‘Employers lack workforce planning strategy’

A CIPD survey finds employers are not planning ahead strategically for their workforce needs.

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The majority of employers lack a workforce planning strategy based on a robust understanding of their current and future workforce needs, according to the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development [CIPD].

The CIPD’s latest Resourcing and Talent Planning Survey, in partnership with Omni,  surveyed over 1,000 employers and found that more than two-fifths (43%) of employers take an ad hoc approach to recruitment and that only two fifths (40%) of organisations that say talent is harder and harder to retain have undertaken any kind of retention initiatives.

The report argues that now, more than ever, with a labour market in flux due to Covid and Brexit, organisations need to take a more strategic approach to resourcing – particularly since they may need to train and reskill more domestic workers or increase routes into work for young people, both of which can take time and investment.

Yet  the survey found just 46% of employers collect data to identify skills gaps in their organisation, with fewer than a third (31%) collecting data to identify future skill requirements.

The report highlights that comprehensive data should not just be used to inform and improve workforce planning decisions, but an organisation’s range of resourcing initiatives, processes and issues. Currently, only 20% calculate the cost of labour turnover; 13% of organisations measure the return on investment of their recruitment activities; and 13% collect data to assess the availability/supply of talent in the market.

Claire McCartney, senior resourcing and inclusion adviser at the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, said: “The pandemic has meant that many organisations haven’t had the bandwidth to look ahead when it comes to resourcing. Our research also confirms that many organisations aren’t regularly collecting data on their current and future workforce needs. However, that’s exactly what they need to be doing if they’re to survive and thrive, given the current recruitment difficulties hiring crisis on our hands and changing dynamics of the labour market.

“Employers could also be making much better use of data across the board regarding their resourcing practices, so they know what works for them and what doesn’t. This will not just put them in a better position to attract and retaining talent, it will open up access to more diverse talent too.”

When it comes to in-house upskilling, however, the report is slightly more positive,  finding that more organisations are turning to training and development to address their recruitment difficulties, with a third (33%) saying they’ve developed more talent in-house compared to the previous year.

There has also been an increase in the proportion of organisations offering career-returner (27%) and mid-career-change programmes (21%) in the last year, up from 19% and 16% respectively on the previous year.

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