As we approach 4th quarter and start to wind down 2021, now is good time to begin thinking about year-end activities that need to be completed as well as what you need to do to prepare for 2022. Your planning should begin with forecasting what your workforce will look like now and into 2022 and creating a talent management strategy around your needs.
Given the labor shortage, the uncertainty around the coronavirus, and the increased tendency toward a hybrid work model, attracting and retaining employees in this market can be challenging. In my next blog I’ll share some specific ideas on how to address those challenges. For now, though, here’s a refresher on what you need to consider in your workforce plan.
The operational side of workforce planning includes considerations such as your labor budget, work schedules and hours, distributing talent among divisions and departments, identifying functions no longer needed, and reassigning workers. The more strategic side of workforce planning looks at identifying skill sets needed as the company grows and changes, re-assessing the needs of the department and company as employees leave, and defining, and in some cases retooling, the recruitment strategy for future workforce needs.
Start by defining job roles. This includes defining the work that needs to be done, and asking the important question of what is it that the organization really needs? Then move to identifying the skills and competencies required for that work. If you’re starting from scratch, you may want to identify required skills, experience, and behaviors, keeping in mind that a job should be designed around the role requirements and future business needs, not a particular person. Remember that as remote work increases you may need to redesign and automate certain tasks.
Once you’ve defined and designed the critical job roles to meet your needs today, spend some time thinking about the skills/job roles you may need in the future. This will be helpful in identifying skill gaps and determining whether it makes more sense to hire for those skills gaps or to develop current employees to fill the gaps. More and more, companies are hiring for job potential because in many cases skill sets can become obsolete quickly.
Next, create formal job descriptions. Job descriptions should be as detailed as possible. Be sure your job descriptions include at least the following:
- Job title
- Job location
- A summary of the job objective/purpose
- Scope of responsibility
- Reporting relationships
- Qualifications required (experience, skills, competencies)
- Key functions and duties (including standards)
- Physical requirements of the job
A well-developed job description will help you recruit the right person for the job. It will also give you a legally-defensible document, or ‘benchmark’ for performance management.
If you have questions about developing your workforce plan for next year, please consider Connect to HR’s 3-hour Just in Time Advisory Service. Many of my clients are finding this service helpful as they navigate the challenges of our new world of work.
You do not have to do it alone!
Contact us today for a FREE 45-minute consultation to see how Just in Time: Your Guide to HR can benefit you.