? How do you stop those “blue sky HR” taunts and get your leaders working actively with you on the future of your workforce? If you want to get this kind of movement happening in your organization, this session will give you five methods (and one golden rule) to getting results.
On the other hand, if your dream is to calculate the precise number of hires you’ll need in Q3 this year and to be thanked by the folks in financial accounting for achieving that kind of accuracy and control…well, that’s a laudable goal, but this session probably isn’t for you!
• Value and Shortcomings of Metrics, Math and Headcount Forecasts in Workforce Planning
• Why Workforce Planning can (and should) be used to drive change
• Five techniques to make your workforce planning function better at driving change
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