Having the ‘optimum’ workforce management strategy in place is arguably the most critical factor in making a business competitive and facilitating its growth. But what is ‘optimum’ for you? How do you define it? How do you achieve it? And how do you ensure its evolution?
There is an ever-increasing number of influencing factors and all must be addressed to ensure that you are leaner and more agile than your competition.
It can be a daunting proposition to take the necessary steps but it is worth it (and maybe non-negotiable) – if you can reduce your employment and administration costs, attract the best talent quicker and deliver a better experience for all based on a robust infrastructure then you will excel.
The outside influences seem to be coming thick and fast and now is the time to consider how you will organise for the future.
The repercussions of 2008, the impending impact of Brexit and high-profile employment law changes have already put the spotlight on employment strategy, but the covid-19 crisis will be the biggest influence yet.
Workforces will shrink during the next few months (with probably 3 to 5m unemployed) before companies like you begin to grow again from a smaller base.
Managing that re-build is critical.
the critical factors
In volatile and uncertain economic times it is unlikely that a full-time, permanent employee model will provide an optimum approach so what do you need to ensure that your employment strategy is the right one to fit your business development?
What is the right mix of engagement types? What are the essential points to be addressed by the strategy? How do you go about making it happen?
Your employment strategy should align to your business but in order to do so there needs to be flexibility and agility in your approach to accommodate the peaks and troughs. The ability to quickly access readily available and pre-screened talent that you can switch on and off is essential.
Being unable to respond quickly enough to staffing requirements can cause you to miss growth opportunities and / or be unable to address needs.
How you seek staff is also crucial – there will be plenty available but given the volume of potential applicants, their acquisition could be an administrative nightmare.
Brands will be damaged.
The good news is that as your workforce needs to be more transient, flexible and agile, workers are becoming increasing receptive to working in different ways and indeed, are demanding alternative approaches to suit their lifestyle and economic needs.
Socio economic changes were happening anyway but the recent crisis will accelerate the need to address them more urgently.
The drivers for change from a workforce perspective are:
• careers are no longer based on a single employer for life but more by professional independence and portability. ‘Job hopping’ is no longer a stigma
• employee loyalty is no longer unconditional
• technology allows instant awareness and accessibility to new opportunities
• a more flexible approach is attractive and required. Nine to five is old hat and working from home has had a shot in the arm for the last few months
From an employer perspective:
• the capability to scale up and down quickly will be essential. Flexibility and agility are key
• it may become harder to move into and work in the UK for higher skilled and higher volume resource due to Brexit
• technology development suggests there will be less need for unskilled workers and more demand for those able to manage the use of new technologies (AI, Robotics etc)
An increase in a more flexible workforce brings its own issues as you enter a world of progressively complex employment law where compliance will rest with the employer.
This will be new to many and a greater burden for those already familiar and needs to be addressed.
the essential requirements
So, what does your strategy need to deliver?
• an employment model for all staffing types including non-permanent staff aligned with your business strategy which can be flexed on an on-going basis
• access to the best available talent ahead of competitors, facilitated by best use of technology
• an efficient, streamlined operation which frees your line managers to focus on their business objectives
• a quality driven approach to acquiring more suitable non-permanent staff
• full legal compliance of your organisation throughout the supply chain
• an experience for candidates and other third parties which enhances your brand
Doing nothing is not an option. The workforce is driving change as are external ‘macro’ factors and adaptation to survive is a given.
Employees are the lifeblood of an organisation and you need to attract them, employ them in a mutually beneficial manner and retain them to suit your business requirements. You have to get it right to survive.
There are many details to consider which will be the subject of future whitepapers but in the first instance, we suggest an initial discussion to discuss the impact on your business and your options.
If you can establish what you need to achieve then you can begin to plan how it can be achieved.