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Hiring Employee Retention thought leadership Workforce Planning

Recruiting Connections: Game-Changing Insights into Strategic Workforce Planning

January 18, 2024

By: IQTalent

In this episode of Recruiting Connections, we get the opportunity to join Chris Murdock, Co-Founder and Chief Sourcing Officer of IQTalent, as he uncovers the secrets of strategic workforce planning with Scott Baker, a seasoned fractional CHRO with over 30 years of human resource experience. Together, they dive deep into workforce planning versus strategic planning and explore the significance of strategic thinking in the hiring and onboarding process.

Key Takeaways

  • Strategic workforce planning is not just about hiring but a thoughtful process that includes training time and leadership potential.
  • The timing of hires, particularly for sales positions, is essential and can significantly impact recruitment efforts.
  • Effective onboarding is a critical feature of the recruitment process. To ensure a smooth transition, setting milestones and implementing service-level agreements is crucial.

Want to unlock the secrets of strategic workforce planning? Join @IQTalent's Recruiting Connections as @ChrisMurdock and Scott Baker dive deep into the significance of strategic thinking in the hiring process:

Strategic Workforce Planning Is More Than Just Filling Positions

Scott Baker emphasizes the need for companies to prioritize roles based on their need and the training period required. He likens this to a chef who plans different cooking times for various dishes. "We're not really thinking about that in the right way because we put all this energy into hiring and recruiting people without really prioritizing and thinking about the time required to get people hired and trained," Baker states.

Timing is a crucial element in strategic workforce planning. Baker highlights that certain positions are best filled at specific periods. For instance, salespeople are ideally hired in November or December, when they are likely considering a shift after receiving their final commission checks. Conversely, accountants from Big Four firms are best hired after April when they’ve weathered the busy period. By aligning hiring strategies with the right timing, companies increase their chances of enticing top-tier talent.

Beyond timing, clear communication between hiring managers and recruiters is paramount. Baker recommends using Service Level Agreements (SLAs) to establish clear milestones and deliverables, averting the risk of overwhelming recruiters. "One of the things that I've implemented is called a service level agreement, SLA. And we do an internal SLA between the hiring manager and recruiting, sending out clear expectations about each person," he expresses.

Strategic workforce planning is an intricate process that goes far beyond merely filling vacancies. It's about thoughtful considerations of training periods, timing, and clear communication lines. By adopting this proactive approach and prioritizing roles, companies can optimize their resources, enhance productivity, and create a positive employment brand. Strategic workforce planning is, indeed, more than just filling positions; it's a strategic investment in the company's most valuable asset—its people.

Timing is everything in strategic workforce planning. Discover why certain positions are best filled at specific periods and tune in to @IQTalent's Recruiting Connections with @ChrisMurdock and Scott Baker. See the blog recap here:

Overcoming Obstacles and Handling Mistakes

In the world of recruitment, processes aren't perfect. Errors and roadblocks are bound to occur. The key is to tackle them with patience and composure. Scott Baker captures this accurately when he says, "Well, no system, no process is perfect, right? So accepting that and knowing that there will be some mistakes and then knowing how to react to it quickly, to resolve it or to minimize the impact..." This underlines the significance of expecting mistakes and being ready to resolve them swiftly and effectively.

Baker also mentions the pivotal role of onboarding and the obligation of hiring managers to expedite this process effectively. He acknowledges the time constraints that hiring managers often grapple with, which impedes the process of welcoming new employees. In his words, "My biggest concern is the hiring manager having enough opportunity to onboard those people. Typically, a hiring manager, especially today, middle management, has two or three openings that they're already covering themselves. And so when you add an additional two, three, five heads, they are scrambling to be able to spend the time with those employees." This accentuates the necessity for hiring managers to prioritize onboarding and provide adequate time for it.

Baker's innovative perspective includes an emphasis on employee upskilling and reskilling. He recommends businesses capitalize on their existing resources, particularly the technical staff, and facilitate their transition into advanced roles like AI. It's an effective strategy for businesses to adapt to evolving demands and retain valuable employees.

Strategic workforce planning is a game-changer for companies aiming to hire and onboard new talent effectively. It saves money, boosts productivity, and attracts top talent by balancing priorities, considering timing, and learning from mistakes. Investing in your current employees' development and being deliberate in the recruitment process lays the foundation for a positive employment brand.

If you found this episode of Recruiting Connections insightful, you'll love our other episodes packed with game-changing insights into the world of recruiting. Also, to stay abreast with more industry discussions, don't forget to connect with our hosts, Chris Murdock and Scott Baker, on LinkedIn!

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