Growing Demand for Strategic Workforce Planning Leaders in Industry

By the Conference Board, Special for US Daily Review.

As organizations continue to confront the long- and short-term impact of the Great Recession, businesses recognize that, in many cases, it is crucial to implement a strategic workforce plan, or a strategy to realign human capital needs to match the overall business strategy.  Because strategic workforce planning (SWP) is still a new methodology, there is no established profile of the successful SWP leader and no proven process for finding such a person, according to a recent Executive Action Report from The Conference Board.

“The shortage of experienced SWP leaders is an issue for businesses looking to deploy a three-to-five year SWP process,” said Mary B. Young, D.B.A., Principal Researcher, Human Capital, The Conference Board. “Interestingly, our research shows that while many SWP leaders have HR experience, that’s not always the case. In fact, effective SWP leaders are likely to have diverse work experiences within and outside of HR.”

There are 10 skills and competencies that SWP leaders must have to be effective. Business knowledge, analytical expertise and change leadership are essential requirements that prospective SWP leaders must have.  Collaboration, stature and credibility, intellectual capacity, communications skills, scenario-planning skills, diverse experience and belief in SWP are seven important factors that individual SWP leaders must possess or must develop to be effective.

Surprisingly, many SWP leaders have spent at least some of their careers outside the human resources (HR) function, working in finance, corporate planning, sales, marketing or as a line manager. That background helps them demonstrate the businessvalue of SWP, rather than presenting it as an HR exercise. SWP translates business strategy into HR strategy to ensure that workforce decisions and investments are aligned with business priorities.

And as “big data” – or volumes of data – are becoming increasingly important in many areas of the business, there’s a growing demand for expertise in analyzing and using data for competitive advantage. Companies seeking an SWP leader may not only find few ready candidates; they may have to compete with other functions that are also hunting for analytical talent.

For complete details:

Report:   Where do SWP Leaders Come From
(Executive Action Report)
By Mary Young

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.

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