Employers failing to plan recruitment
Poor planning ‘makes it difficult to adapt to changing markets’
Employers lack sufficient processes and capabilities to properly plan and manage human capital, research has revealed.
It is the damning headline finding of a poll conducted by Corporate Research Forum, in conjunction with KPMG.
Only a tiny proportion of organisations are using the principles of Strategic Working Planning (SWP) – which involves information-based interventions to improve performance and manage future challenges – the research suggests.
Nearly half (47 per cent) of firms polled had not conducted any recruitment forecasting for the 12 months ahead. Worse still, the research found just 15 per cent of businesses polled made clear links between their workforce planning and overall strategic business plan.
Even when workforce plans did exist, they were on the strategic periphery for employers, while most firms were still reacting to events, rather than planning or forecasting for them.
“Workplace planning is critical to sustaining performance and growth,” said David Knight, associate partner, KPMG. “But poor planning can make it difficult to adapt to changing market conditions, as well as retrain talent in competitive industries.”
By failing to implement organisation-wide SWP, the research suggests firms have insufficient information about when to anticipate future recruitment needs and plan for future skill requirements. This leaves them exposed to making poor succession planning, and talent management decisions.
The research was particularly critical of HR departments’ failure to segment their workforce more thoroughly. It claimed too many HR departments take a ‘one-size fits all’ approach to functions including assessments, appraisals, and general management.
Knight said: “Workforce planning is critical to sustaining performance and growth. The responsibility for this lies not only with HR directors, but with the wider executive team.”
The research comes as a number of recent reports claim HR is not getting on top of ‘big data.’ According to the Global Leadership Forecast 2014-2015, Ready-Now Leaders: Meeting Tomorrow’s Business Challenges, only 18 per cent of HR functions surveyed admitted that they saw themselves ‘anticipators’ – using data to predict talent gaps in advance and provide insight about how talent relates to business goals. If found only one in five HR professionals use data to predict talent gaps.
Mike Haffenden, founder, Corporate Research Forum said: “Today’s world is ever more complex. But this means it’s even more important companies prepare. An uncertain future needs a flexible plan. Businesses can’t just react to events as they happen.” He added: “Adopting a strategic approach to workforce planning will leave organisations better prepared to deal with a dynamic and fast-changing environment.”
Knight added: “The ability to forecast skills requirement pre-empts workforce risks and deploys resources efficiently. It’s this that underpins the financial success for organisations in the future.”